Kent faces £4.6m shortfall in funding for child asylum seekers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 January 2018

Kent faces a shortfall of £4.6m in funding for child asylum seekers coming to the county.

Funding from Westminster does not cover the full cost of services required.

Cllr Roger Gough, Kent County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, revealed the shortfall at a cabinet meeting.

He said: “Between what we spend compared with what the government gives us, the gap is £4.6m.

“Some of the local authorities are unwilling to take unaccompanied asylum children because of the funding gap.”

Opposition leader Cllr Rob Bird said: “Once they have been cleared by the Home Office, then the unaccompanied child asylum seekers are passed to KCC for care.

“These are children who cannot be expected to fend for themselves, particularly in a foreign country.”

KCC also provides support for these young people until they are 25, but Westminster stops their funding once they turn 18.

The Home Office has been contacted for a comment.

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