Homes for Ukraine
Update - 1 April 2022
Shropshire Council and partners have quickly mobilised to respond to the government's Ukraine resettlement programme.
We're working closely with Shropshire Supports Refugees, health teams and other key partners and are now working with host families who have offered accommodation to those entering Shropshire.
Current figures on the government's Foundry system (the official system that hosts the matches of guests with host families) shows that 147 have been matched in Shropshire so far. In addition, we're aware that there are many hosts who have accepted refugees outside the scheme, and are asking those who have to contact us so that we can make the necessary checks and provide advice and support.
Teams are now working with those host families who have matched with Ukrainian guests to support with:
- Ensuring host families have a DBS check
- Property checks
- Finance and welfare support
- Access to health services and education
- Access to transport, community services and support
Councillor Simon Jones, cabinet member for adult social care and public health:
“As a local authority we've been delegated responsibility for the vast majority of the Ukraine Refugee Resettlement scheme.
“Although we are experienced in the resettlement of refugees, the number of people we are looking at coming into Shropshire is much larger than anything we have done previously. But we are ready to help as many refugees as we possibly can.
“We have set up a working group where the key agencies and departments have met to discuss the scheme as a whole and determine who are responsible for the key tasks.
“The council, along with Shropshire Supports Refugees, are looking at how we can bring the Ukrainian families together to support each other, and we have seen conversations going on amongst hosts who live close together trying to link with families who are friends so they can remain close. As part of our working group, we have set up a separate ‘communities’ group who are looking at how we develop hubs and support throughout the county both for the Ukrainian households but also their host families.
“This is a humanitarian crisis on a scale that many of us have not seen before in our lives. Our job, along with our partners in national and local government, the NHS, and the voluntary sector, is to ensure those who arrive in Shropshire have all the support they need, both as soon as they arrive and for as long as they are in this county. We will work together to make sure this is the case.”
We're aware that 90% of Ukrainians coming into the UK are elderly or females with children.
Safeguarding issues are a significant concern, and something our children’s and adults' teams are taking seriously. We must ensure that everyone coming to Shropshire is safe. Although there are large numbers of people who want to help, there are people who will sadly take advantage of this situation
Councillor Jones continued:
“We are focused on safeguarding both the Ukrainian families coming to the UK but also our host families.
“We are aware the checks needed are in place to ensure we have somewhere safe and suitable for people to stay. We also know that many of the families coming over will be traumatised by the horrors they have witnessed, and we need to be sure we have the correct support available both for the Ukrainian families but also the host families agreeing to have people live in their homes.
“It is our responsibility as a local authority to ensure we safeguard anyone coming to settle in Shropshire, and as difficult as it is to accept we have to be mindful that there are people and groups who would take advantage of Ukrainian people desperate to have somewhere to stay. We therefore need to ensure relevant checks are done correctly and appropriately.”