15 July 2021
EU Settlement Scheme: looked-after children and care leavers update
By Emily Opare, legal intern
The Government had taken the initiative to assist children eligible to the scheme who are under the care of the local authorities, care leavers and even those not under a local authority, to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and achieve some level of settled status before the Government deadline of 30 June 2021.
Mr Foster also commended the Director on assisting 2,440 (67%) of the 3,660 looked-after-children and care leavers as of 23 April 2021 to make applications to the scheme.
Mr Foster highlights the wealth of assistance that is readily available from the Home Office via trained EU Settlement Scheme caseworkers on a dedicated advice and support line, which the local authority can call to obtain continued guidance on assisting these vulnerable groups through the EU Settlement Scheme applications.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is a government-initiated scheme that enables EU citizens post Brexit to obtain a settled status in the UK if they have been living in the UK for five years or more and pre-settled status if they have been here for less than 5 years.
This in turn enables them to have the same rights as UK citizens, such as the right to work and access to the National Health Service (NHS).
Who is a looked-after child?
Looked-after-children under the local authority are those under care orders and interim care orders under the Children Act 1989 or adoption placement orders under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and those under such corresponding Acts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
What resources are provided to those outside the scope of the local authority parental responsibility?
Mr Foster highlights the generous assistance from the UK government in providing £22 million worth of funding to help these hard to reach groups and other vulnerable groups (such as the elderly, disabled, or homeless) with support.
Such groups have been heavily signposted to the information and organisations that can assist them in applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) through a network of 72 organisations across the UK, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, CORAM and the AIRE Centre.
The letter concludes very warmly with Mr Foster thanking the Director for ensuring all efforts are made to support eligible looked-after children and care leavers in applying to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
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