|1.||Housing, Money and the Law||2.||Support to UASC (Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children)|
2. Support for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
If you are an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) and are aged under 18 when you arrive in Lincolnshire, you are entitled to support from Lincolnshire County Council Children's Services.
Children's Services will arrange for a social worker to come and talk to you as quickly as possible to assess your needs, and will arrange for you to be taken to a supported accommodation provider.
While you are under the age of 18, you are a Lincolnshire Looked After Child and that means we will support you until you are 18 years old. Once you are over 18 years old you are known as a care leaver and you will receive support from the Leaving Care Service.
UASC supported accommodation
Most new UASC arrivals are placed with a supported accommodation provider who is experienced in supporting UASC or other young people. Some UASC may be placed with a family, known as foster care, if they have particular needs i.e. they are aged under 16, are female, there is a risk of the young person being further trafficked or they are vulnerable in some other way.
The supported accommodation providers we use will collect you and settle you in to your new home, and will try to ensure you are living with other young people from the same country or who speak your language.
You will be provided will a safe, clean room, as well as food and toiletries.
The supported accommodation provider will work with your allocated social worker to ensure you:
- Have access to education;
- Are registered with a doctor and other health services;
- Know where things are in your area such as social activities, access to places of religious worship, as well as how to get around safely.
The supported accommodation provider will provide you with 5 hours of practical support every week, and you can also get support from your social worker. You will have access to an interpreter if you need one.
Your asylum claim
You will also be supported to start your asylum claim with the Home Office and will be taken to meet the legal person that will help you with the paperwork. You will be supported at your Home Office interview by your lawyer and your social worker may come with you.
Most UASC who make an asylum claim on arrival are given some form of leave to remain until they are at least 17 ½ years old. It is important that you know when any leave to remain runs out so you are prepared to make the next claim. You will be supported to do this by either your social worker or your Leaving Care Worker if you are aged over 18 by then.
In the UK, all young people under the age of 18 have to be in education, employment or training. The supported accommodation provider will work with local education providers and the Council's Virtual School team to register you with on a suitable education course. This might include a course to improve your English. You may also be entitled to an education bursary which you will be supported to claim.
As a Looked After Child aged 16 to 17, you are entitled to a weekly living allowance which is the same as you would receive in benefits. You may be asked to contribute some of your allowance to the accommodation provider for bills such as heating and lighting, and you will need to budget for your own food, travel, activities and clothes.
If you have additional support needs such as Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND), your social worker will support you to access the services you need and will work with other professionals such as your supported accommodation provider to make sure everyone knows what is happening and what support you need.
Turning 18 and leaving care
When you reach 17 ½, your social worker will arrange an introduction to your Leaving Care Worker. This is because once you are 18 you are no longer a Looked After Child, though you are still entitled to support.
This support may include support with your asylum claim if this has not been decided, or support to access education and accommodation. It does not always mean you will receive financial support, but if you are entitled to claim benefits, your Leaving Care Worker will help you to make a claim.