Islington Law Centre offers advice, casework and representation in a range of social welfare law issues, to clients in Islington and surrounding boroughs. It has been established for more than 40 years.
This award will pay for holistic legal representation in a small number of complex cases, including those referred to the project by other grantees of the initiative. The specialist legal casework will be used to inform strategic legal and policy work, to address systemic barriers to young migrants living full lives.
The project’s approach is to combine holistic legal representation so that immigration matters are dealt with in parallel to social welfare, education and housing matters. This model builds trust with young people, limits their exposure to repeated referrals and addresses the intersecting challenges they face. ILC uses casework experience to influence practice of lawyers working with children and influence policy.
Project 17 works towards ensuring that local authorities comply with the duties imposed on them by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989* to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need. This award will fund Project 17 to increase awareness and improve implementation of section 17 of the Children Act 1989, to help to address destitution for migrant children and their families.
Project 17 is a small charity set up in 2013, and is based in Lewisham.
*Section 17 enables local councils to provide accommodation and financial support to avoid children being taken into the care of the local authority. This duty exists even if the family has no right to work, no access to welfare benefits and social housing and no leave to remain in the UK. Project 17 exists to ensure that individuals eligible for support under Section 17 are able to access it effectively.
Refugee Support Network supports young people to access training and education in the UK. In 2013, RSN piloted a new project, ‘Youth on the Move’, which aims to improve support to separated young people facing return to Afghanistan. The project works with young Afghans who have spent formative years in the UK as children in the care system, but who face the possibility of enforced removal to Kabul after reaching 18.
It helps ensure all legal routes to remaining in the UK are fully explored, provides practical and psychosocial support in the face of return and monitors well-being, education and employment outcomes for those ultimately sent back to Afghanistan, helping fill a critical evidence gap.
Refugee Support Network reflections on Youth on the Move 2014 Catherine Gladwell and Emily Bowerman reflect on some key learning from this programme’s work with undocumented young people and those refused asylum who face the possibility of forced removal when they turn 18.
This project will further develop an innovative ‘community connector’ and legal representation scheme to support young people to resolve immigration problems and build sustainable networks of support. It will also pilot a new West Midlands project to increase citizenship registration among UK born children.
Coventry Law Centre is the largest law centre in England. The project will be delivered in partnership with Grapevine. Coventry Law Centre aims to use legal processes to fight poverty, inequality and discrimination. Grapevine works with learning disabled people and trains others in community development.
Watch films by the young people involved here and read about what this project learned in phase one here
Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC), part of the Coram Group of children’s charities, is committed to promoting children’s rights in the UK and worldwide. CCLC’s Migrant Children’s Legal Project delivers legal advice and representation, runs an advice line, provides training and undertakes policy and research work.
This project provides immigration and related legal advice to hard-to-reach families with young children in trusted locations including children’s centres, schools and women’s centres across London, with a focus on the borough of Ealing. It aims to support and improve the ability of professionals in partner organisations to identify and address legal problems. Experience gathered through the project is used to inform CCLC’s policy and research work on promoting children’s rights in immigration policy and law.
The ‘Right to Dream’ project combines holistic advice and advocacy, with peer support and leadership development through ‘Brighter Futures‘ youth group. Young people are supported to speak about their experiences in order to influence how services and policies are developed. In 2015, the project will develop new activities and support tailored to young women and girls.
Praxis provides walk-in advice, group work and social enterprise projects from its centre in Bethnal Green, east London. It aims to work with vulnerable new migrants to create resilient communities, who can overcome disadvantage and discrimination. It has been running for 30 years, and sees 2000 clients annually.
See films by the young people involved in this project here
The Children’s Society is concerned with the welfare and rights of all children and young people, working in particular with young runaways at risk on the streets, refugee children, disabled children, young carers and those within the youth justice system, enabling them to voice their needs and define solutions to the issues affecting them.
This project will provide direct support to young people, and aim to equip social workers to identify and address immigration problems among undocumented young people in the care system. It will provide direct training to social workers in 13 target areas and produce a national guide and resources. The project will mean that children with irregular status are given support to resolve this before they turn 18, and that issues of immigration status will become more integral in the care planning process.
You can watch the film from this project here