Hundreds receive training to support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children



More than 250 people across the east of England have received specialist training to support asylum seeking children separated from their parents or carers.

The training, commissioned and funded by the East of England’s Strategic Migration Partnership (SMP), took place online, giving attendees useful guidance on how to meet statutory responsibilities and uphold human rights.

Training sessions included the principles of age assessment, how to support young people from arrival through to leaving care, human rights assessments training and training on voluntary returns.

Helen Hancock, Senior Policy Officer and UASC Regional Coordinator at the SMP, said: “This important training equips the region’s children’s services teams with the tools to assess and care for separated migrant young people.

“It includes important training on how to undertake accurate age assessments, crucial for making the right decisions when caring for Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC).

“It also includes training on the potential outcomes of an asylum claim and how children’s services can support young people through the process.

“The SMP are proud of our work facilitating training for this hugely important work which will affect the lives of many vulnerable children, alone in the UK.”

The SMP organised 13 training sessions over the last year, with 290 attendees in total.

These were split between four main courses– age assessment, triple planning training, human rights assessment training and UASC voluntary returns service awareness.

A local authority officer from Bedfordshire, who took part in the training, said: “The training session imparted valuable information, and I especially enjoyed participating in group activities and delving into case studies.

“The course trainer was exceptionally adept at incorporating real-life experiences, enriching the learning process with a wealth of knowledge.”

A local authority officer from Norfolk added: “The training offer has enabled our service to access regular specialist immigration/UASC informed training to ensure our service remains current and in line with changing policies, guidance and legislation.

“Our UASC service is fast-paced and has grown significantly and this package of training has enabled us to ensure new staff are adequately trained and supported.”

For more on the East of England Local Government Association’s Strategic Migration Partnership training activities, please visit: Events – EELGA SMP %