In recent years local authorities have been widely criticized for failing to provide support for separated children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs), particularly with regard to accommodation and services when they reach 18. In this chapter the issues raised for social workers by the arrival into the UK of separated and unaccompanied children are discussed. The legal status and entitlements of children and young people coming to the UK are often politically charged because of the issues related to their illegal entry. Critiques of government policies towards separated and unaccompanied children coming to the UK suggest that, when it comes to balancing children’s welfare and suspected illegal entry to the UK: ‘the UK government has been overwhelmingly focused on the immigration control aspect’ (Kvittingen, 2010:15).
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