Care of unaccompanied migrant children and child victims of modern slavery – consultation response

We responded to the Department for Education in 2017 with recommendations that child health professionals be included in the assessment process to determine whether a child is the victim of modern slavery and human trafficking. Government must allocate more financial resource in order for Local Authorities to implement the commitments and plans included in the guidance.

Our response

  • The impetus in the document is put on local authorities to protect this highly vulnerable group of children, but the Government also has a duty and obligation to protect these children and this should be included in the document.
  • There are no details about the additional resources required to implement the guidance. Without specifying exactly what the resources will be, there is a risk that the guidance will be implemented inconsistently, resulting in this vulnerable cohort of children receiving different levels of service depending on where they live in the UK.
  • Any specialist support provided by voluntary organisations must be subject to the same quality assurance as applied to statutory organisations.

Our recommendations

  • Healthcare professionals must be involved in crucial decision making made by ‘competent authorities’ when determining whether a child is the victim of modern slavery. The ‘competent authority’ needs to be defined and these personnel must have the necessary skills and competencies to carry out such assessments on this very vulnerable group of children and young people.
  • We strongly recommend that mental health training is provided to professionals in the ‘competent authority’ so that they are fully equipped to deal wit the mental health issues which this group of vulnerable children and young people might experience and display.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Health Policy team: