Thousands of children 'could become undocumented' after Brexit

Lisa O'Carroll - The Guardian

The UK Home Office is introducing a new scheme requiring the registration of EU nationals after Brexit, putting children in care and other vulnerable children in danger of slipping through the cracks, according to a report from Coram Children’s Legal Centre. "Coram is calling on the government to force local authorities to identify [the 5,000 children of EU nationals in care] now in order to get their settled status before the cut-off point in 2020 or 2021." According to the article, "Coram found that during the beta test, one in five children it assisted did not have the necessary documentation for the Home Office and more than half needed legal advice." Furthermore, those children who are unable to prove their length of stay in the UK may risk being awarded “pre-settled status," making them more vulnerable down the line, according to the report's co-author.

Additionally, Coram is concerned about the children in care with criminal records. "Children in care are much more likely to have a criminal record than those who are not. They could have a drugs offence, or multiple drugs offence three or four years ago. Having a criminal record interacts quite negatively with settled status,” says Marianne Lagrue, co-author of the report.