Foster kids could be next Windrush generation

Care setting

Brexit fears multiply 

12th April 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Fostered children from the EU living in the UK could become the next Windrush generation unless they are given British citizenship.  

Corum, a charity specialising in adoption and fostering services, has warned that thousands of children risk being left undocumented when the UK leaves the European Union because they are unaware of the EU settlement scheme or find it too complicated.

The government has launched an online settlement application which all EU nationals must complete in order to remain in the UK and be able to work, access healthcare and education.

The Home Office has estimated there are approximately 5,000 EU children in care in the UK, but the real number is not known.

Coram's childcare lawyer, Alexandra Conroy-Harris, said many children in the care system will struggle to provide the evidence they need to remain in the UK.

She said: "To get status they would have to prove they were from an EU country, if they don't have the paperwork then they can't, or if they were born in this country they will have to prove that their parents were from an EU country.

“Again, if a child has been taken into care often we don't know what has happened to their parents. A child would get to age 18 and come out of foster care without much of the paperwork they would need and we can't tell them what will happen to them.

"There is just a huge gap that these children are going to fall through."

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: "It is a priority of mine to ensure that the EU Settlement Scheme is accessible for everyone, including children in care.

"This is why we are providing grant funding of up to £9m for voluntary and community organisations across the UK to support EU citizens who might need additional help when applying to the scheme."

It is currently free for EU nationals to apply to the settlement scheme but for children in care it costs those with parental responsibility, a foster carer or local authority, more than £1,000 per child.