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Groups line up to damn way asylum system lets kids down

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 13/05/2016 | Views: 1142
THE “scandal” of refugee children made destitute after winning the right to stay in Scotland has been laid bare in new figures.  The Refugee Survival Trust (RST) awards lifeline grants to asylum seekers and refugees cut off from support. (Kirsteen Paterson, The National)

People seeking sanctuary in the UK receive Home Office funding that ends when a final decision is made, with those successfully granted refugee status transitioning over to mainstream benefits administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) within 28 days.

However, the RST claims this switch is increasingly not being made within that time frame, leaving families and other vulnerable new Scots without any means of support.  New figures show the Trust is supporting an increasing number of children from families who should be starting new lives but are instead facing a new fight to survive.

Co-ordinator Diana Rix said: “We are supporting a lot more children. That transition from asylum support to mainstream DWP support is just not happening in the necessary timescale. They are not supported by either system.”  She added: “It is unacceptable, regardless of immigration status, that children are being made homeless and destitute in Scotland. It is not acknowledged, it is not well-known by the general population and it is a scandal.”

The RST provided almost 900 destitution grants between April 2015 and March this year.
The money – almost £5,000 every month – covered essentials for 1,200 people, including 223 children, up from just 97 the previous year.   Read more here
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