Migrant crisis: Home Office forcing councils to care for unaccompanied migrant children, as over 4,000 make crossing in November

Unaccompanied migrant children were previously moved around the UK based on a voluntary scheme to lessen the impact of migrants crossing the English Channel on Kent County Council.

Published Last updated

Councils will be forced to take migrant children into their care systems as Kent gets overwhelmed following a record 4,000 making the dangerous crossing this month.

Unaccompanied migrant children were previously moved around the UK based on a voluntary scheme to lessen the impact of migrants crossing the English Channel on Kent County Council.

Roger Gough, Tory leader of Kent county council which took 247 children this year, had told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme 'it's the right thing to do'.

Mr Gough added: '247 young people came into our care and we transferred 150 into other councils.

'We've had two occasions last year and earlier this year when we have indicated we cannot take young people because we were not able to offer safe and effective care at that time.'

Mr Forbes, Labour leader of Newcastle county council, revealed the local authority has taken around 27 migrant children recently.

He added: 'We originally agreed we would take six. We then took a further ten. We've taken 16 from Kent. In addition we've had seven who arrived as adults but when assessed turned out to be children.

Mr Forbes, Labour leader of Newcastle county council, revealed the local authority has taken around 27 migrant children recently.

He added: 'We originally agreed we would take six. We then took a further ten. We've taken 16 from Kent. In addition we've had seven who arrived as adults but when assessed turned out to be children.

He claimed there are 15 councils which have not taken on any migrant children. 'I fully acknowledge the situation in Kent but it's not fair to hit councils with a very large part. There are good reasons, availability of foster care beds for example. We want to ensure a long term plan.'

The number of migrants crossing the Channel hit a record 4,019 this month, exceeding the previous high of 3,879 in September - with this year's total now a record-breaking 23,761.