Blackpool could take in asylum seeker children
Blackpool Council is considering whether it can take in some of the unaccompanied asylum seeker children who have arrived in the UK from across the English Channel.
It is among 217 authorities nationwide, who all run social services departments, which have been written to by the Home Office which is asking councils to step in and find homes for the children.
The Government wants councils to care for children who are currently being looked after by Kent County Council and other councils on the south coast.
Blackpool, which already has one of the highest rates of looked after children in the country with around 600 currently living in care, has 14 days in which to respond to the letter.
A council spokesperson said: “Just like all upper tier local authorities, we have received a letter from the Home Office and will be responding in due course.”
According to reports, more than 100 asylum seeker children are living in hotels due to a shortage of places for them in children’s homes.
The Home Office has said it will consider factors when transferring children to a local authority including the current child population, the number of supported asylum seekers and pressures on children’s services, and the best interests of the child.
Any local authority receiving a child transferred under the scheme will receive a funding contribution at the higher rate of £143 per child per night.
In September the Home Office moved asylum seekers into the Metropole Hotel on Blackpool Promenade, despite concerns raised by the council about the suitability of the accommodation and the failure to carry out a full risk assessment.
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