FOI request on: asylum, immigration, UK Borders Agency UASC Reform Programme (22/04/09)

Cassidy, J made this Freedom of Information request to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

The request was partially successful.

From: Cassidy, J

22 April 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can you please email me an electronic copy of:

1)A full text copy of all applicants actual freedom of information
requests to-date over the past 6 months and
any subsequent disclosures;
Internal review requests;
refusals notices provided;
and any related correspondence, whether internal or external.

concerning asylum, immigration and specifically the UK Borders
Agency UASC Reform Programme. Such as, but not exclusively, the
ones alluded to in the following email:

“From: Rogers, Mark (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Subject: RE: UASC Reform Steering Group and sub-groups (post-18 &
'front
end' issues)
there is a recent rise in FoIs”
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/95...(post-18%20&%20%27front%20end%27%20issues).txt

: Your correspondence :

Please ensure that any of your general correspondence,
acknowledgements or holding letters etc are included or
cut-and-pasted into the body of the email messages, using plain
text, rather than as attachments. As this will mean your
correspondence is much easier to access, read and respond to.

: Accessibility :

When providing any information disclosures please provide it in the
original unrestricted format such as:

a. MS Word .doc or Rich Text Text .rtf format or equivalent
(suitable for disclosure of email messages)

b.Spreadsheets in MS Excel .xls format or equivalent

c.Presentations in MS Powerpoint .ppt format or equivalent

or converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), ONLY if none of the
above formats are available

if you only have a paper version (hard copy) available, please
provide a Digital Photo Copier Scanned version in PDF format. If
you do provide disclosures in PDF from a Digital Photo Copier Scan,
please state that you have done so because no other format, such as
a, b or c above, are available.

Please ensure any electronic disclosures are absolutely free of any
Document Restrictions and Encryption or Passwords, as this is
likely to render them less usable on a general basis and more
specifically, inaccessible to Assistive Technology.

Please do not send any information in compilation archive formats,
such as .zip.

Providing correspondence and disclosed information via these means
will also help ensure that text based information is accessible for
use with a Screen Reader or a Magnifier for none text based
information.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader>

Yours faithfully,

Cassidy, J

Link to this

From: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

23 April 2009

Dear Mr Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1383

Thank you for your request for information about all FOI requests about
asylum, immigration and UASC reform. We received it on 23 April 2009.

I am dealing with your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Subject to any exemptions under the Act I aim to
reply in line with the statutory deadline of 22 May 2009.

There may be a fee payable for some information. If so, any fee must be
paid before the information can be released and the 20 working day time
limit for responding will be suspended until we receive the payment. If
this is the case with your request we will let you know.

Further advice on the Freedom of Information Act is available from the
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
[1]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Commissioning Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email [2][email address]

Website: [3]http://www.solihull.gov.uk

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.solihull.gov.uk/

Link to this

From: Shipway, Andrew (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

15 May 2009


Attachment xWMSPARS LA sub group 21 March.pdf
28K Download View as HTML

Attachment Cassidy Emails.pdf
31K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1383

I am helping Joanne deal with your request. It is possible to supply the
information in a text file as you have requested, however, emails, PDF
documents and other file formats do not necessarily copy across into plain
text files very neatly making it very difficult to read. For example, I
have created a text file containing various email exchanges for just one
request and this runs into over 250 pages of text because the formatting
hasn't carried across very well leaving large gaps between lines, or
perhaps lines of text being broken up mid sentence. However, if I convert
the emails and attachments to PDF format they copy across perfectly making
it very easy to read them.

To illustrate what I mean I have enclosed both a PDF version and plain
text version of a set of minutes relating to UASC and also a recent emails
generated as a result of this request.

Bearing the above in mind would you prefer the information supplied in
plain text or PDF format.

Yours sincerely

==============================================

Mr Andrew Shipway

Corporate Information Governance Manager

Corporate Performance Policy and Information Department

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Tel: 0121 704 6251

Email: [email address]

Website: www.solihull.gov.uk

==============================================

WMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group

17 January 2007 at the Regional Partnership Centre

In attendance:

Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Sue Blick Walsall MBC

Louise Chilton WMLGA

Pete Murphy Shropshire County Council

Dave Newall WMSPARS

Nira Parmar Coventry City Council

Richard Ross Solihull MBC (Chair)

Debra Silvester Walsall MBC

Karen Skinner Stafffordshire County Council Leaving Care

Sandra Tilley IND

Apologies:

Carey Baff Birmingham City Council

Anwara Ali Warwickshire County Council

Simon Rushall Worcestershire County Council

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 8 November and matters arising

The minutes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting. Matters
arising: Item 1 - Minutes from 5 September meeting:

o RR to circulate transfer protocol after discussions with legal team

o Accommodation report will be revisited in relation to formal programme
when published

o NRUC (National Register of Unaccompanied Children) update - 15% of local
authorities were still not participating actively, perhaps due to funding
issues. There would now be a tiered subscription arrangement. All local
authorities to indicate the number of places required to DN so he can
organise regional training with NRUC. Members noted: Ø the database would
not be unavailable to authorities ho had no designated user

Ø each authority would need a lead officer and data input officer

Ø Authorities not using the database from April would receive no funding

Ø Clarification was needed of the extent of services provided for the
subscription. The system should stop multiple claims but it was unclear
whether this had been factored into discussions. Concerns had been raised
about the grant being paid on a "real time" basis and about ease of
access, reliability of data and inability to search for people in one
authority being supervised by another. It had been suggested that
subscriptions could be reclaimed from grants but this would be impractical
for many authorities.

o The report on UASC Reform may be available in February. The Home Office
was focusing on how the immigration issues are dealt with - proposals
included removing UASC from LA responsibility or entering dispersal
facilities similar to adults.

2

Item 2 - ADSS asylum sub group update: RR to send minutes of last meetings
to DN to circulate. The next meeting would be in Manchester on Wednesday
24 January - all are welcome to attend (see also item 2 of day's agenda).
Item 3 - LGA UASC reform task group feedback: the group had not met
because there had been no proposals to consider. RR had sent in best
practice examples( RR to forward to DN) Item 4 - Leaving care costs: DN
needed breakdowns of costings from local authorities ASAP to send on to
GOWM. ( Action, all who have not provided this info to DN) Item 5 -
Missing persons Police and Local Authority liaison: Each authority needs
to provide contact for Police regarding identification of possible missing
UASC. DN to contact Police re young people not being noted as UASC when
reported missing. Item 6 - Afghan Males arriving in Region: RR 70% of
Solihulls intake has been Afghan males. Coventry noted the increases in
requests for age assessments from Afghan males, and wider issues re non
payment for the time they support individuals pending completed age
assessment . Further issues to follow up with MEU on the difficulty and
delays in obtaining appointments for people who had arrived late.
Suggested that these should be documented by local authorities, together
with the number of age assessments being completed ( whether the decision
was taken to support of refuse as individual found to be over 18). NP
raised issue where Refugee Council were not taking any cases which had not
been for an assessment by Immigration, which was causing Coventry
problems. ( NP and RR to raise with RC, particularly in light of changes
to Initial Accommodation contract) 2. Update from ADSS RR had tabled an
item on grant audit at the 23 November meeting. Local Authorities were not
being reimbursed for the period prior to assessment taking place and data
collection was needed to monitor this. Claims to be 16 or under must be
subject to a formal age assessment and should be taken by the Refugee
Council on this basis. Seventeen year olds should be taken straight from
the MEU (Midland Enforcement Unit). This should be raised as an issue.

There would be a number of changes to the IND over the next few months.

3. Job Centre Plus meeting update There had been a positive meeting with
the Black Country back office team which had promised to link up with
Birmingham colleagues to ensure good practice across the Region. They had
a good understanding of difficulties faced by young people reaching 18.
Local Authorities need to provide good cover letters that can be taken
into Job Centre Plus. There was discussion about insurance numbers,
including temporary insurance numbers. It was confirmed that clients who
fail to attend NI number interviews would be exited out of the system, and
would need to reapply again.

Solicitors' letters are acceptable but in some areas solicitors are no
longer doing this type of work. NP to contact Linda Bowen at the Walsall
office to discuss this.3

Job Centre Plus was also in the process of streamlining the initial claims
process. Telephone numbers would be transferred to an 0800 number over the
next few months. It was agreed to explore whether agreements with care
leavers could also be used for UASC. (SB agreed to look at this issue) 4.
NRUC training and issues It was essential to set up training by March.
There was a possibility that the NRUC could be linked to local authority
databases. (DN to action, could LA's confirm numbers of staff who might
require NRUC training) 5. Meeting with Immigration and current immigration
issues

o An informal meeting had taken place with Jim Heaney, Inspector in Charge
of the Duty Office, which screens children and liaises with Local
Authorities. Jim had provided insight into MEU. Discussion had centred on
age assessment difficulties. RR to circulate date for another meeting at
the end of February to which all are invited.

o Changes to the organisation of the IND will have a huge impact on work
in the Region.

o There were still concerns about Afghan minors. Tracey Gibson was
compiling a paper and would collate any information received eg mobile
phone numbers - information should be sent to Sanda Tilley
([email address]).

o A copy of Adrian Grey's report on Missing Children had been requested.

o A DCI was on secondment to IND on children's issues.

o Situation re Birmingham's Safeguarding Children sub group. If there are
concerns about a missing child that immigration should be made aware of
contact ST.

o IND could provide no further details on UASC reform.

o Under the new Asylum Model Claimants would have a specialist case owner
responsible for managing cases through to integration or removal.
Procedures would however exclude children until March and before the UASC
stream can be fed into the regions there must be trained staff to
implement it. Enhanced CRB checks would not have to be implemented at this
stage but probably would eventually.

o Training would probably take 5 days and would take place in London. The
number of case holders needed for the West Midlands area had been worked
out by the Solihull Office by looking at the number of UASC in the area
(the conclusion was 7 officers). Training dates had not yet been set.

o There was a range of options for reform: eg better immigration process,
types of support, lower costs, moving UASC away from SE/London etc.

o The Region was still receiving different signals to national colleagues.
Local authorities would still have responsibility in terms of care and an
urgent meeting was needed between Local Authority leads to talk about a
range of issues. Social Services role needs to be understood to
communicate effectively to NAM case workers. There could be conflict
between Local Authority duties and immigration procedures eg proposals to
grant discretionary leave until the age of 17½.

o IND officers are working with Skillbase.( on training)

4

o Any ideas regarding useful points to be covered in training should be
sent to ST. ST to ask colleagues to arrange stakeholder engagement and
future training.

o Meeting to be set up with NAM over next few weeks - to integrate with
meeting with Jim Heaney. ( DN to arrange)

o DN to circulate information about the November NAM meeting.

6. Claiming asylum and living in the UK - pilot The Home Office pamphlet
"Claiming Asylum and Living in the UK" was piloted just after Christmas -
suggestions have been made for this to be produced in other languages.
Solihull have been piloting this work already, DN would like 2 other
Authorities, probably those with smaller numbers/different arrangements to
Solihull and Birmingham to pilot, could those interested get back to DN
soon. 7. Refugee Council introduction to working with UASCs course Judith
Dennis, Unaccompanied Children Policy Officer at the Refugee Council, will
deliver a training programme around UASC on introductory work to
unaccompanied minors in the West Midlands area. Twenty places would be
available at a cost of approximately £65 and the course will be tailored
to regional needs. This would be useful for staff new in post or those in
need of an update. Ideas regarding what could be covered should be sent to
DN. 8. UASC Numbers UASC numbers were circulated (apart from
Wolverhampton). Sandwell figures may alter shortly. Numbers were slightly
down on the last quarter but there had been significant rises in some
authorities. 9. Any Other Business

o Individuals with no recourse to public funds - following a meeting of
local authority representatives on 12 December there would be a meeting at
the Birmingham Midland Institute on 30 January to explore how Local
Authorities can get consistency in eg data collection. DN to provide
contact details for Local Authority employees.

o DN to provide information on how to share information regionally on
family referrals. This is linked with further work being undertaken by
Islington on national recourse to public funds and has become a
significant cost issue for Local Authorities.

o There are issues regarding the withdrawal of access to ESOL from
September - DFES to be lobbied in the meantime.

o A meeting would shortly take place to investigate how UASC would be
linked into the Centre of Excellences regional commissioning pilot project
led by Howard Woolfenden, Head of Specialist Services in the Children's
Directorate at Coventry City Council. (DN & RR to attend)

o Trafficking research being done by Save the Children and Ecpat - the
final draft had been circulated and comments were needed immediately. A
regional conference to launch the results and examine next steps would
take place on 27 March (venue to be confirmed). DN to email report. This
links in to safeguarding issues.

Date of next meeting: March 21^st 12.00 at the Regional partnership Centre

From: [General Internet Enquiries (Solihull MBC)]

Sent: 23 April 2009 15:00

To: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)

Subject: Message relayed
([FOI #10871 email])

Attachments: ATT230435.txt; ATT230435.txt

Your message has been relayed

to the following recipient(s):

[FOI #10871 email]

Message relayed

The message was successfully delivered to 1 recipient(s)

at domain whatdotheyknow.com.

From: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)

Sent: 23 April 2009 15:00

To: '[FOI #10871 email]'

Subject: Acknowledgement of your FOI request (Our Ref 1383)

Dear Mr Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1383

Thank you for your request for information about all FOI requests about
asylum, immigration and UASC reform. We received it on 23 April 2009.

I am dealing with your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Subject to any exemptions under the Act I aim to
reply in line with the statutory deadline of 22 May 2009.

There may be a fee payable for some information. If so, any fee must be
paid before the information can be released and the 20 working day time
limit for responding will be suspended until we receive the payment. If
this is the case with your request we will let you know.

Further advice on the Freedom of Information Act is available from the
Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill

Information Governance Assistant

Commissioning Division

Tel: 0121 704 6169

Email [email address]

Website: http://www.solihull.gov.uk

From: Datasmart

Sent: 23 April 2009 10:00

To: Shipway, Andrew (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC); Hobbs,
Peter (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC); Lynch, Angharad (Strategic
Services - Solihull MBC); jsummerill; [email address];
Martin-Williams, Deborah (Strategic Services, Communications - Solihull
MBC)

Subject: FOI/DPA/EIR Request for Information : New RFI

*****SYSTEM GENERATED MESSAGE ******

Please check your Sibilo Request Manager.. a new request (number 1383) has
been logged.

The requestor is , NOT SPECIFIED, J, CASSIDY

The request details are:

DEAR SIR OR MADAM, CAN YOU PLEASE EMAIL ME AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF: 1)A FULL
TEXT COPY OF ALL APPLICANTS ACTUAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS TO-DATE
OVER THE PAST 6 MONTHS AND ANY SUBSEQUENT DISCLOSURES; INTERNAL REVIEW
REQUESTS; REFUSALS NOTICES PROVIDED; AND ANY RELATED CORRESPONDENCE,
WHETHER INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL. CONCERNING ASYLUM, IMMIGRATION AND
SPECIFICALLY THE UK BORDERS AGENCY UASC REFORM PROGRAMME. SUCH AS, BUT NOT
EXCLUSIVELY, THE ONES ALLUDED TO IN THE FOLLOWING EMAIL: "FROM: ROGERS,
MARK (STRATEGIC SERVICES - SOLIHULL MBC) SUBJECT: RE: UASC REFORM STEERING
GROUP AND SUB-GROUPS (POST-18 & 'FRONT END' ISSUES) THERE IS A RECENT RISE
IN FOIS"
HTTP://WWW.WHATDOTHEYKNOW.COM/REQUEST/95...(POST-18%20&%20%27FRONT%20END%27%20ISSUES).TXT
: YOUR CORRESPONDENCE : PLEASE ENSURE THAT ANY OF YOUR GENERAL
CORRESPONDENCE, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OR HOLDING LETTERS ETC ARE INCLUDED OR
CUT-AND-PASTED INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL MESSAGES, USING PLAIN TEXT,
RATHER THAN AS ATTACHMENTS. AS THIS WILL MEAN YOUR CORRESPONDENCE IS MUCH
EASIER TO ACCESS, READ AND RESPOND TO.

Generated by the system

From: Cassidy, J [[FOI #10871 email]]

Sent: 22 April 2009 23:48

To: Information Governance (Social Care & Performance)

Subject: Freedom of Information request - FOI request on:
asylum, immigration, UK Borders Agency UASC Reform Programme (22/04/09)

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can you please email me an electronic copy of:

1)A full text copy of all applicants actual freedom of information

requests to-date over the past 6 months and any subsequent

disclosures; Internal review requests; refusals notices provided;

and any related correspondence, whether internal or external.

concerning asylum, immigration and specifically the UK Borders

Agency UASC Reform Programme. Such as, but not exclusively, the

ones alluded to in the following email:

"From: Rogers, Mark (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC) Subject:

RE: UASC Reform Steering Group and sub-groups (post-18 & 'front

end' issues) there is a recent rise in FoIs"

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/95...(post-18%20&%20%27front%20end%27%20issues).txt

: Your correspondence :

Please ensure that any of your general correspondence,

acknowledgements or holding letters etc are included or

cut-and-pasted into the body of the email messages, using plain

text, rather than as attachments. As this will mean your

correspondence is much easier to access, read and respond to.

: Accessibility :

When providing any information disclosures please provide it in the

original unrestricted format such as:

a. MS Word .doc or Rich Text Text .rtf format or equivalent

(suitable for disclosure of email messages)

b.Spreadsheets in MS Excel .xls format or equivalent

c.Presentations in MS Powerpoint .ppt format or equivalent

or converted to Portable Document Format (PDF), ONLY if none of the

above formats are available

if you only have a paper version (hard copy) available, please

provide a Digital Photo Copier Scanned version in PDF format. If

you do provide disclosures in PDF from a Digital Photo Copier Scan,

please state that you have done so because no other format, such as

a, b or c above, are available.

Please ensure any electronic disclosures are absolutely free of any

Document Restrictions and Encryption or Passwords, as this is

likely to render them less usable on a general basis and more

specifically, inaccessible to Assistive Technology.

Please do not send any information in compilation archive formats,

such as .zip.

Providing correspondence and disclosed information via these means

will also help ensure that text based information is accessible for

use with a Screen Reader or a Magnifier for none text based

information. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_reader>

Yours faithfully,

Cassidy, J

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Shipway, Andrew (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

15 May 2009

Dear Mr Cassidy

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1383

With regard to my previous email, I also meant to ask for some
clarification about the information sought. Are you asking for copies of
the original request(s) and the Council's responses and attachments to be
supplied, or are you asking for the requests and replies/attachments and
all the emails between officers involved in supplying the information
(e.g. the initial requests, acknowledgements, read receipts, emails to
officers seeking the information, emails chasing up replies etc.)? (the
former being the easiest and most straight forward to supply).

Yours sincerely

==============================================

Mr Andrew Shipway

Corporate Information Governance Manager

Corporate Performance Policy and Information Department

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Tel: 0121 704 6251

Email: [email address]

Website: www.solihull.gov.uk

==============================================

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Cassidy, J

15 May 2009

Dear Shipway, Andrew (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC),

Thank you for your response, so as to help and not waste your time,
can you please provide:

1) Any email correspondence, excluding header information converted
to PDF, so long as the resulting file does not include restrictions
such as Passwords or Encryption.

With regards attachments I prefer them to be sent in the original
format, what ever they may be.

2) For any documents that already exist in MS Word format, I prefer
them to be sent to me in this original format.
2) For any documents that already exist in MS Excel format, I
prefer them to be sent to me in this original format.

At this point I am happy to just receive a copy of the actual FOI
requests and your responses and disclosures, in your terms 'the
former'.

I reserve the right to request all, but at this stage I consider
such a broader set of disclosures would be needed. But I need to
evaluate what will be disclosed before fully deciding.

Yours sincerely,

Cassidy, J

Link to this

From: Shipway, Andrew (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

18 May 2009


Attachment Complaints FOI leaflet V2.pdf
87K Download View as HTML

Attachment External Survey V2.pdf
59K Download View as HTML

Attachment Request1.pdf
1.1M Download View as HTML

Attachment Request2.pdf
284K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Cassidy,

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1383

I am writing in response to your request for a copy of all applicants
actual freedom of information requests over the past 6 months and any
subsequent

Disclosures concerning the subjects of immigration, asylum and the UK
Borders Agency UASC Reform Programme. I can confirm that there have been
five in total. Three of these have been submitted by yourself via this
website and are detailed below.

Expressions of interest for UASC specialist authorities - FOI Ref 1277

[1]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...

FOI request on: asylum, immigration, UK Borders Agency UASC Reform
Programme (22/04/09) - FOI Ref 1383

[2]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/fo...

Referral and Assessment process - FOI Ref 1409

[3]http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/re...

The other two I have attached to this email as PDF's which show the
original requests and responses and also all the attachments. I'm not too
sure of how helpful you may find it, however, at the end of this email I
have also attached text versions of Request 1 and Request 2, however, as
I've previously mentioned the formatting of the converted emails and
documents isn't very neat.

I hope that the information that I have provided is to your satisfaction.
You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public
will require the permission of the copyright owner. For information on how
to apply for permission where the copyright is owned by the Council please
refer to the Councils website
[4]http://www.solihull.gov.uk/democracy/pub.... For
information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their
permission.

If you are unhappy with the service that you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our
decision you should write to myself Andrew Shipway, Corporate Information
Governance Manager, PO Box 18, Council House, Solihull, West Midlands B91
9QS or email [5][Solihull Borough Council request email] by 18 June 2009. I enclose a copy
of the Complaints and Appeals procedure that gives further details.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review or complaint, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a
decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision until you have
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
[6]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

==============================================

Mr Andrew Shipway

Corporate Information Governance Manager

Corporate Performance Policy and Information Department

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Tel: 0121 704 6251

Email: [7][email address]

Website: [8]www.solihull.gov.uk

Request 1

From:

To: Information Governance (Social Care & Performance)

Subject: Information, Freedom of request

Date: 19 January 2009 22:28:48

RE: Richard Ross - Team Manager - Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children
Team + Local Authority UASC Regional Group +

http://www.wmlga.gov.uk/Policy Areas/Migration/Policy
Areas/Children/Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children.aspx

Can you please provide me with all the Minutes of the Local Authority UASC
Regional Group that Richard Ross - Team Manager - Unaccompanied Asylum
Seeker Children Team - Solihull MBC - Chairs, as mentioned on

http://www.wmlga.gov.uk/Policy Areas/Migration/Policy
Areas/Children/Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Chvildren.aspx

Covering the period since this UASC Regional Group's inception.

Please also supply a copy of Solihull MBC's Expression of Interest to the
UK Borders Agency (UKBA} with regards provision of regional services to
UASC on behalf of UKBA, or a copy of any such Expression of Interest that
Solihull was involved in putting forward or participated in.

Thanks

From: Summerill Joanne (Strategic Services -Solihull MBC)

To:

Subject: Response to your Freedom of Information request (Our Ref: 1231)

Date: 13 February 2009 09:40:19

Dear

Freedom of Information request - Ref 1231

I am writing further to your request for information, which we received on
20 January 2009.

You asked for the following information.

· All the Minutes of the Local Authority UASC Regional
Group that Richard Ross - Team Manager - Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker
Children Team - Solihull MBC - Chairs, as mentioned on

http://www.wmlga.gov.uk/Policy_Areas/Mig...

, for the period since this UASC Regional Group's inception.

· A copy of Solihull MBC's Expression of Interest to the UK
Borders Agency (UKBA} with regards provision of regional services to UASC
on behalf of UKBA, or a copy of any such Expression of Interest that
Solihull was involved in putting forward or participated in.

In answer to your second point, Solihull MBC has not put forward a formal
written Expression of Interest to UKBA.

In relation to your first point under the Freedom of Information Act
public authorities have a duty to confirm or deny if they hold any
information requested. The Act also gives rights of access to
information; however this duty to disclose information is qualified by
certain exemptions e.g. commercial interests, legal and professional
privilege etc.

I can therefore confirm that Solihull MBC do hold copies of the Minutes of
the Local Authority UASC Regional Group. However as other bodies have an
interest in the Regional Group, such as other local authorities who attend
the meetings, we need to ask their views to help us decide if all of the
minutes can be disclosed in full or if any information need to be withheld
under an exemption.

Gathering opinions from other bodies and the need to consider if any
exemptions apply will obviously take some time. Unfortunately this means
that we may not be able to meet the deadline of 16 February, for which we
apologise. If we cannot get back to you by 16 February we aim to respond
by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week at the
latest.

I hope that any delay will not inconvenience you too much. Your patience
in this matter is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill Information Governance Assistant Commissioning Division
Tel: 0121 704 6169 Email [email address] Website:
http://www.solihull.gov.uk

From: Summerill Joanne (Strategic Services -Solihull MBC) To: Subject:
Reply to your Freedom of Information request -Our Ref 1231 Date: 06 March
2009 12:37:05 Attachments: xxxWMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group
Meeting sept 06.pdf

xNotes for LA UASC Sub Group -120907.pdf xNotes for LA UASC Sub Group
-141107.pdf xWMSMP LA sub group notes 30th jan08.pdf xWMSMP Local
Authority UASC sub group 21st May 08.pdf xWMSMP notes -LA UASC group 13th
oct 08.pdf xWMSPARS LA sub group minutes 17th Jan 07.pdf xWMSPARS LA
sub-group 21 March.pdf xWMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group Nov
2006.pdf xWMSPARS UASC Sub group 5-4-6 LA.pdf xWMSPARS UASC Sub group LA
21st June 2006.pdf External Survey V2.pdf Complaints FOI leaflet V2.pdf

Dear

Freedom of Information request - Ref: 1231

I am writing further to your email on 6 March 2009 about your request for
information. I have passed your request for an Internal Review to Andrew
Shipway, Corporate Information Governance Manager, who will contact you
directly.

I am sorry that we were not able to meet the statutory deadline of 16
February 2009. As we missed this deadline, we had hoped to respond by the
end of last week. Unfortunately we were still not able to meet this
revised date, as we were waiting to receive third parties' views about
disclosure before we could make a decision. However we have now heard
back from them and are now able to supply the information.

Please find the Minutes of the Local Authority UASC Regional Group that
Richard Ross - Team Manager ­Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children Team -
Solihull MBC - Chairs, as mentioned on

http://www.wmlga.gov.uk/Policy_Areas/Mig...

, for the period since this UASC Regional Group's inception.

I apologise for the delay in supplying the information.

You also requested a copy of Solihull MBC's Expression of Interest to the
UK Borders Agency (UKBA} with regards to the provision of regional
services to UASC on behalf of UKBA, or a copy of any such Expression of
Interest that Solihull was involved in putting forward or participated in.
As confirmed in my email dated 13 February Solihull MBC has not put
forward a formal written Expression of Interest to UKBA.

I hope that the information that I have provided is to your satisfaction.
You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. Information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public
will require the permission of Solihull MBC as the copyright owner.

If you are unhappy with the service that you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our
decision you should write to Andrew Shipway Corporate Information
Governance Manager, PO Box 18, Council House, Solihull, West Midlands B91
9QS or email [Solihull Borough Council request email] by 3 April 2009. I enclose a copy of
the Complaints and Appeals procedure that gives further details.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review or complaint, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a
decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision until you have
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone: 01625 545 700, website:
http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact
me.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Summerill Information Governance Assistant Commissioning Division
Tel: 0121 704 6169 Email [email address] Website:
http://www.solihull.gov.uk

WMSMP UASC Local Authority Sub Group 12th September 2007 at the Regional
Partnership Centre

In attendance:

Richard Ross Solihull MBC (Chair) Peter Johnson Worcestershire City
Council Nira Parmar Coventry City Council Anwasa Ali Warwickshire County
Council Dave Newall WMSMP Cindie Johnstone WMSMP

Apologies:

Pete Murphy Shropshire County Council Robina Khan Sandwell MBC Sue Blick
Walsall MBC Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council Debbie Lewis
Staffordshire County Council Carey Bath Birmingham City Council Simon
Rushall Worcestershire County Council

1. Notes of the meeting held on 23 May 2007 and matters arising

o

Information Sharing / safeguarding contacts - This matter is still
outstanding since the meeting held on 21 March 2007. ACTION:

individuals that have not yet provided Dave N with their nominated contact
person for: `Looked after Children Placements by other authorities'. Dave
N to email list to RR

o

Job Centre Plus issues and meeting (June 2007) - Richard R asked for this
item to be placed back to the next meeting to be discussed in more detail
but said that progress had been made by DWP in relation to facilitation
claims and discretionary leave. Richard R also encouraged individuals to
attend the DWP meetings which are being held on a regular basis at their
West Bromwich Offices. Next meeting 22nd November 2007, further
information from DN I required.

o

ADSS Meeting - Richard R informed the group that the meeting on the

th

23 May 2007 had been cancelled and re-arranged for the 27 September 2007
in London and that he has not received the minutes for that meeting.
ACTION: Richard R to email Minutes of Meeting held on the 27 September to
group.

o

NAM - Richard to arrange a meeting with Celia Woodruff (BIA).

o

Refugee Council Training - Richard R reported that there are still
invoices outstanding from previous training provided by Judith Dennis and
urged those who attended to make sure invoices are paid to Solihull. Age
Assessment training had been arranged for 20th September, which Sandwell
MBC were hosting.

o

Screening - Liverpool (Dave N still to write a letter with regards to
concerns re Liverpool screening to Gail Adams and raise with Liverpool
ASU) - Dave to action.

o

Clarity in terms of where a child is picked up and which local authority
the child should be referred to (Richard had sought to clarify with Police
and Immigration) - RR - Current arrangements are only those young people
who make their way direct to the Midlands Enforcement Unit would be taken
on by Solihull MBC. The Police and MEU should be referring young people
who have been in other areas prior to arriving in Solihull to claim asylum
back to the Local Authority where they initially arrived. For Lorry Drops
who had been brought directly to Solihull for screening, the details of
the police office / force and location of detention should be clearly
noted, and the young person referred back to the appropriate LA for
assessment and support. Discussion with MEU re this are still ongoing.

2. Age Assessment training (Dave)

Dave N informed the group that the next Age Assessment training will be
held on 20 September 2007 in Sandwell. The information regarding the
training has been circulated by Julie Humphries and those individuals who
have not received the info to contact Dave N.

ACTION: Dave N to speak to Helen in connection with organising another
course later this year as some authorities had not sent representatives on
the course for 20th Sept.

3. ADSS Update - (Richard)

As per `Notes of meeting held on 23 May 2007 and matters arising'.

4. Update from meeting with Midlands Enforcement Unit (Richard)

Richard R gave feedback re the meeting held in August and the following
occurring problems / issues were discussed in the meeting:

a.

NAM interviews

o

Suggestion that NAM interviewees should not have to queue with others as
they already have an appointment.

o

Social Workers are still being asked to hand their phones over to
Immigration staff. Phil Rudkin had agreed to look into why this was still
occurring.

o

AA noted Warwickshire were now adopting a policy of leaving MEU if they
have been waiting with a young person for 3 hours, and would refuse the
interview on that day.

b.

Caseworkers

o

Don't always turn up for appointments

o

Interviews via the telephone for FREs are becoming more common

o

Different caseworkers turning up than assigned caseworker

o

Caseworkers on Annual Leave

o

Appointments being cancelled

c.

Facilities

o The facilities in which interviews are being held are very
basic and not suitable for young people. The issues regarding facilities
have been taken up with Gail Adams (BIA) following a discussion from a
Service representative from Solihull.

ACTION: Richard R to circulate notes of meeting held in August to the
group and date of next meeting to be held in November 2007. The Group to
email Richard R with Agenda items for the meeting in November 2007.

5. New Terms of reference & priorities

The group agreed on the `Draft Terms of Reference', with the proviso that
those LA's who were not represented at the meeting may wish to suggest
changes, these would be finally agreed at the next meeting 14th Nov.

Discussion of priorities for the coming year took place and the following
were identified :

o

Age Assessment -further training and possibility of a practitioner group
which might meet for a limited period to discuss experience and cases. Aim
for 2 meetings before end of March 08 Further work to be undertaken linked
with UASC reform re an agreed standard/practice for age assessment
process. Group to ensure links to work of ASCS/ADAS on this. High priority
work. Action RR to set 2 meeting dates and prepare brief for practitioner
group.

o

NRUC - Group to continue to identify issues and raise ongoing concerns in
relation to NRUC use/ usability and proposed changes in relation to UASC
reform. Possible re launch of NRUC had been proposed, group require
response on previous issues, prior to involvement in regional relaunch.
Ongoing work, low priority. Action - LA's to feed ongoing issues concerns
to DO/ RR , ensure these are raised via ADCS task group and part of reform
discussions.

o

UASC reform programme - Key priority and ongoing work with LA's and WMSMP.

o

NAM minors segment - key priority

o

Commissioning and contracting - key priority - see section below,
suggested small task group meets to consider this issue, and reports back
to group..

. ACTION: Any specific concerns to be emailed to Dave N on or before the
10thth November 2007.

6. Commissioning and contracting

The following were discussed by the group around 16 / 17+ year old
accommodation: A lot of young adults are still in the same accommodation
and this can lead to potential difficulties and pitfalls as all Local
Authorities operate their in-house contracts, notice period and fees
payable in a different manner. The way forward would be for all Local
Authorities to approach different issues from one point of view with
agreed standards, and the Reform Programme might change this position.
Work to be undertaken to scope how LA's are commissioning/purchasing
current accommodation for uascs.

ACTION: Richard R and Dave N to write all group members Local Authorities
on behalf of group with a proposal on working together. A small group met
to consider this issue on 9th October.

7. Monitoring of post 16 accommodation

Local Authorities monitor post 16 accommodation in different ways. Some
authorities have dedicated staff to do regular health and safety checks
and others are done through Council schemes or Landlord Accredited
Schemes.

8. UASC reform - update, priorities and discussion

Dave N informed the group that a meeting will take place on 12 September
(pm) to discuss the regional response as BIA asked WMSMP to overlook that
piece of work. Mark Rogers (Solihull MBC) will give an update on behalf of
local authorities. Dave N also reported that a final decision is still
pending between BIA and DCFS with regard to Leaving Care Costs in a reform
model. They are encouraged that local authorities are willing to engage
with each other and to take initiative re pilot schemes.

9. NRUC

The NRUC team are planning a re-launch in October / November and want to
promote more training as well. No details at present of what is to happen
in this region. RR notes that a new steering group top oversee NRUC has
been formed.

10.

Casework / practice issues Existing Protocol regarding interviews - Has to
be done by two qualified staff and that is not always practical for Local
Authorities. Third Country Removals - New case law have come into place
and an individual has to go through additional stages prior to removal
now.

We will seek to ensure further time is set aside for practice case work
issues in future meetings, can people advise RR or DO if they would like
discussion on specific issues at future meetings ?

11.

AOB Age Assessment Group - The group expressed interest to establish a
group for those individuals interested to meet for half an hour after the
LA UASC Subgroup meeting to discuss cases and procedures at a
practitioner level.

Action :RR to take forward

Update on Legal Services for UASCs - A summary was circulated to the group
and a meeting has been organised between LSC, a number of current
immigration legal advice providers and Local Authority / voluntary sector
representatives in the region on Tuesday, 3rd October at 2pm to identify
components within an enhanced children's legal services contract and to
discuss current issues around capacity. Those individuals who would like
to attend that meeting has to inform DN / CJ on [email address].

Next meeting: 14th November 2007, 12.00pm - 1.30pm at the Regional

Partnership Centre

WMSMP UASC Local Authority Sub Group 14th November 2007 at the Regional
Partnership Centre

In attendance:

Richard Ross Solihull MBC (Chair) Nira Parmar Coventry City Council Debbie
Lewis Staffordshire County Council Deborah Hadwin Warwickshire County K
Malik Birmingham City Council Geraldine Lynch Dudley Dave Newall WMSMP
Cindie Johnstone WMSMP

Apologies:

Robina Khan Sandwell MBC Simon Rushall Worcestershire County Council
Lesley Walker Walsall MBC

1. Notes of the meeting held on 12th September 2007 and matters arising

o Job Centre Plus - Richard R encouraged members of the group
once again to attend the series of DWP meetings at the West Bromwich

nd

Offices. The date of the next meeting is the 22 November 2007. He also
reported that there are issues with facilitating benefit claims and there
is no consistency across Job Centre Plus. Local Officers should be
educated regarding claims getting refused.

o

Age Assessment training - Updated as per Agenda Item 3.

o

Midlands Enforcement Unit - Richard R reported that the Agenda for the
next MEU meeting on the 21st November 2007 at 13:00 has been confirmed and
also asked the group to email any items they want to add to the Agenda to
him. He also highlighted the fact that they would like the Refugee
Council to get involved with regards to age disputed cases and access to
initial accommodation at Stone Road. Nira Parmar reported that they are
still experiencing difficulties with reception facilities at Sandford
House and they still needed to queue. Nira P also said that there are
still issues around interpreters and social workers (Liverpool - Health
screening). Richard R emphasised that most of the problems occurring are
as a result from the NAM process rather than the health screening. Action:
Phil Rudkin had agreed to look into this and that he will have a word with
reception staff at Sandford House.

2. Commissioning meeting feedback (RR)

Richard R gave feedback regarding the meeting that was held at the
beginning of October and the following issues were discussed in the
meeting:

o

It was a small group that met with representatives from: Stafford,
Birmingham and Worcestershire;

o

The group discussed and looked specifically at issues with regards to
16/18+ accommodation;

o

Most Local Authorities don't have formal contracts or standard agreements
in place with providers and are in the process of reviewing this position;

o

There is agreement that a regional joint Commissioning arrangement on this
issue would be an advantage as happens with regards to fostering and
residential care;

o

It is probable that different rates and levels of service are being

charged to different Local Authorities from the same providers;

o

Still a question as to what the average costs are for the services being
procured.

o

We are waiting for theoutcome of the Reform Programme; if the programme
does not go ahead some work on a looking at a `Looser Model' to set
minimum standards and the commissioning of services should be considered;

o

Also looked at capacity, costs and quality, as their seems to be a problem
at the moment with a lot of Local Authorities not knowing what exactly is
being purchased, and also what might increased numbers do to the current
supply ( re Reform programme);

o

What mechanisms are available for Local Authorities to monitor and
scrutinise providers more effectively, this may be something within a
regional framework different LA's might be able to lead on ?

o

Richard R and Dave N felt that there is a need for a follow-up meeting as
a lot of knowledge and experience can be gained from developing some
regional standards. This will be called once the Reform programme
announcements have been made.

3. Age assessment training and practitioner group

Richard R gave the following feedback regarding the training held in
September:

o

It was a successful day;

o

The practitioners group wanted to set-up a follow-up meeting but struggled
to decide on how it should be approached;

o

It was suggested that practitioners who are actively involved in age
assessment should hold three to four regular meetings in a year;

o

There were anxiety amongst practitioners as well as a demand for training
and support issues arose;

o

A half day workshop was held to put everybody's thoughts together and to
concentrate on certain issues;

o

A practical approach was taken in the next step to actively achieve good
outcomes from training;

o

Members of the group that attended the training mentioned that although
the `photograph training' was useful there was not a good example of age
assessment at the actual training day;

o

Richard R referred the group to the following Case Law document for
further clarification on age assessment issues: `Guidance and Protocol'
-the document provides a good amount of personal interpretation;

o

Other issues raised by the group as well were: a) paperwork, b)

medical reports done in London; Action: Group to email their age
assessment forms to Dave N. Dave N to send the forms to Richard R before
the year end.

4. UASC reform update (DN)

David N reported the following:

o

A meeting was held in September (following the Consultation Event in May),
most Local Authorities in the Region attended to look at a Regional
response;

o

12of the 14 local authorities expressed their interest in a
`consortia­type-model', and wanted to participate at different levels of
commitment;

o

WMSMP had agreed to draw up a dr aft "Service User Specification" in
conjunction with a smaller group of Local Authorities, who met in October;

o

The following potential regional arrangements were discussed: a) Lead
Authority that will have a contract with BIA directly, b) Specialist
Authority which would agree to take additional UASCs and c) an associate
role (does not want to take on more UASCs);

o

Issues and questions that arose for Local Authorities were: a) costing,
b) funding, c) duties re post 18, d) impact on key performance indicators;

o

Concerns were also raised as to the impact on Local Authorities who
receive placements of UASCs in their area and associated additional costs
for health, education etc.

o

The questions were discussed with BIA, who replied that they expected some
flexibility to develop around leaving care costs, and discussion were
ongoing with DCSF;

o

BIA is looking for 40 local authorities to take on increased numbers of
UASCs;

o

The following meeting has been agreed for the 26th November in Solihull;

o

An announcement from the Govt is expected towards the end of

November as to where the Reform programme may be heading. Action: a)
Members of the group to clarify and confirm that their Directors are aware
of the changes and the meeting on the 26th November. b) Dave N to give
update at the next meeting.

5. ADSS feedback (RR)

As per `Notes of Meeting held on 12th September and matters arising'.
Richard R gave the following feedback on the group:

o

Group consists of Directors and Local Authorities with an interest in
Asylum issues (including families);

o

Most of the discussions are focussed on NRPF cases;

o

A sub-group looking at the NRPF issue is run by Islington Council;

o

Meetings rotate between Birmingham, London and Manchester;

o

Meetings are jointly chaired by Peter Hay (Director of Adult services for
Birmingham City Council) and the Pauline Newman (Director for Children's
Services - Manchester);

o

Next meeting will take place in Birmingham on the 26th November at
11:00am;

o

The Agenda for that meeting will include the following issue: the

impact & difficulties of the NAM process;

o

They will also consult on the draft Safeguarding Document which BIA is
producing.

6. Feedback from LSC and immigration providers meeting

Dave N thanked the members of the group who attended the meeting that

was held in the West Midlands between the Legal Services Commission,

Immigration Franchise holding firms, BIA, representatives from Local

Authorities and the voluntary sector on current legal advice for UASCs.
He

said that a briefing will be available soon.

He also encouraged the group to attend the briefing session for Social

Workers run by the LSC on the 30th November in Birmingham (see more

information on invitation as circulated).

Action: Booking forms to be returned to Cindie Johnstone per email:

[email address] , no later than Friday, 23rd November 2007.

7. Case study / practice issues

Debbie reported that they have a male UASC from Pakistan who had an
initial age assessment at 17 as he had no documentation and lives
independently. They have since received some documentation from Pakistan
and he was re­assed as 15 years of age. He will be 16 years old in
January 2008. She inquired whether the LAC process will apply to him as
he still lives independently. Richard R replied that the process will
still apply in such cases.

8. Current UASC figures and trends

The following papers were circulated:

1) UASCs currently supported by Local Authorities in the West Midlands (3x

different time periods);

2) Graph of UASCs Cases supported by West Midlands Local Authorities -

March 06 to August 07.

Action: a) Group to review the figures and report changes per email to
Dave

N.

b) Group to send gender and ethnicity detail before year end.

c) Copies of current stats ( to end of November, and for new cases from

Sept- Nov) to be collected by End of December.

9. AOB

o

Grant Claim - Feedback will be given at next meeting;

o

Symposium Workshop - Local authority UASC contact person to link up with
finance admin team member in their local authority. Financial detail to be
given with regards to direct and indirect costs;

o

Dates of Meetings for next year were circulated at the meeting.

Next meeting: 30th January 2008, 12.00pm - 1.30pm at the Regional

Partnership Centre

West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership Local Authority UASC sub
group

Notes from the meeting of 30th January 2008

Present: Richard Ross (Solihull MBC), Peter Johnson (Worcestershire),
Deborah Hadwin (Warwickshire), Harprett Thandi (Stoke-on-Trent), Shashi
Sharma (Wolverhampton), Nira Parmar (Coventry), Dave Newall (WMSMP)

Apologies: Robina Khan (Sandwell MBC), Sue Blick (Walsall MBC), Terry
Holland (Walsall MBC), Arif Dar (Wolverhampton), Pete Murphy (Shropshire),
Gary Irwin (Dudley MBC), Debbie Lewis (Staffordshire)

1. Notes from the meeting of 14th November and matters arising

Job Centre Plus meeting: DO/ SB would provide update/ notes from last
meeting. DH noted there was ability of flagging care leaver cases in her
area with DWP. RR & Mick King (Birmingham) had recently met with John
Prees JCP manager in Birmingham re accessing benefits for former uascs
and current issues. JCP had agreed to nominate named contact for LA's with
uascs in Birmingham area - ensure this links to JCP meeting which takes
place in West Bromwich. RR also raised concerns where young people are
falling off benefits due to lack of understanding of requirements, e.g.
actively seeking work evidence. DH noted in respect of Community Care
Grants that they could be made payable to 3rd parties to be managed for
young person.

Age Assessment practitioners group: RR noted that they were to provide
some training on age assessment soon.

At a previous meeting it had been agreed to develop a time limited group
for practitioners undertaking age assessments to meet. The group would
provide an opportunity to share case examples, develop best practice and
consider current questions related to age assessment.

PJ offered to host the initial meeting, they are having Phil Rudkin to
provide a half day session on MEU/ screening etc. PJ Offered to host the
age assessment session after this. PJ to advise of date and venue, looking
at some time in March. Further sessions to be held in June 08, SS offered
Wolverhampton as venue, and a September/October 08 date in Coventry (NP to
arrange). SS, NP, PJ & RR to work on content for session. Further
information to follow.

2. Meeting with Midlands Enforcement Unit RR reported on the
meeting held with Phil Rudkin from the Midlands Enforcement Unit, notes
from the meeting would be circulated. Terms of reference for the group
have been developed and there is an agreement to meet 3 times a year.

Phil Rudkin will be the main link with MEU. There appears to be a
difference of opinion from MEU as to the presence of solicitors at
screening interviews. Phil confirmed that SEFs should be issued at first
encounter with BIA, Phil agreed to issue fresh guidance to staff on this.

3. Meeting with Independent Fostering network RR & CB had met
with Jackie Everett (Chair of the Independent Fostering network for the
Midlands, 30/40 organisations involved). RR had met some time ago, and
Rebecca Williams (Save the Children) & BAFF had also done some training.

Meeting provided an update on the UASC reform and current issues related
to UASC support. Awaiting feedback this week related to possible impact
and implications for region and/or foster carers and to develop better
service for UASCs when LA's require external placements. In long run if
the partnership approach to the UASC reform goes ahead, further work on
joint commissioning for children's placements could be considered. Further
training/briefing re NAM and UASC reform to be considered.

4. ADSS update Meeting planned for January 08 had been
rescheduled to 6th Feb 08 in Manchester. Update for next meeting.

5. Legal Services Commission meeting update DN & RR had met
with Davinder Sidhu (Legal Services Commission) last week to follow up
discussion in relation to enhanced legal provision for uascs within the
NAM model.

Key points - LSC would look to consult current legal providers on outline
for new service in coming weeks. LSC not looking at any pilot as such, but
plan to develop enhanced provision, this is dependent on the UASC reform
going ahead and would only be for the West Midlands region (linked with
the possible regional arrangement to take reform ford in the West Mids).
Clearer expectation on providers to provide information to UASCs in their
own language if they request this, interactive element to be incorporated
in NAM interview process, stress that solicitors should attend all
immigration related interviews and should be more flexible in arranging
appointments at venue comfortable for the young person. Duty rota for
access to new franchise holding solicitor and contact with new client
within 48 hours.

Ongoing issues: Need to ensure better links across BIA business, we note
that NAM are not involved at the front end of the process at present, RR
raised issue again re the presence of solicitors at screening interview.
Phil Rudkin at MEU viewed that presence of solicitor at screening not
required.

PJ noted that for some of their UASCs screening is taking place at
Kidderminster and Redditch, and that in Worcestershire's experience
generally there is no follow up screening interview in Liverpool/
Solihull. Note also that some screening was being provided in North
Staffordshire. Follow the need for a consistent position on where
screening is being undertaken and the right of uasc to have immigration
solicitor at this interview with BIA and next NAM meeting. (RR/DN)

6. UASC Reform DN informed the group that an announcement was
expected on 31st Jan as to BIA's response to consultation on Planning
Better Outcomes and Support for UASC's, which should also outline where
the reform might be headed. At regional level, LA's were in process of
providing further clarity on costings for support for under 16 and 16-17
age ranges. BIA had requested further clarity on costs by end of Jan08.

7. Medical consents for uascs RR noted that Solihull's legal
services had been doing some further work on the issue of medical consent
for those under 18's. A new guidance document is being developed, once it
is finalised, RR would forward link. Questions as to what should happen
for those who are not Gillick competent. RR view that the guidance
document will relate to those supported under section 20.

8. AOB NAM user group update - Information will go out in next
few days about a NAM user group. Meeting will be held on 29th Feb from
12.30 - 2.30, aimed at practitioner level for LA and vol sector staff.
Suggest that due to shortage of space, maximum of 2 representatives from
each organisation attend. Confirm details with Celia Woodruff (
[email address] )

RR notes staff from Solihull MBC were due to speak at NAM case owners

training day on 1st Feb.

NRUC training - group noted there had been little information and
advertising of the NRUC training session in the region. NP noted it was
being held on 7th Feb at the Britannia Hotel in Birmingham (Near New St,
Station). Bookings to be made to the NRUC team, training is between 10-4.

Stats - can those LA's who have not provided current information on UASC
figures as of 31st December and details on new cases between 1st September
2007 - 31st December 2007 please let DN have this information.

Date of next meeting 12.00 Wednesday 26th March at the Regional
Partnership Centre, Albert House, Quay Place, Edward St, Birmingham, B1
2RA

West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership Local Authority UASC sub
group

Notes from the meeting of 21st May 2008

Present: Richard Ross - Chair (Solihull MBC), Dave Newall (WMSMP), Rebecca
Johnson (WMRA). Nira Parmar (Coventry), Inkeri Mellanen (IOM), Sue Blick
(Walsall), Sam Macdonald (Walsall), Julie Walker (Staffordshire), Gary
Irwin (Dudley), Pete Johnson (Worcestershire), Harpreet Thandi
(Stoke-on-Trent)

Apologies: Debbie Lewis (Staffordshire), Pete Murphy (Shropshire), Monica
Anderson (Sandwell), Deborah Hadwin (Warwickshire), Anwara Ali
(Warwickshire), Ruth Gray (Birmingham)

1. IOM - Inkeri Mellanen

IM tabled information on International Organisation for Migration. It has
two mains programmes which operate in the UK in relation to return to
country of origin. The Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) programme for
irregular migrants, overstayers and trafficked people, and the Voluntray
Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) for asylum seekers at
any stage of the process.

Inkeri highlighted the return programme for unaccompanied minors and the
process which individuals/ social workers and IOM go through. Inkeri
stressed that IOM worked independently of the government, and did not want
to pressure people into accepting voluntary return. The process for UASCs
was described , and the role of legal guardians and work with the
children's panel of Refugee Council was also noted. Young people are
encouraged to take time to consider their options and as with adults can
withdraw their application at any time.

IOM are opening an office in Birmingham office (focusing mainly on
outreach) would be open at the end of the month. DVDs on the voluntary
return process were available. Thegroup was informed that anyonewhohad not
been granted indefinite leave to remain was eligible to apply for IOM
support to return home. Applications can be sent to the new Birmingham
office and support will be provided by the caseworker(s) who are to be
appointed at the office.

Inkeri is willing to come and talk to LA's, the group discussed whether
IOM might be willing to talk to groups of UASC's. LA's agreed to get back
to Inkeri on this matter.

Inkeri Mellanen : IOM Birmingham 0121 633 5074 or 07810 824997
[email address]

Action: IM to investigate policy for minors with no guardian.

2. Notes from the meeting of 26th March and matters arising

NRUC - to be picked up in next meeting.

3. ADCS asylum task group updateThe group was reminded that the
last meeting had taken place in London, and the next one was to be held in
July in Manchester - RR would send the exact date as it had been changed.

It was reported that the Voluntary Children's Organisations Consortium is
promoting guardianship (independent person advocating support through
different stages). It is currently practised in some parts of Europe but
not in the UK.

Reform Programme: the consensus was that although timescales had been
extended there was concern that LAs would be blamed for the failure to
come to agreement. It was agreed that a `summit' meeting should be held of
LGA and Home Office reps in order to find a joint way forward. The outcome
of the reform programme is still uncertain.

Joint Councils Agreement on funding from the Home Office for their current
grant. Local Authorities were receiving extra funds for special
circumstances claims linked to UASC support, the most affected authorities
in England had undertaken some independent audit to authenticate their
figures, but were facing a potentially significant shortfall in what the
Home Office were now agreeing to pay. Not all the most affetced LAs were
happy with the percentages UKBA appear to be offering to cover, and a
two-tiered system appears to have developed. This is likely to affect LA's
willingness to partake in the UACS reform..

There had been a press event to highlight UASC costs at the House of
Commons around the time of the elections. Many councillors could not
attend due to the elections but it had been successful and had received
some press coverage.

LGA had reported on case resolution processes - it had been decided to
target families and those in custody. The message was that UKBA would have
discussions with LAs.

Safeguarding Code of Practice: legislation that went through at the end of
the previous year. DN had done a response to consultations and would send
it to the group. Other LAs had also submitted responses. It was agreed
that there was a need for better links with safeguarding boards and that
it would be helpful to receive feedback from UKBA by June.

Third Country Returns: it was reported that a discussion had taken place
about the issue of migrants going to EU countries where they had made a
prior asylum claim before coming to the UK. The Home Office was doing some
work on it and the next meeting would take place in June - members of the
group were welcome to attend.

Action points:

RR to send the exact date of next meeting.

DN to send response to consultations to the group

4. Feedback on Age Assessment training and future datesIt was
reported that the attendance for the training session had been very good
and people contributed well to the event. There had been good
representation from across the Region and demand for future dates. One was
planned for June and one for September. It had been found during the event
that practice varied across the Region, but there were also some
similarities. Discussions were being held to try and find a middle way.

DN reported that Shashi from Wolverhampton had agreed to host the event in
June, but no confirmation on this session had to date been received from
Shashi. The event in Sept/Oct was to be held in Coventry. NP to discuss
with management.

It was suggested that the next session should include half an hour given
over to this to provide a national context (RR). It was agreed that the
event should follow the same format as before, but should take into
account feedback.

Action DN to advise group on next dates.

5. East of England Letter - re: Merton ComplianceA letter was
tabled addressed to Ian Beattie (East of England Migration Partnership) in
the East of England with the aim of coming up with a compromise -
sometimes required information can be obtained without a full age
assessment document being provided to UKBA. This would have been discussed
at the next ADCS meeting but that had been postponed to July.

In the meantime the group was advised to remain with the current position,
where LA's only provided the back page of the assessment. Those cases that
required a little more could be settled with a discussion not with
documents. NP raised issue of what LA's were doing if Solicitors were
requesting medical assessments for age assessment purposes, the view of
the group is that all costs related to such cases should be born by the
Solicitor and their contract with the Legal Service Commission.

Action:

RR had received a new version of the letter that morning so if it was

modified he would send it to DN to distribute.

6. Parental consent/registration with GP's and school
tripsWarwickshire had reported that some GPs in some areas would not
register UASCs or do health assessments on children in foster care - they
would be sent to the Refugee Centre and then sent back to the GP again. It
was not a frequent problem but it was important that GPs know they are
obliged to register the children.

It was agreed that with respect to school trips it was important to be as
clear as possible. If there was a copy of the BAF signed medical consent
then this should be copied and included.

7. Accommodation/commissioning hoursThere had been a tentative
meeting at the end of the previous year and it was proposed to hold
another meeting in July to consider how LA's are procuring or
commissioning accommodation specifically for the 16+age group. Even if the
UASC reform does not happen, work on this issue should be progressed.

Working with private sector providers - it would be helpful if the group
could spare time to input feedback from their experience of specific
providers. There were many new companies and people were being bombarded
with documents. A range of issues such as cost, quality, amount of supply
and levels of monitoring require further consideration. We are aware that
some LA's have been undertaking specific work with individual providers to
improve provision, the wider group might benefit from this work.

Action:

RR to set date and DN to inform group.

8. UASC reform update

This had been dealt with under ADCS - it was reported that discussion
areas for improvement had been identified. Commissioning was seen to be
the key thing.

9. Practice issues The group reported concerns over two
solicitor firms. It was agreed that informal feedback was required in
order to know who provides good service. Those solicitors being used for
most adult cases were mostly based in Birmingham (there was an official
list).

It was reported that in some areas there was a reluctance to appeal on the
part of many solicitors. It was suggested that Davinder Sidhu at LSC would
be a good person to call a meeting with the reps. Legal Aid was a problem.

Action:

Make complaint to LSC's regional office about poor quality solicitors.

DN to contact Davinder Sidhu for update.

10. AOB The DWP meeting scheduled for 22/05/08 had been postponed to
24/06/08 at Job Centre+, Temple Street, Wolverhampton (09:45).

SB noted that problems had been experienced in developing better ways of
processing benefit claims for UASCs who turned 18, including completing
forms in advance of 18 h birthday. A pilot in Birmingham had been
developed, but main problems persist in processing claims in this area,
Wolverhampton's processing centre for new claims had been more flexible in
responding to the needs of this client group. It was stated that this
needed to be dealt with at a higher level than the Birmingham forum, SB
would appreciate information on the numbers of individuals who are being /
will be affected by the post 18 switch to claiming welfare benefits. SB
would circulate stat sheet for the group to fill in their details by 7th
June.

The problem of housing benefit payments not being paid directly to private
landlords was discussed - it was agreed that LAs should liaise with
housing benefit team stating that they should pay them directly. The
safety net was four weeks and this should not be exceeded.

Action:

DN to provide email contacts for group to Sue Blick

It was reported that it was unclear if there was to be a MEU meeting the
following day. RR had suggested an alternative date as no feedback had
been received. The group was asked to submit points for the agenda.

The group was informed of a No Recourse to Public Funds Seminar for
children, families and careleavers on 1st July - a follow on to the
previous event NRPF event held in Birmingham in April.

Next meeting: 24th September 2008

12.00 at the Regional Partnership Centre, Albert House, Quay PlaceEdward
Street, Birmingham, B1 2RA

West Midlands Regional Local Authority UASC Group

Notes from the meeting of 13 October 2008

Present: Richard Ross - Chair (Solihull MBC); Michael Craggs (WMRA); Pete
Johnson (Worcestershire); Dave Newall (WMSMP); Nira Parmar (Coventry);
Adrian Vaughan (Worcestershire); Julie Walker (Staffordshire); Dave Newall
(WMSMP)

Apologies: Debbie Lewis (Staffordshire), Deborah Ramsdale (Staffordshire),
Julie Kelly (Staffordshire), Sam MacDonald (Walsall), Simon Rushall
(Worcestershire), Gary Irwin (Dudley), Pete Murphy (Shropshire)

1. Notes from the meeting of 21 May 2008 and matters arising

The minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting.

2. Update from ADCS Group

DN informed all that there was very little to update as recent meetings
had been postponed. The next meeting would take place on 10 November 2008
in London and would address the Reform Agenda. The meeting was open to
directors and representatives t o at tend. RR no ted that t hey ha d a
lso b een l ooking at work w hich London Safeguarding Boards had
undertaken on child trafficking. (Contact RR for copy)

3. Regional Stats

The group received the latest statistics from DN.WMSMP was attempting to
build the number of cases coming into the West Midlands Region. It was
reported that the figures supplied by Birmingham CC might be incorrect.

NP reported that there were about twelve new cases in Coventry during
Sept, whilst RR commented t hat n umbers appeared t o h ave r isen i n S
olihull al though at a r elatively lower compared to other regions. JW
noted 22 new cases in past 2 weeks. It was commented that it was common
for numbers to rise towards the end of the year.

4. UASC Reform

The Chair reported that the Home Office had recently written to Local
Authority Chief Executives regarding the option of becoming a specialist
authority. A series of meetings and w orkshops t o f urther explore t he i
ssue w ere expected t o t ake place, w ith a workshop p lanned for 6 N
ovember at t he N ational E xhibition C entre. (Action - DN to confirm d
ate/time/venue w hen ag reed). Local authorities w ere advised a ttending
t o inform themselves of the new scheme.

The group entered into discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of
becoming a specialist au thority. It was f elt t hat t hose w ho d ecided
t o b ecome a s pecialist au thority might benefit f rom a n i mproved f
inancial d eal. I t was f elt t hat a n umber o f l ocal
authoritiesmightpilotthe scheme. Key questions aboutpost 18 support,
routing of new uasc cases into potential specialist authorities and the
impact of Care Matters legislation require further consideration.

5. Age Assessment Update and Training

Itwas reported thatWorcestershire had held the previous event in April.The
next event would take place in Wolverhampton on either 15/16/17 December.
S Sharma (Wolverhampton) w elcomed s uggestions f rom ot her l ocal
authorities r egarding t he programme's content.JW toforward acopy ofa
presentation on age assessment from Lambeth in relation to a recent
Judicial Review. (JW to forward to DN for distribution)

Action: Further info to follow from Shashi/Pete Johnson

6. DWP meeting update

SB n ot at the m eeting, m embers f rom Richards's team i n S olihull ha d
a ttended t he

meeting. We would place on the agenda for the next meeting.

Action - DN to email Sue for update for meeting.

7. Future facilitation of the group

The gr oup w as i nformed t hat t he H ome O ffice did n ot fund W MSMP's
work on t he Children's and Young Peoples agenda. DN noted that the
funding for his post currently comes for Health work, this means untilthe
springWMSMPwould no longer be able to continue t o c oordinate these
meetings, a lthough DN confirmed t hat i t c ould s upply a venue and note
taker for future meetings. Further information would be supplied shortly.

8. Practice issues

The gr oup h eard t hat discrepancies b etween t he l ocal authorities
existed i n t erms of supplying funding for UASCs in similar
accommodation. For example, it was reported that whilstWorcestershire paid
£35 weeklysubsistence, another Authority supporting young p eople w ith t
he s ame pr ovider paid less for t heir U ASCs. T he tensions t his
creates for UASCs were understood. It was suggested that funding should be
consistent across the board.

Concern was also raised about the standards of provision of on of the
larger providers in the region. It was suggested that Local Authorities
using similar providers might develop better mechanism for sharing
concerns and improving provision. RR to provide a new date for the
commissioning group to convene again.

9. AOB

There was no other business raised.

Date of n ext m eeting : 26 th November 12 - 1.30 at the R egional P
artnershipCentre, Albert House, Quay Place, Edward St, Birmingham, B1 2RA

Please could you notify Richard of any items you wish to place on the
agenda at this meeting.

WMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group

17 January 2007 at the Regional Partnership Centre

In attendance:

Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council Sue Blick Walsall MBC Louise
Chilton WMLGA Pete Murphy Shropshire County Council Dave Newall WMSPARS
Nira Parmar Coventry City Council Richard Ross Solihull MBC (Chair) Debra
Silvester Walsall MBC Karen Skinner Stafffordshire County Council Leaving
Care Sandra Tilley IND

Apologies:

Carey Baff Birmingham City Council Anwara Ali Warwickshire County
Council Simon Rushall Worcestershire County Council

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 8 November and matters
arising The minutes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.
Matters arising: Item 1 - Minutes from 5 September meeting :

o

RR to circulate transfer protocol after discussions with legal team

o

Accommodation report will be revisited in relation to formal programme
when published

o

NRUC (National Register of Unaccompanied Children) update - 15% of local
authorities were still not participating actively, perhaps due to funding
issues. There would now be a tiered subscription arrangement. All local
authorities to indicate the number of places required to DN so he can
organise regional training with NRUC. Members noted:

o

the database would not be unavailable to authorities ho had no designated
user

o

each authority would need a lead officer and data input officer

o

Authorities not using the database from April would receive no funding

o

Clarification was needed of the extent of services provided for the
subscription. The system should stop multiple claims but it was unclear
whether this had been factored into discussions. Concerns had been raised
about the grant being paid on a "real time" basis and about ease of
access, reliability of data and inability to search for people in one
authority being supervised by another. It had been suggested that
subscriptions could be reclaimed from grants but this would be impractical
for many authorities.

o

The report on UASC Reform may be available in February. The Home Office
was focusing on how the immigration issues are dealt with - proposals
included removing UASC from LA responsibility or entering dispersal
facilities similar to adults.

Item 2 - ADSS asylum sub group update: RR to send minutes of last meetings
to DN to circulate. The next meeting would be in Manchester on Wednesday
24 January - all are welcome to attend (see also item 2 of day's agenda).
Item 3 - LGA UASC reform task group feedback: the group had not met
because there had been no proposals to consider. RR had sent in best
practice examples( RR to forward to DN) Item 4 - Leaving care costs: DN
needed breakdowns of costings from local authorities ASAP to send on to
GOWM. ( Action, all who have not provided this info to DN) Item 5 -
Missing persons Police and Local Authority liaison: Each authority needs
to provide contact for Police regarding identification of possible missing
UASC. DN to contact Police re young people not being noted as UASC when
reported missing. Item 6 - Afghan Males arriving in Region : RR 70% of
Solihulls intake has been Afghan males. Coventry noted the increases in
requests for age assessments from Afghan males, and wider issues re non
payment for the time they support individuals pending completed age
assessment . Further issues to follow up with MEU on the difficulty and
delays in obtaining appointments for people who had arrived late.
Suggested that these should be documented by local authorities, together
with the number of age assessments being completed ( whether the decision
was taken to support of refuse as individual found to be over 18). NP
raised issue where Refugee Council were not taking any cases which had not
been for an assessment by Immigration, which was causing Coventry
problems. ( NP and RR to raise with RC, particularly in light of changes
to Initial Accommodation contract)

2.

Update from ADSS RR had tabled an item on grant audit at the 23 November
meeting. Local Authorities were not being reimbursed for the period prior
to assessment taking place and data collection was needed to monitor
this. Claims to be 16 or under must be subject to a formal age assessment
and should be taken by the Refugee Council on this basis. Seventeen year
olds should be taken straight from the MEU (Midland Enforcement Unit).
This should be raised as an issue.

There would be a number of changes to the IND over the next few months.

3.

Job Centre Plus meeting update There had been a positive meeting with the
Black Country back office team which had promised to link up with
Birmingham colleagues to ensure good practice across the Region. They had
a good understanding of difficulties faced by young people reaching 18.
Local Authorities need to provide good cover letters that can be taken
into Job Centre Plus. There was discussion about insurance numbers,
including temporary insurance numbers. It was confirmed that clients who
fail to attend NI number interviews would be exited out of the system, and
would need to reapply again.

Solicitors' letters are acceptable but in some areas solicitors are no
longer doing this type of work. NP to contact Linda Bowen at the Walsall
office to discuss this.

2

Job Centre Plus was also in the process of streamlining the initial claims
process. Telephone numbers would be transferred to an 0800 number over the
next few months.

It was agreed to explore whether agreements with care leavers could also
be used for UASC. (SB agreed to look at this issue)

4.

NRUC training and issues It was essential to set up training by March.
There was a possibility that the NRUC could be linked to local authority
databases. (DN to action, could LA's confirm numbers of staff who might
require NRUC training)

5.

Meeting with Immigration and current immigration issues

o

An informal meeting had taken place with Jim Heaney, Inspector in Charge
of the Duty Office, which screens children and liaises with Local
Authorities. Jim had provided insight into MEU. Discussion had centred on
age assessment difficulties. RR to circulate date for another meeting at
the end of February to which all are invited.

o

Changes to the organisation of the IND will have a huge impact on work in
the Region.

o

There were still concerns about Afghan minors. Tracey Gibson was compiling
a paper and would collate any information received eg mobile phone numbers
- information should be sent to Sanda Tilley
([email address]).

o

A copy of Adrian Grey's report on Missing Children had been requested.

o

A DCI was on secondment to IND on children's issues.

o

Situation re Birmingham's Safeguarding Children sub group. If there are
concerns about a missing child that immigration should be made aware of
contact ST.

o

IND could provide no further details on UASC reform.

o

Under the new Asylum Model Claimants would have a specialist case owner
responsible for managing cases through to integration or removal.
Procedures would however exclude children until March and before the UASC
stream can be fed into the regions there must be trained staff to
implement it. Enhanced CRB checks would not have to be implemented at
this stage but probably would eventually.

o

Training would probably take 5 days and would take place in London. The
number of case holders needed for the West Midlands area had been worked
out by the Solihull Office by looking at the number of UASC in the area
(the conclusion was 7 officers). Training dates had not yet been set.

o

There was a range of options for reform: eg better immigration process,
types of support, lower costs, moving UASC away from SE/London etc.

o

The Region was still receiving different signals to national colleagues.
Local authorities would still have responsibility in terms of care and an
urgent meeting was needed between Local Authority leads to talk about a
range of issues. Social Services role needs to be understood to
communicate effectively to NAM case workers. There could be conflict
between Local Authority duties and immigration procedures eg proposals to
grant discretionary leave until the age of 17½.

o

IND officers are working with Skillbase.( on training)

o

Any ideas regarding useful points to be covered in training should be sent
to ST. ST to ask colleagues to arrange stakeholder engagement and future
training.

o

Meeting to be set up with NAM over next few weeks - to integrate with
meeting with Jim Heaney. ( DN to arrange)

o

DN to circulate information about the November NAM meeting.

6.

Claiming asylum and living in the UK - pilot The Home Office pamphlet
"Claiming Asylum and Living in the UK" was piloted just after Christmas -
suggestions have been made for this to be produced in other languages.
Solihull have been piloting this work already, DN would like 2 other
Authorities, probably those with smaller numbers/different arrangements to
Solihull and Birmingham to pilot, could those interested get back to DN
soon.

7.

Refugee Council introduction to working with UASCs course Judith Dennis,
Unaccompanied Children Policy Officer at the Refugee Council, will deliver
a training programme around UASC on introductory work to unaccompanied
minors in the West Midlands area. Twenty places would be available at a
cost of approximately £65 and the course will be tailored to regional
needs. This would be useful for staff new in post or those in need of an
update. Ideas regarding what could be covered should be sent to DN.

8.

UASC Numbers UASC numbers were circulated (apart from Wolverhampton).
Sandwell figures may alter shortly. Numbers were slightly down on the
last quarter but there had been significant rises in some authorities.

9.

Any Other Business

o

Individuals with no recourse to public funds - following a meeting of
local authority representatives on 12 December there would be a meeting at
the Birmingham Midland Institute on 30 January to explore how Local
Authorities can get consistency in eg data collection. DN to provide
contact details for Local Authority employees.

o

DN to provide information on how to share information regionally on family
referrals. This is linked with further work being undertaken by Islington
on national recourse to public funds and has become a significant cost
issue for Local Authorities.

o

There are issues regarding the withdrawal of access to ESOL from September

- DFES to be lobbied in the meantime.

o

A meeting would shortly take place to investigate how UASC would be linked
into the Centre of Excellences regional commissioning pilot project led
by Howard Woolfenden, Head of Specialist Services in the Children's
Directorate at Coventry City Council. (DN & RR to attend)

o

Trafficking research being done by Save the Children and Ecpat - the final
draft had been circulated and comments were needed immediately. A regional
conference to launch the results and examine next steps would take place
on 27 March (venue to be confirmed). DN to email report. This links in to
safeguarding issues.

3

Date of next meeting: March 21st 12.00 at the Regional partnership Centre

4

WMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group

21 March 2007 at the Regional Partnership Centre

In attendance:

Carey Baff Birmingham City Council Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Sue Blick Walsall MBC Louise Chilton WMLGA Bev Fearn Staffordshire County
Council Gary Irwin Dudley MBC Debbie Lewis Staffordshire County Council
Karim Malik Birmingham City Council Dave Newall WMSPARS Nira Parmar
Coventry City Council Richard Ross Solihull MBC (Chair) Karen Skinner
Staffordshire County Council

1.

Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2007 and matters arising The
minutes were agreed as a correct record of the meeting. Matters arising
(not on day's agenda) Item 1 Minutes of 8 November meeting and matters
arising: There was an issue regarding whether leaving care costs for UASC
should be followed up by the ADSS (the Directors of Adult Social
Services), local authorities or both. CB noted Kent County Council had
convened a meeting of local authorities which agreed to produce a paper on
this issue. A meeting with ministers was being sought.

2.

Information sharing There was discussion regarding how to ensure that
local authorities placing young people aged 0-17 across borders were
notifying other authorities and how to manage this centrally. There is a
set format for this and it is necessary to ensure that notification about
looked-after children is made with the agreed (national) protocol.
Designated collectors of information for each authority should be
clarified. Notification should also be made regarding care leavers. There
may be a question whether young people should be identified specifically
as UASC. In light of the forthcoming trafficking conference, general
safeguarding duties and recent concerns in Sandwell it is important that
we address this issue as a group.

It was agreed that group members would familiarise themselves with local
protocols/systems to their designated point of contact and advise DN who
would compile a central list of these contacts. Highlighting UASC would
be helpful - the national register (NRUC) should deal with this
specifically. (All to action)

3.

ADSS task group update The Group would meet on Friday 23 March to discuss
the reform programme. Age Assessment protocol update would also be on the
agenda. Age Assessment protocol had been delayed because of the NAM (New
Asylum Model) roll-out and some research to be published later this year,
which criticises current practices.

The Home Office wants to respond positively to this issue.

Islington Council leads a sub-group which acts as a steering group for the
work of the NRPF (destitute people from abroad who have no recourse to
public funds) Network, and reports to the ADSS Asylum Taskforce. This
group includes Local Authority officers from areas that have received NASS
dispersals but may also receive a small number of adults and families with
no recourse to public funds. Information on the NRPF network can be found
on the Islington Council website:

http://www.islington.gov.uk/Health/Servi...
network/default.asp

The report (`Missing Out') summarising research findings on trafficking
across the North-East, North-West and the Midlands carried out by Save the
Children and Ecpat had been published - A conference to discuss the
findings would take place on Tuesday 27 March.

4. NAM Minors segment The meeting on 9 March attended by most
authorities had outlined procedure and made it very evident that there
would be far-reaching implications for the NAM roll­out (notes had been
circulated). Key issues included changes in immigration procedure for
unaccompanied children who would now have to potentially attend 3 meetings
at the IND offices in Solihull. Concerns were expressed about the lack of
legal representation for young people. Clarification had been made of the
social work process which feeds into reform proposals. There are
significant implications for resources.

Tightness of timescales is also an issue, although flexibility had been
demonstrated in some individual cases. This would have far-reaching
implications for how young people are dealt with.

The question of where age dispute cases fit within the NAM model, and the
lack of protocols would be raised at the 23 March ADSS Task Group meeting.
DN and David Barnes had also raised this issue with IND.

5. UASC Reform proposals - (including regional commissioning)
The IND consultation paper "Planning Better Outcomes and Support for
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children" had been published in February 2007
- RR to send summaryto DN for circulationwith theminutes. Thekeyissues
include the development of specialist models of support for unaccompanied
asylum seeking children, consistency of service provision and geographical
changes with the intention to move young people away from London/SE (18+
issue).

There are still issues around leaving care and proposals to cut the
numbers who will be eligible for leaving care funding by speeding up
removals. Proposals to grant discretionary leave until the age of 17½
would have implications for young people and local authorities. Under the
plans the Home Office is developing 50-60 specific local authorities to
care for children.

There is consultation on the proposals until the end of May. A regional
consultation event is planned for late April/early May to enable a
regional response to be put forward. The event will consider alternative
options and put forward an approach

2

for a regional delivery. Local authorities should also consider their
individual responses.

This event creates an opportunity to examine possible new initiatives on a
regional basis e.g. the situation around 16-18 accommodation and
accommodation generally. The event might also present an opportunity to
scope out possible options for UASC support in the region.

Some of the proposals appear to be quite attractive e.g. the process being

maintained by a consortia approach with different aspects led by different

authorities (or one regional lead) the leaving care issue needs to be
resolved ­

there are many implications and details to explore.

The regional response would try to link in nationally with responses from
the LGA and ADSS. It is hoped to engage as many authorities as possible.

6.

Job Centre Plus issues and meeting A meeting had taken place with back
office staff at West Bromwich Job Centre on Friday 16 March. There had
been much improvement in the links between Job Centre Plus, the Black
Country and Wolverhampton and it is hoped to filter this improvement
through to other authorities. DN to circulate set of procedures that had
been agreed.

It was hoped that contact with Wolverhampton would enable links to be made
with otherbackoffice staffacross the Region. NP indicated someproblems in
Coventry, others report problems in Birmingham.

7.

NRUC (National Register for Unaccompanied Children) - training and update
There had been no communication about availability for NRUC training which
was on the ADSS 23 March agenda. Concerns about costs and process problems
had still not been addressed by NRUC team. No clarity has been given about
how to reclaim grant or whether Local Authorities are only able to recover
grant from Home Office via NRUC in April. We are trying to clarify with
NRUC. Many concerns about the problems in NRUC had been expressed. It is
hoped that local training will begin in April at a central location for
colleagues. DN taking forward with Michael Gould of the NRUC team.

8.

Refugee Council training It is anticipated that this will take place at
Carrs Lane Church Centre on 1st May by Judith Dennis of the Refugee
Council and will include training on NAM (see specification circulated by
DN) for up to 20 people at £50-£60 per head. It is anticipated that
this training will be excellent. Solihull are dealing with the admin and
booking for the event. Information has subsequently been circulated to
members. DN to reissue specification with joining instructions and address
to contact in case of query.

9.

Any Other Business UASC statistics were circulated (apart from Sandwell,
Worcestershire and Wolverhampton for which no information was available).

3

DN to notify the group of the next NAM minors meeting which will probably
take place during the week commencing 16 April.

Date of next meeting Wednesday 23rd May 12.00 at the regional Partnership
Centre

4

WMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group

8th November 2006 The Regional Partnership Centre

In Attendance :

Anwara Ali Warwickshire County Council Sue Blick Walsall MBC Paul
Giannasi S taffordshire Police Pete Murphy Shropshire County Council
Simon Rushall Worcestershire County Council Gary Irwin Dudley MBC
Richard Ross Solihull MBC Carey Baff Birmingham City Council Dave Newall
WMSPARS

Apologies :

Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council Nira Parmar C oventry City
Council Karim Malik Birmingham City Council Sharon Pommils Sandwell MBC

1. Matters arising from minutes of 5th September

o

Transfer protocol - RR to send to DN for distribution

o

Accommodation r eport - RR r eported t his s till with elected members

o

Regional safeguarding -

o

NRUC update - DN had received a holding letter re latest issues, to ate s
till no r esponse t o the q uestions we r aised r e c osts, l evel of
service and t raining. DN t o co ntact N RUC t eam t o ar range further
regional training ( Can all LA 's indicate number of places they might
require)

o

UASC Reform - no date at time of meeting for report ( it now appears that
it will be at the end of January 2007)

2. ADSS asylum sub group update

RR provided an updateon last ADSS meeting, next is 23rdNovember in
Birmingham.(Membership is open to any LA via their Director of adults or
children services nomination, RR and CB sit on the group from a u asc
perspective). Process of change for ADSS due to separation of children and
ad ult functions. L eaving care issues a re b eing pur sued w ith D FES
and HO. RR to distribute minutes of past meeting for group.

3. LGA UASC reform task group feedback DN reported that the LGA
a sylum and refugee task group h ad set up a UASC reform task group to
seek to develop aproactive response to the proposed reform. DN attended
the first meeting of the group where terms of reference, collating good
practice, identification of key issues that need resolution were
undertaken.The group will workwith the ADSS and LGA on response to the
proposals. The group might consider developing a suggested service
specification for the service that could be procured within the reform. DN
had issues a request for examples of good practice - RR wo uld provide s
omething r e B UMP and S olihull' s work. N ext meeting will be held in
the new year, once consultation doc is out. ( members of the group can
have copies of minutes if required)

4. Leaving care costs From previous meeting, LA's had been
contacted by DN for breakdown of total costings and any grant refund from
DFES received. RR reported that Solihull r eceive only about 2 0% of t
heir total c osts back. SR suggested that it would also be important to
indicate what proportion of total leaving care b udget t hese c osts r
epresented, c an members f ollow t his u p with their f inance people. The
impact of problems w ith Job Centre P lus was also h ighlighted, R R & r
epresentatives f rom S andwell M BC had r ecently met with Job Centre Plus
representative in West Bromwich to discuss key issues of concern, re non
payment /processing of Job Seeker or Income Support c laims du e t o c
lients h aving applied f or extension of leave to remain in t he U K or
delays i n allocation of n ational i nsurance n umbers. RR To send update
for distribution.

5. Missing p ersons ( u ascs) Police and Lo cal Authority li
aison - Chief Inspector Paul Giannasi ( Staffordshire Police and WMSPARS
Board Police Rep) Paul provided an overview of some recent work undertaken
by ACPO regarding trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced slavery and
organ donation t rafficking, i n p articular t he level of l iaison b
etween s ervices where there were concerns. The work highlighted the
different approaches in eac h ar ea an d al so t he role o f IND.
Different v iews ex isted on what might be a safeguarding issues and at
what stage a report to the Police if a young person w ent m issing w ould
be m ade, an d w hether clear procedures existed to report if young person
had returned home. Different Police F orces within t he West M idlands h
ave different s ystems f or recording and d ealing with missing persons,
and it also become clear that there was no links from IND to tell partners
that child had been removed from UK. Key issues from report :

o

Police not recording whether missing young person was a uasc

o

Different response to missing young people from LA's

o

Few LA 's c hildren's t eams h ad designated m ember of s taff w ith dealt
with m issing p ersons, and t hus n o s ingle p oint of c ontact f or
Police

o

Some s ocial s ervices i nformed NASS if y oung p erson went missing, but
n ot al l, an d it w as unclear w hat NASS di d w ith this information.

o

Not al ways clear when a child (looked a fter b y an other LA ) is placed
in your area.

o

Lack of c ommunication between education and s ocial s ervices ( this may
be improving as Safeguarding structures develop)

o

Questions ab out the placement o f children/young p eople w ith an adult
who is not their parent.

o

Could r egional approaches b e d eveloped to improve s ystems

around missing young people and trafficking concerns?

ACPO recommendations :

o

Police should note child's immigration status on misper report

o

Single points of contact required across both agencies, Police and social
services

o

Missing uascs should b e subject t o the same l evel of enquiry as
indigenous c hildren. ( T his issue s hould be r aised at local
safeguarding boards)

o

Improve the data collation on where uascs turn up with `friends' as part
of the work of the UK Human Trafficking Centre

Action : Could we identify possible missing uasc contact for Police in
each LA. ( DN to collate). Local Contacts re uascs to be passed on to
Safeguarding boards. Paul would identify link person in each West Midlands
Police Force.

West Midlands Police Force have a missing from care protocol, it

make some suggestions re uascs. RR to forward copy to Paul ( do

group need to revisit own LA/Police protocols ?) .

Those present agreed to raise at local safeguarding boards and will Also
follow up with Ken Wild (GOWM).

Issues related to the placing of LA uascs outside of responsible LA's Area
and notification, further work re NRUC and LA's required.

6. Afghan Males arriving in region

Previous m eeting r aised c oncerns about t he arrival of U ASC's f rom
Afghanistan into B irmingham p articularly, c ontact with other LA's h as
indicted that the hi ghest proportion o f n ew ar rivals w ithin th e West
Midlands have been afghan male over the past 6 months. ( Solihull 2/3 of
new intake, Staffordshire 6 in last week, Warwickshire 50% of all intake
since September, Shropshire 2 in last threemonths ( all U18's cases are
Afghan), Walsall all new arrivals since May have been Afghan male. CB h ad
met with Police and I mmigration t o follow up s pecific i ssues re
Birmingham, s olicitor and c afé. T here had b een 6 0 A fghan males
under 20 registered at addresses in the same street in past year. Intake
does m irror t he n ational pi cture o f ar rivals, m aybe slightly more
pronounced in West Mids.

7. AOB

o Meeting arranged between Immigration (Jim Heany)and some LA
reps to discuss uasc related issues at Midlands Enforcement Unit. ( update
from RR at next meeting)

Date o f n ext m eeting W ednesday January 1 7th 12.00 at t he R egional
partnership centre

WMSPARS UASC Sub-Group Local Authority Meeting 5th April 2006 Regional
partnership Centre

In attendance

Richard Ross (chair) Solihull MBC Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City
Council Carey Baff Birmingham City Council Karim Malik Birmingham City
Council Nira Parmar Coventry City Council Rowan Barr Warwickshire County
Council Dave Newall WMSPARS

1. Minutes of previous meeting (24-01-06) and matters arising
(not covered on agenda.)

a) Screening at Liverpool for "in-country" applicants, still
concerns about the need for a child sensitive practice, RR had raised with
Sandra Tilley and then it was passed on to Denise , awaiting response. CB
agreed to follow up with Immigration.

b) Transfer protocol re mothers and babies/s17 issue - RR had
raised this issued 7 weeks ago with his legal section for an opinion,
still awaiting a response, he would chase again. Once information is
received it will be put out for discussion within region.

c) Safeguarding network document - Concerns about possible
duplication of functions and need to ensure appropriate links between UASC
issues and wider Safeguarding agenda. Need to develop liaison between
groups. Need to clarify whether the procedural document is the final
draft. CB would speak to Birmingham's safeguarding network, and RR would
speak to Lynn Bickerton re Solihull's network. Warwickshire - Rowans team
developing wider links with Child Protection team.

2. Accommodation arrangements

Inspection of individual providers in Solihull is planned (or has been
undertaken?). RR has used the London consortium material. Once the results
have come out the group to look at the commissioning of floating support
and criteria to assess suitability and levels of support required for
cases. Also consider impact of decent homes standards. To be followed up
at next meeting.

3. Age Assessments further practitioner training

CB had spoken to Helen Newman from Sheffield and also a contact in
Manchester who had some training from Liverpool University. RR was due at
a UASC meeting in Croydon on 10th April linked with age assessment, and
would feed back any issues. Aim for a facilitated session for
practitioners looking at age assessment in May/June, open to 3 social
workers from each authority, with the authorities to share the costs of
session. RR & CB to action.

4. NRUC

Training sessions at Solihull had been run in March. RR reported that
Michael

Gould (NRUC Project Group) is willing to come and provide further
training.

CB would look at possible Birmingham Venue, RR would speak to Sue

Hathaway for possible availability.

KB reported problems getting into NRUC over the past month.

RR advised that from June/July LA grant will be based on NRUC data,

continue with V12's at present until Home Office write stating they will
only

accept NTRUC data.

5. Transitions

RR to forward "key transitions for UASCs" ADSS asylum task force December
2005. Group asked to consider response or views on how the transition
stage has gone.

6. Job Centre Plus

RR raised issue of difficulty some young people were having claiming Job
Seekers Allowance. Problems appear to stem from a change in wording of
Home Office decision letters and for individuals who have applied for an
extension for their leave. RR had met with Job Centre Plus regional
manager, the new claiming process was outlined, and RB stated that people
had to travel from Coventry to Walsall to claim. KM had a good contact in
Connexions who help in some of these cases. RR asked whether confusion in
Home Office letters could be taken up by the NASS Interagency group? RR
suggested that Job Centre Plus and Connexions could come to the next
meeting. Could we also get a copy of the guidance issued by Job Centre
Plus on this issue?

7. UASC regional figures

DN had collated figures for most Local Authority areas for the region, it
was agreed that this information would be collected quarterly.

8. Future agenda items - Access to Legal Services

Date of Next meeting 12.00 until 1.30 , 21st June Room 2, Regional
Partnership Centre.

WMSPARS UASC Sub-Group Local Authority Meeting 21st June 2006 Regional
Partnership Centre

In attendance

Richard Ross Solihull MBC

Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Nira Parmar Coventry City Council

Jackie Beasley Wolverhampton City Council

Carey Baff Birmingham City Council

Dave Newall WMSPARS

Apologies

Rowan Barr Warwickshire County Council

Wendy Jackson Worcestershire County Council

Karim Malik Birmingham City Council

1. Minutes of the meeting 5th April and matters arising

a)Transfer protocol re mothers and babies section 17 issue. RR is still
waiting

for response, will continue to chase.

b) Accommodation arrangements: RR r eported that Solihull had c ompleted

inspection on properties it used, the report is currently with cabinet
members.

RR would provide feedback to group once report is cleared.

c) Job Centre Plus -stillencountering problemsfor clients who turn 18, NP

reported problems with DOB's, and the use of 01/01/.. dating by Home
Office,

RR noted the delays their clients experienced.

2. NRUC

DN and RR had been contacted by a number of LA's about chargesthathad been
made for theuseof NRUC. KB said Stoke had been invoiced for £1000 for
2005-2006 and also for £5000 for the period 2006 - 2007, it was felt that
when they signed up to NRUC there was the implication that there would be
no c harge. Coventry, S taffordshire a nd W orcestershire had a ll r
eceived invoices. V iew i s t hat c harges are to hi gh f or authorities w
ho have small numbers of UASC's. RR noted that NRUC still needed to find
its running costs. WMSPARS w ere w riting o ut to e ach of t he L A's c
oncerned t o gauge t heir opinion a s t o t he l evels o f charges a nd
would r aise r esponse a t N ational Consortium level. RR to raise at next
ADSS meeting

3. Feedback from ADSS meeting

RR sits on this asylum task group for the ADSS. Main issues covered - UASC
reforms and the changes in personnel, John Adams is moving on and Brian
Kinney with replace. This will d elay the UASC reform consultation
further, due to be published by 2nd week in July. Age Asse ssment,
potential us e of de ntal i nformation t o a rrow dow n a ge of
individual, RR informed those present of a task group meeting to take
changes forward. New leads h ave b een appointed for t he t ask gr oup,
Peter H ay (Birmingham adult services) and Pauline Newman (Manchester).
Task group may separate functions into adults and children's groups.
Meeting is open to any LA.

4. UASC Reforms No further b ulletins f rom t he r eform t eam
had b een i ssued, see a bove note about changes in k ey personnel within
t he H.O. CB had been to a n event where Jo Heatley had stated the
consultation document was likely to be out in

2nd

week of July. Concerns re what is in the process for LA's in terms of the

regional centre idea. Is there a possibility of a regional LA consortium
taking

this forward?

CB noted current concerns as to individual young people coming into
Croydon

with guardians and the gravitating to Birmingham. Further questions as to
the

identification o f y oung people p laced i nto t he r egion b y other a
uthorities,

suggested that individual L A's might b e a ble t o t rack t his via N
RUC. (NP

would check in Coventry)

5. WMSPARS regional social inclusion strategy DN h ad c
irculated c opies o f t he children's section t o t hose pr esent a t t he
meeting, previous email of draft strategy had been sent out. Comments on
the strategy w ere w elcome b y the d eadline, t he i ntention i s to link
U ASC's and refugee/ a sylum seeking children. C B n oted t he d
evelopment o f N ewly Arrived Children Strategy in Birmingham. WMSPARS v
iew w as f or the ne ed to b roaden out the m ulti agency U ASC group to
deal with the range of children's services and issues. It is suggested
that a specific event looking at the wider needs of refugee and asylum
seeking children i s run i n S eptember to d evelop actions f rom t he s
ocial i nclusion strategy.

6. Safeguarding network RR ha d been i n discussion with r
egional s afeguarding network r e t heir procedure documentfornew
arrivals,RR & CBdue to meet them inJuly to clarify a number of issues.
They will feedback at next meeting.

7. Costs for leaving care and unsuccessful clients Several
authorities are seeing shift in case load to more 18+'s, a proportion of
these are end of line cases. Discussion as to what isend of linefor
leaving care provisions, and thefact removals don't keep pace with
decisions. If end of duty under leaving care is 21 what is happening to
deal with the potential numbers who are reaching this age now i n ea ch L
A ( e.g. t ime scale post H illingdon)? R R s tated t hat Manchester m ay
have some s pecific be st p ractice on this, q uestions as to whether
failed post 21' s could go onto section 4 s upport a nd how a ctively
Voluntary Returns were being pursued as an option by each LA. KB agreed to
check with Manchester a nd N ottingham a bout what t hey a re doing on
this issue and feed back. Agreed that in terms of monitoring each LA would
provide breakdown of their post 18 cases in terms of those awaiting
decision and those at end of line.

8. Age Assessment event

Plan t o r un a n e vent i n September a imed a t pr actitioners who would
br ing a few of their caseswhere age assessment had been done to discuss
and share experience of t he a ge a ssessment process. D N will a rrange
ve nue. C ontent may change as result of the HO work on age assessment,
they are looking at a dental component of t he a ssessment process. R R h
as a l ist of forensic orthodontists for the region, LA's may wish to
explore engaging their services in the age assessment process, although
there is a cost implication.

9. AOB

Day conference o n u naccompanied minors Wed 1 1t1h July L ondon organised
by BASWs, details on their website.

10. UASC Numbers

See a ttached l ist, a ll a greed t o provide b reakdown for 18+ a ge r
ange a s outlined in point 7.Individuals to try NRUC and see if
numbersofUASCs placed by other LA's could be identified.

Date of next meeting September 6th at 12.00 Rooms 3 & 4 the Regional
Partnership Centre, Albert House, Quay Place, Edward Street, Birmingham,
B1 2RA

WMSPARS UASC Local Authority Sub Group Meeting

5th

September 2006 The regional partnership centre

In attendance

Nira Parmar Coventry City Council Sharon Pommils Sandwell MBC Carey
Baff Birmingham City Council Richard Ross Solihull MBC Rowan Barr
Warwickshire County Council Jackie Beasley Wolverhampton City Council
Dave Newall WMSPARS

Apologies

Kath Baylay Stoke-on-Trent City Council Lynda Lawrence Sandwell MBC
Karim Malik Birmingham City Council Peter Murphy Shropshire County
Council

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 21st June and matters arising

o

Transfer pr otocol r e mother and b abies. R R h ad r eceived response
from legal but requested further consideration re Human Rights
implications, awaiting response again.

o

Accommodation r eport is s till in the c ommittee pr ocess. R R to update
once it has been through committee.

o

RR & CB to meet with regional safeguarding lead next week now and will
report back to the group after the meeting.

2. UASC reform update

The last bulletin from the Uasc reform team had come out in June. The
consultation document has been delayed again to comeout at thesame time as
the new green paper on Looked After Children. Probably that this will not
be until mid October. Hopefully it will be out by the next sub group
meeting.

3. ADSS Task group update

RR pr ovided b ackground t o the A DSS asylum t ask gr oup. P reviously
chaired by Peter Gilroy from Kent, it will now have joint leads, Peter Hay
from Bi rmingham will t ake t he lead f or adults s ocial c are, and P
auline Newman from Manchester will lead on children/uasc issues. The new
format is due to begin towards the end of September. Membership of the
group i s u nclear, R R has attended f rom S olihull pr eviously, RR
understood that representation n eeds to be n egotiated with the Chair of
the relevant group.CB h ad written t o P auline N ewman r egarding a place
on the group but had not received a reply.

DN to write to both leads to clarify how membership will be organised.

4. NRUC update Note r egarding N RUC f rom l ast A DSS meeting
h ad b een f orwarded t o members from RR. DN reported no response from
Grace Ashaye to the letter he had written re NRUC issues. Members present
reported issues re quality of data on the system and that there were often
several entries for clients which they were unable to cleanse of system.
Coventry reported finding some UASCs on system that it was unclear who was
responsible for, both NRUC and Solihull had different answers. NP reported
system proved difficult and complicated to use, others pr esent n oted n
eed f or f urther t raining d ue t o s taff c hanges. Still some problems
related to identifying UAScs in their own area placed by other
authorities. Also need for EDT's to have access to system was raised, and
that NRUC does not showanyout of hours contact foruascs place din one LA
area by another authority. RR h ad c ontacted N RUC t eam r e f urther t
raining in our r egion without response. Agreed DN to write on behalf of
group to Michael Gould requesting further training session for the region
and also raising a number of theproblems being reported in region. DN to
followup Grace Ashaye re letter.

5. Age assessment event Event has been organised for 25th
September at CIP. RR asked for some volunteers t o assist i n f
acilitating s ome workshops and to pr ovide some case studies. DN to send
further information on event to RB.

6. Leaving Care costs RR provided an update on meeting called
by Peter Gilroy with 10 largest UASC supporting authorities r e leaving
care costs. C oncerns about t he level of financial difficulty being faced
by some LA's re post 18 uasc support, former UASCs becoming parents,
failure of removal process and the implications t his may hav e on t he U
AD r eform process. O utline options were suggested and a copy of the
letter has been circulated to RR and DN ( DN has subsequently sent this
letter to all members of the group), Peter Gilroy requested some feedback
on proposed options and what specific authorities would prefer to see
taken forward. At a r egional l evel, D N h ad r equested t hat r eps pr
ovide d etails of t he numbers of post 18 cases they are supporting and
the number of those who had f ailed in t heir asylum c laim. A dditionally
authorities w ere requested to provide information about costs and
shortfall from DFES grant (if they received any). DN agreed to continue to
follow up with other LA's whohavenot provided information) RR informed
thegroup that the London Borough of Hillingdon are currently Judicially
Reviewing the DFES as t hey are f acing a £7.5 million b ill f or leaving
c are. R R i nformed those present that Solihull's costs were in the
region of £750,000

(Can those who have not provided info on their numbers and costs get back
to DN by 16th October please) This item will be followed up at our next
meeting.

7. Safeguarding update RR and CB were due to meet wit the
regional safeguarding representative next week, they will provide an
update should the meeting go ahead. Concerns w ere r aised at the m eeting
ab out the nu mbers o f ar rivals o f Afghan males in specific locations
in the region over the past few months. CB was taking this forward with
IND/Sandra Tilley. RR also noted that the number of their uasc arrivals in
the last few months showed a high level of Afghan males. DN agreed to
contact authorities to see if the same pattern is being repeated in other
parts of the region. Could individuals get back to DN with this
information if they have not already provided it.

Date of next meeting Wednesday 8 thNovember 2006 12.00 -1.30 at the
regional partnership centre. The Multi agency group meets from

1.30 - 3.00 a nd we will b e h aving a presentation/discussion f rom Mandy
S mith Policy Officer f or Vulnerable C hildren at G ovt O ffice West
Midlands.

Request 2

From:

To: Summerill, Joanne (Strategic Services - Solihull MBC)

Subject: FOI request

Date: 08 January 2009 14:58:23

Dear Joanne,

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act.
My request is to update

information you kindly provided in May last year covering the period from
July 2007 to March 2008.

- Since April 2008, how many young people under the age of 18 who are
under immigration

controls have been taken into local authority care in Solihull?

- Where are they from?

- How many have since gone missing?

- Where are they from?

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, I'd be grateful if you
could provide the

response within 20 working days.

Best wishes,

news reporter

The Guardian

PLEASE NOTE NEW OFFICE NUMBER

020 33532319 (w)

07946 518256 (m)

The Guardian has moved to:

Kings Place

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London N1 9GU

Guardian News & Media will begin a phased move to new offices during

December. If sending post or a package, please check where the

recipient is located before sending.

Our new address is:

Kings Place

90 York Way

London N1 9GU

Tel: 020-3353 2000

Guardian Professional will remain at 3-7 Ray Street, London EC1R 3DR and

Ad Services will remain at 3-7 Herbal Hill, London EC1R 5EJ.

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