Research by the National Children’s Bureau into our work with young people leaving care and their local authorities, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, was published today. We wanted to ensure the local authority identified children and young people whose immigration status was insecure, and supported them to access advice and support to resolve their status if needed.
It is of vital importance that young people do not enter adulthood and leave care without having status in the UK – without it they will find themselves at the mercy of the Hostile Environment, unable to work, rent, enter higher education and build their adult life. But we found that often children and the people looking after them were not aware that their immigration status was insecure, and so no one was warning of the consequences before it was too late.
That’s why our work was not only to help individual young people by linking them with the legal support we could offer, but to help the local authority to embed new ways of working to help future care leavers as well. Working closely with us, the local authority publicly pledged to support young people who needed help with their immigration status.
Our project was found by the NCB to have meant that significant numbers of young people got positive outcomes on their immigration status and were supported in other aspects of their lives too. They also found our collaborative approach had a lasting positive impact and legacy on the local authority. We’re proud to have led this change, giving young people in our region the stability and opportunities they deserve.
Part of what made our work so successful was that young people we support took a lead in influencing and campaigning. Our Young People’s Guide to Age Assessments is one example, and our All4One group are continuing to use their voices to push for change.