There is no guardianship regulation for unaccompanied minors (although the UK is currently (March 2015) trialing a system of advocates for child victims of trafficking).

The services for children (‘Children’s Services) are present at each local authority. They must provide support under the Children Act. The Children Service conducts a care assessment for every child under their care. It may decide to place a child in foster care with a family (mostly <16 years) or to place a child into semi-independent living arranged by the Children’s Services.

NGOs generally provide legal assistance for unaccompanied minors, but legal aid may also be available within local authorities.

The Home Office (the Immigration Service) has agreements with a department of social workers in order to conduct individual assessments when needed. This is the case when another EU Member State requests the UK to take charge of an unaccompanied minor with a relative in the UK (art. 8(2) of the Dublin III Regulation).

Advise for guardians
Guardians assisting an unaccompanied minor with a family member or relative in the UK are advised to find out in which municipality this family member/relative resides and contact the competent Children’s Service of the municipality. It is also advised to  contact the Refugee Council as they have expertise in assisting unaccompanied minors.

The Refugee Council
13-14 Katharine Street
Croydon, Surrey CRO 1NX
Email: children@refugeecouncil.org.uk