In a complaint made against the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s failure to assist a former looked after child to regularise her stay in the UK, the LGO made the following recommendations:
To improve its practice in future the Council should within three months of the date of this report:
- provide specialist advice and guidance to its social work staff on the different requirements of the immigration rules, as they apply to children seeking asylum and those seeking leave to remain, and on the Council’s duties in this area;
- devise an action plan to ensure it gives full and proper consideration to its duties to all its ‘looked after children’ who may be in need of legal advice, to meet its obligations as their corporate parent to safeguard and promote their welfare. In particular to those ‘looked after children’ with complex immigration problems who may need suitable and timely legal advice regarding their immigration status. It should clearly record the reasons if it has refused to arrange legal advice in such cases;
- ensure officers record both the questions raised and any legal advice given; and
- ensure all of the complaints it has considered at Stage 1 of the statutory Children Act complaints procedure are progressed to Stage 2 if that is the complainant’s wish, as is their right.
A copy of the full LGO report here.