Participation partnerships and networks

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Last updated: July 1, 2019

Professional Research Report

Q: Can Collaborative Practices be developed to heighten the services for Looked after Children with specific mention to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children [ UASC ] .

A Debatable Area Of Collaborative Practice

In the wake of child decease enquiries such as the Laming Report ( 2003 ) Social Work professionals are excessively cognizant of the ineffective communicating and deficiency of information sharing between bureaus. Subsequently there is a continued push towards collaborative working as a important component of best pattern ( DfES 2003, DfES 2005 ) , with stairss such as creative activity of Local Safeguarding Boards designed to help this procedure ( Children Act 2004, Part 2 ) .“Collaborative pattern is non a new construct ( Bamford 1990 p22 ) , a Director of Social Services, wrote that moves to develop a multi-disciplinary attack to bringing of services were based on the acknowledgment that no individual profession has a monopoly of accomplishments, cognition and expertness in covering with the physical, societal and psychological jobs but that it was apparent that good will entirely would non bring forth collaboration…Bamford indentified four chief subjects, which he called structural hindrances, which could plague collaborative working:Policy differencesPlaning and Budget differencesProfessional differencesCultural differencesIn the current context, collaborative pattern has been widely promoted as a solution for turn toing defects and failures in public services. The possible hindrances identifies by Bamford would non look out of topographic point today and go on to be identified in surveies of collaborative practice” . ( Quinney 2006 p22 ) .

A Background To Collaborative Working In The Area Of UASC

The job of unaccompanied refuge seeking kids is non new. Furthermore, the inquiry: ‘how and what sort of services are we traveling to supply? ‘ remains to be answered.Before we can get down to reply this inquiry, we need to cognize the graduated table of the job, yet this is non straightforward. Indeed, the Numberss of unaccompanied refuge seeking kids in Britain today remains ill-defined and this is non helped by the fact that the statistics are buried in the Home Office web site.Although the method of numbering these kids was changed in the class of 2002 – doing the Numberss, since so, more accurate – they are still non every bit dependable as one would wish for careful and considered service planning.The major troubles confronting research workers, policy shapers and practicians working in this country is the deficiency of dependable statistics environing Numberss migrating to the UK, and more specifically, the figure of unaccompanied kids necessitating services.Local governments picked up 957 kids in the eight months between April 2008 and the End of December 2008.

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They were smuggled through Britain ‘s ports and airdromes in the dorsum of lorries or on false documents. It is estimated that 1.2 million kids worldwide are trafficked each twelvemonth, in a trade worth ?16bn yearly.

The surveies show that 60 % of suspected trafficked kids taken into attention go losing and are non found, enticed back to their sellers through fright and menace.Due to author ‘s experience of confronting assorted barriers when working with UASC and subsequent involvement in this country, this will be the focal point of the study.

Explicating A Research Question

The general background to this country is that practicians frequently have few resources to inform their decision-making. Whilst making any appraisal they frequently have to trust on what the kid tells them. There are besides troubles associated with linguistic communication barriers and appropriate translators. For illustration. Police beginnings believe that these kids are encouraged by their sellers to describe themselves as Asylum Seekers ; they are so placed in Local Authority attention places or with Foster Care arrangements. Sellers are said to utilize the Local Authority services such as attention places or surrogate arrangements as ‘holding pens ‘ for their victims until they are ready to pick them up.

Therefore If we are to turn to the issues decently so we need to cognize much more about how these different factors interplay to inform appraisals and the services that flow from them.“Collaborative working” is frequently used to mention to “the procedure of working together with other professions” ( Quinney 2006: 10 ; Balloch and Taylor 2001 ) with Whittington ( 2003 ) specifying it as “partnership in action” ( Whittington 2003:16 ) .This study will seek to reply the undermentioned inquiry:Q: Can Collaborative Practices be developed to heighten the services for Looked after Children with specific mention to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children [ UASC ] .This country is chosen due to the writer ‘s experience of working in a front line squad where such illustrations of working collaboratively with professionals when covering with UASC are prevailing, and schemes for improved coaction are ever needed.This study will reexamine the literature sing UASC and multi bureau work between different professionals. Due to the extended organic structure of literature on this subject and the subsequent demand to contract the subject of this survey, the writer has focused on merely cardinal bureaus. The study will research assorted jobs faced by these UASC, how different bureaus are involved particularly concentrating on Foster carers, School and constabulary. This will assist author to place countries of Social Work pattern that are presently non advancing collaborative working and therefore enable the writer to place schemes that will help in the procedure.

Reappraisal Of Literature

Britain is a signer to the 1951 Geneva Convention. The Government is committed to bettering precautions for kids and has embarked on one of the most wide-ranging reforms of kids ‘s services in decennaries. It has introduced new statute law, counsel, constructions and policy enterprises to do kids safer. Local safeguarding kids boards have been established in all English LAs. Government policies such as the Workforce Strategy, kids ‘s trusts and the Integrated Children ‘s System and Common Assessment Framework are at the bosom of these reforms.“Under subdivision 17 of the Children Act 1989, the local authorization has a general responsibility to safeguard and advance the public assistance of the kids in their country.

Where a kid or immature individual nowadayss to local authorization as holding no parent or defender in this state for illustration UASC, so in carry throughing its responsibilities to measure and react to their demands, the local authorization may reason that it should suit the kid or immature individual utilizing its powers under subdivision 20 of the Children Act 1989. Under these fortunes, the local authorization will hold responsibilities towards the kid or immature individual as a looked after kids, a UASC must hold a attention program ( which becomes a tract program when they are aged 16+ and are entitled to care go forthing support ) based on a thorough needs appraisal sketching how the local authorization proposes to run into their needs.” ( Cited in Safeguarding kids who may hold been Trafficked ( 2008 ) published by Department for Children, Schools and Families pp 39 ) .Procuring the well-being of kids by protecting them from all signifiers of injury andguaranting their developmental demands are responded to suitably are primary purposesof Government policy. A model has been developed which provides a systematic manner of analyzing, understanding and entering what is go oning to kids and immature people within their households and the wider context of the community in which they live. From such an apprehension of what are necessarily complex issues and inter-relationships, clear professional opinions can be made.

These opinions include whether the kid being assessed is in demand, whether the kid is enduring or likely to endure important injury, what actions must be taken and which services would outdo run into the demands of this peculiar kid and household. It reflects the rules contained within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, is peculiarly informed by the demands of the Children Act 1989, which provides a comprehensive model for the attention and protection of kids.The kids in the refuge system need to be treated as kids foremost and first. Support for the UASC needs to be driven by the demands of the kid and kid public assistance considerations, instead than in-migration position, and to be in line with good kid attention rules and patterns. The authorities has made really clear welcoming committednesss to kids declaring that Every Child Matters and has announced their purpose to stop the Child Poverty. However, the surveies show that the UASC are non even counted in the official poorness statistics.

We know that the authorities is sincere in its committedness to the public assistance of kids and has, for illustration, tried to happen options to detainment for kids and households. However now its clip to do pressing alterations to set things right with respects to the UASC.In order to do the determination more clear the writer has used sub-headings of common phases of societal work engagement with UASC where high degree of coaction is needed whilst covering with UASC. They are as follows:

Initial Contact

The findings suggest that when trafficked kids try to get away from imprisonment in Britain and their calls for aid are ignored or negligently handled by UK bureaus.

The study, by the Children ‘s Society charity, found that those who managed to get away their capturers were frequently returned to domestic imprisonment, where they were forced to work every bit cocottes in whorehouses or as slaves in British places. Childs who were allowed to go forth their defender ‘s place were normally excessively scared to unwrap what was go oning to them.UASC ‘s first contact with CS comes when they are informed by constabularies about a kid who is unaccompanied. Police informs in-migration about this reaching and informs CS. The first concern arises when CS is held responsible to do appraisal with respects to that kid ‘s age to determine whether CS will be responsible for their public assistance. If with the aid of age assessment societal workers assess that the individual is under 18 so we start supplying him or her refuge.

Age Assessment

The age appraisal is done with Merton ailment format which gives a basic thought to explicate the questionnaire and assess kid ‘s age harmonizing to the kid ‘s responses to different inquiries and his/her visual aspect.

The procedure itself does non look directly frontward. Often societal workers are criticised for their opinions nevertheless less attempt are taken to supply preparation in this regard to do societal workers more confident and equipped to make such of import appraisals. This impact on the appraisal which may so propose that the individual is non under 18 and so CS will non be responsible for the farther aid.


Looking at the scope of arrangements for unaccompanied refuge seeking kids includes: Foster attention, acceptance, sheltered lodging, B & A ; Bs etc. There is an overall deficit of arrangements and cultural matching has frequently non been possible, but so, non all immature people appear to desire this for themselves. There has been extended usage of out-of-authority arrangements, yet there are a figure of surveies that suggest such arrangements lead to a decrease in societal attention support.

For refuge seeking kids, this decrease in support additions their sense of isolation. Therefore following the age appraisal if societal workers assessed them as aged over 16 but less than 18yrs so the large hurdle frequently faced is puting the kid in the surrogate arrangement.Whilst this is resolved, the kid is asked to travel back to the cell. I feel this whole procedure becomes less child friendly as the kid is kept less informed for many ground and the first being linguistic communication barrier and deficiency of clip to explicate the processs.

I have faced troubles more to put the kid when he is assessed to be between the ages of 16 to 18 year age. There are merely few Foster carers cater to this age group and so if they are non able to take the kid so we continue to acquire a topographic point in kids ‘s place nevertheless frequently they are already full and so we are forced to put the kid in impermanent B & A ; B adjustment. This is farther grounds that how the services are forced to be less kid focused.“ There are a batch of kids who remain missing and ne’er turn up. The system allows the hazard that if a kid goes losing and is still losing after several months, the opportunities of some kind of long-run attempt made to happen them are slender ; the resources are merely non at that place. I think some kids that have gone missing are dead. A batch of them are populating on the streets and being exploited by others.


The surveies show that the first mark of the possible control of sellers on the kid could be kids losing from attention. The surveies shows that “ Looked-after kids are often targeted by people who have evil purposes towards them – people selling drugs will often aim kids they know are being looked after, peculiarly 1s from residential attention.A study of 202 local governments across the UK, conducted by the Care Leavers ‘ Association ( CLA ) , revealed that, over the last twelvemonth, at least 145 kids and immature people have gone losing from attention, with the local governments holding no cognition of their whereabouts.The study, undertaken utilizing the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that:

  • At least 40 local governments have had kids and immature people go losing without a hint.
  • A farther six local governments could non react to the study because they keep no cardinal record of all kids who have gone losing from their attention despite a authorities accent on entering this figure.
  • Ninety per cent of those losing are unaccompanied asylum seeking kids ( UASC ) , which raises concerns that many may hold become victims of trafficking.
  • More than one in 10 of those who are losing are kids

The major drawback of the procedure is placing the kid might hold been trafficked.

There is a deficiency of understanding in this country by professionals. Once the kid is under Local Authority it is considered that the kid is safe nevertheless less consideration is given to the preventative big leagues to do certain that kid is non at important injury.I would wish to oppugn why CS does non see these kids as kids in demand of protection why they are considered as kids in demand. This may take a farther hold to protect the kid if at all he or she is still under control of a seller. The constabulary who inform us of such reaching of kid does look in the image after the first contact with CS. In my sentiment this is spread in concerted work. When rsearches have shown that most of these kids are or could be trafficked why professionals does non come together to safeguard these kids.

As mentioned earlier there are 77 kids had gone losing from a individual kids ‘s place near Heathrow since March 2006. the statistics is oculus opener for professionals to take pressing stairss to develop schemes to work hand in glove and follow with the authorities committedness towards the safety of these kids.The statutory model for the basic protection of kids one time in England and Wales is provided for through the Children Act 1989 and the Children act 204. The kids act 1989 topographic points responsibility on Local Authority to forestall kids in their country from any sick intervention and disregard. Once a kid has entered the state he or she becomes capable to national Torahs. The Children Act 1989 and the associated guidelines and ordinances are influential. The Children Act is clear that local governments have a responsibility to supply adjustment for any kid in demand within their country who appears to necessitate adjustment as a consequence of:There being no individual who has parental duty for him or herThe kid holding been lost or holding been abandonedThe individual who has been caring for him/her being prevented from supplying suited adjustment or attention.Further more it is local authorization ‘s duty if it is assessed that a condemnable offense may hold been committed against a kid so constabulary should be informed, a scheme treatment should be held.

Whilst covering with UASC why we do non see a Hazard appraisal at the initial phase. It is a drawback that the comprehensive appraisal of these kids ‘s demands has non taken into history the “ensuring safety” constituent in Parental capacity, as this is a chief ground why these kids are confronting such traumatic experiences.


Schools and local governments have an of import function in guaranting kids looked after are supported within the educational environment, and are antiphonal to the societal “GRRAACCESS” ( Gender, race, faith, ability, category, civilization, instruction, gender, spiritually ) as outlined by John Burnham, ( 1986 ) .Often it is found that the kid ‘s admittance in the school is wholly dependent on his age appraisal and non the degree of his apprehension. Often it is seen that schools are less equipt to back up these kids for illustration, deficiency of apprehension of the kid ‘s background, his existent age, degree of understanding and linguistic communication barriers makes it more difficult to run into the kid ‘s demands.

Lack of preparation in the affairs of Torahs and policies sing kids who go losing. These becomes hurdle in reacting to possible important injury to child by their sellers.

Multi-Agency Working

In researching the above inquiry, the writer has noted negatively towards the constabulary because of the on-going demand for preventative work towards the job. However, writer besides recognises that whilst multi-agency working can supply a joined up service and prevent duplicate, Leiba and Weinstein ( 2003 ) underscore the danger in working so closely with other bureaus that the service user feels further alienated- raising a challenge to those recommending for multi-agency working as an terminal itself. Therefore, it is of import for frontline societal work practicians to recognize the strengths of such resources, using them as appropriate in position of the holistic demands of UASC.

Recommandations To Address Problematic Area

Pulling together the research findings it seems that working in coaction with UASC and their Foster carers is frequently obstructed by the deficiency of apprehension of jobs faced by these kids.

Hundreds of kids trafficked to Britain each twelvemonth. Britain is one of the safe state and parents are persuaded to direct their kids for better life. Sellers target those households who are fighting, who are victims of some jobs in their native states. Parents give tonss of money to the sellers to do their kid ‘s life better. Young kids so become capable to all kinds of maltreatment. The first success these Sellers get is over in-migration. The kids are trafficked on forge paperss. Historically they used larger ports or entries nevertheless due to recent consciousness and statute law sellers now use other ways to entre state such as regional ports and EURO star rail and ferries.

Equally shortly as they arrive in the state, the Traffickers occupation becomes much more easy! The sellers know how to maintain in touch with the kids and how to command them even though they are under ‘Authority. ‘It is hence necessary when sing what schemes need to be developed to turn to these defects and to construct on pieces of pattern that supports Fosters carers and societal workers to guarantee the kids are protected. The survey besides raises defects in trainng to both carers and societal workers with respects to current statute law and policies to be practiced. Lack of understanding of such of import information may ensue in uneffective responces to place the hazard factors and respond expeditiously towards it.Hence some of the suggestions based on the research findings of what needs to be considered regarding policy and pattern to better coaction are:information and preparation to be provided throughout intercession to recognize varies barriers in reacting to the demands of UASC. This should include civilization, religion and faith, the countires of origon and legal model with other of import subjects to be covered such as Trauma, loss and separation, dietetic demands, contact with household or fond regards issues and instruction options or inputs sing linguistic communication issues.

patterns to be developed to heighten fater carers ability to take prompt action and acquire the resources every bit rapidly as possible such as speedy links with constabulary in instance of misper.regular multi bureau meeting to guarantee there is consciousness of demands and actions to be taken or even to supply platfort for involved to voice their troubles to set schemes in topographic point to repair the job.the attempts should besides be made to promote people from cultural minority households to go surrogate carers with whom kids can associate to more faster. I am covering with a immature refuge searcher who wishes to be with a Muslim household nevertheless due to miss of such carers even though his positions are taken into consideration it has become really ambitious to happen him appropriate household.

This can profit the public assistance of the kid and the Foster carer, and improves the chances for a successful arrangement. Puting kids with surrogate carers from a loosely similar background allows kids to turn up with a sense of personal, cultural and spiritual individuality and helps them to develop self-esteempolicies sing the age appraisal and arrangements to be reviewed to do them more child focussed and child friendly.

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