Islington Council has pledged its ongoing commitment to provide support for children living in families that have ‘no recourse to public funds’ by signing up to Project 17’s Children’s Charter.

The charter sets out a framework for local authorities to work with children in need of support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. The Act enables local authorities to provide support to children who are ‘in need’, which could be due to a disability or for other reasons, such as not having somewhere to live. Support provided under section 17 can be an essential safety net for families unable to access mainstream welfare support due to their immigration status (families with ‘no recourse to public funds’ or ‘NRPF’).

By signing up to the charter Islington is making a public pledge to the rights of children living in NRPF families and to upholding the charter’s eight key commitments of:

Listening to children
Ensuring any accommodation provided is suitable and meets children’s needs
Treating all children fairly and equally
Treating children and their families sensitively and supportively
Supporting children to live with their families where possible
Ensuring children have what they need for healthy survival and development
Placing children’s best interests at the centre of any decisions made about them or actions taken involving them
Ensuring disabled children are provided with the support they need
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:

“As part of Islington’s ongoing work to become the best place for young people to grow up, we are committed to making sure that every child living in the borough is treated fairly, sensitively and gets the support they need. This is of particular importance to those children who may have experienced a lot of adversity and are trying to create a new home in a completely different country.”

Cllr Sue Lukes, Islington Council’s Migrant Champion, whose father was a Kindertransport child, said:

“I am proud to support the Charter which shows our determination as a council and as a community to defend the rights of migrants, especially children, and to give them as much support and assistance as we can.”

Eve Dickson, Policy Officer at Project 17 said:

“We welcome Islington’s pledge to uphold the rights of children in families with no recourse to public funds. Committing to our charter is an important gesture to children and young people affected by this issue and we are very pleased that Islington Council, which models good practice in this area, has taken this step.”

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