Lives of destitution

Destitution and homelessness are all too often the first greeting for refugees entitled to housing support. Keith Cooper investigates why the UK’s newest citizens are being forced to survive on handouts and why many families are a short step away from tragedy

Official investigations into child deaths commonly spur governments to fix any identified flaws in their welfare regimes. In the case of ‘child EG’, a one-year old refugee who died of starvation in 2010 in temporary housing in Westminster, the opposite seems true.

This Inside Housing investigation reveals that a hole in the safety net for new refugees, pinpointed by a serious case review into the child’s death, seems to have gaped wider rather than been sealed. Child EG and his mother died in destitution because of ‘significant problems’ transferring the family from asylum to mainstream support, according to the review by Westminster’s safeguarding children board which was only released last year (Inside Housing, 5 October 2012). Continue reading

ASYLUM SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

REPORT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO ASYLUM SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE,   2013 Jan 31 Report about asylum support for children

Key recommendations 

  1. The government should abolish Section 4 support and urgently implement a single cash-based support system for all children and their families who need asylum support while they are in the UK. This should include children who were born after an asylum refusal, to ensure that no child is left destitute. Continue reading