Smith, Kate (2017) Asylum support for children and young people living in Kirklees - Stories of mothers. In: Children and Childhoods: Seeking Asylum, 18 September 2017, Brian Jackson Centre, Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Since 2009, there has been a duty on the Home Secretary to promote the welfare of children in the UK immigration system . However, no formal review of the asylum support system had been carried out until 2012 when a Parliamentary Inquiry was set up to look at asylum support provided by the Home Office and whether it meets the needs of children, young people and families. Based on parliamentary hearings and the submitted evidence received, in 2013 the panel published its findings. What shocked the panel was the lack of regard for children’s education, relationships, health or home life. Alongside 24 recommendations of reform, the panel stated that the asylum support system was in need of urgent change if it was to meet its statutory duty to promote the welfare of children, ensure that children’s best interests come first and to avoid putting children’s lives at risk. Taking a localised approach to the themes in the Parliamentary Inquiry, this paper is based on research carried out in 2015 with mothers of children who live or have lived in receipt of asylum support in Kirklees. Mothers were interviewed about asylum support provided by the Home Office in relation to the needs of children and young people and also the ways in which children and young people’s lives could be improved within the asylum system. Consistent with the Parliamentary Inquiry and central to the analysis, a number of key themes arose and these will be explored, alongside the recommendations put forward by the mothers in Kirklees.

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