This book adopts a widely used definition of migrants as ‘those who enter the UK intending to stay for more than one year, “new” or “recent” migrants are those who have been in the UK for five years or less’ (Petch et al., 2015, p. 2). Generally the more recently individuals and families come to live or settle in the UK the fewer rights and entitlements they have compared to British citizens. This is also affected by whether the person is from an EU country or a non-EU country; whether they first came to live in Britain before or after Brexit; or is an asylum seeker; refugee; failed asylum seeker, or other undocumented migrant. The multitude of different immigration statuses, in conjunction with correlative rights and entitlements attaching to them, adds a further layer of complexity to working with recent migrants. As most immigrant statuses attract less rights to benefits and services than for British nationals, practitioners will often be working with families with limited entitlements to health, housing, education, employment and financial provision. Although children are normally entitled to free education, they are not entitled to free school meals. Deprivation caused by immigration rules together with the isolation of family units can contribute to very difficult circumstances for families, which in turn can contribute to child maltreatment. This chapter explores approaches to effective cross-cultural social work and examines the challenges for migrant families and for the practitioners who assist them.
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