Children seeking asylum (unaccompanied minors)

This service provides support and care for children who come into the United Kingdom seeking asylum but who are not accompanied by an adult family member. Children and young people in this category (up to the age of 18 years) are assessed to determine whether or not they require the support of this service. If following assessment, they are thought to be entitled to the service, they are paired up with a social worker and are fully supported as a 'child in care'.

Once the child reaches the age of 18, their 'child in care' status changes to that of ‘care leaver’, which continues until they are 21 years old (or 25 years old if they remain in education).

The child's legal status may also change as it is around this age that the Home Office prepare to make their final decision about the child's legal right to claim ongoing asylum within the United Kingdom.

Who the service is for

The service is for children and young people within the Borough of Swindon that are:

  • seeking asylum
  • under 18 years of age
  • un-accompanied by an adult

Depending on their legal status when they reach 18 years of age, they may then be entitled to receive support from the 'Care Leaver Service'.   

Who can request this service

In the main, the children and young people that need this support will be referred to us by the Police or other childcare support agencies. However, it is vital that any child or young person requiring this service gets the help and support they need. Therefore, we will also take referrals from members of the public or as a self-referral by the child. 

How to access this service

To access this service please contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.

Next steps 

As any unaccompanied minor is recognised as a potential Child Protection concern, our response at the point of initial referral is immediate.

In the cases where there is a dispute regarding the child’s age, services continue to be provided throughout the period that the ‘Age Assessment’ is being completed. We aim to complete this within 35 days from the date from which the age was disputed.

The 'Child in Care' and 'Care Leaver' services continue until the Home Office make a final decision about the child or young person's right to remain into adulthood.


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