Will these people get preferential treatment for housing?
No – based on current government information, they would be treated in exactly the same way as anyone else in the county.
Will this affect people already on the housing waiting list?
There will be no change in their status. Any Syrian refugees would be treated in exactly the same way as anyone else in the county.
Why aren't you doing the same to help homeless people in the county?
We have a statutory duty for homelessness. As part of this, we offer housing options advice and support to anyone, including a duty to provide temporary accommodation for those that meet set criteria. We also have a homelessness strategy and work with a range of organisations to prevent homelessness in Shropshire. This won't change.
When council services are being cut how will you meet the extra costs of taking refugees?
As part of the country’s commitment to help refugees we believe Shropshire should do its bit to help in this humanitarian crisis. Costs will vary depending on the specific needs of the individuals and families moving to the county, and the types of services they require in addition to accommodation.
However, there are significant ongoing costs associated with resettlement, and while we welcome the government’s commitment to meet those costs in the first year, we'd urge them to provide clear assurances over funding to meet long-term costs. The Local Government Association is working with the government to ensure that appropriate funding is in place to support councils to resettle refugees as part of the UK’s commitment.
How long will refugees stay here?
Syrian refugees will be granted five years' humanitarian protection under the government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme, after which they can either return home (if safe) or apply to settle here under the usual Home Office rules.
What will the public support entail?
Refugees will have faced incredible hardships and are likely to require support with housing. Others may need education, training and healthcare services. We'll work closely with some of our local organisations to ensure they provide the additional social support refugees need.
If you'd like to provide support and assistance, or volunteer your time to help families to integrate into local communities, please contact our dedicated refugee mailbox at email@example.com
Will Syrian refugees be entitled to benefits?
Under the government scheme, they would have access to the same benefits as any other borough resident. Those resettled under the government scheme will arrive with refugee status allowing them to work and have access to benefits.
What's an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child?
An unaccompanied asylum-seeking child is outside his or her country of origin, under 18 years of age, and has not been accompanied by a close relative when travelling to the UK. Children may be fleeing persecution from any part of the world.
Children who arrive in the UK on their own should be supported by social services. They're normally granted discretionary leave to remain in the UK until their eighteenth birthday, unless the Home Office is able to ensure that the child will be suitably looked after if returned to their home country.
Where do the children and young people come from?
In recent years significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children have come from Afghanistan, Iran and Eritrea.
Do you have a statutory duty to support UASC?
International law and guidance is clear that children can be refugees in their own right and should receive special protection in the process. Local authorities also have a duty to provide additional support for asylum seeking and refugee children who are ‘looked after’ under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
Children who arrive in the UK on their own should be supported by the local authority’s children’s services. Many of the pressures on asylum seekers are magnified for young people who arrive in the United Kingdom alone. Many may come from unstable social situations and have high levels of anxiety or emotional distress as a result of the trauma of leaving their home country and their initial experiences of the host country. Being separated from their main carer, many will receive inadequate support in their new environment. This can compound feelings of isolation. They can face many difficulties accessing mainstream services. They may be more vulnerable to emotional or mental health problems, discrimination and racism.
Can I help by fostering a Syrian child refugee?
The government's relocation programme for Syrian refugees doesn't include unaccompanied children. They would arrive in family groups, so the question of fostering doesn't arise in such cases. However, Shropshire Council has an ongoing need for more foster carers across all groups of children who, for whatever reason, are unable to live with their parents or extended families. This also includes unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.