There is currently no provision in the Immigration Rules for children with refugee status in the UK to sponsor family members to join them. Allowing children to sponsor parents would create further incentives for more children to be encouraged, or even forced, to leave their family and risk hazardous journeys to the UK to sponsor relatives. This plays into the hands of criminal gangs who exploit vulnerable people and goes against our safeguarding responsibilities.
The Government believes the best interests of children are met by remaining with their families, claiming asylum in the first safe country they reach and relying on resettlement schemes to travel safely.
To help them care for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, the Government provides local authorities with £41,000 per year for those under 16 and £33,000 per year for 16 and 17 year olds. The Home Office is currently reviewing funding arrangements. This is looking at a whole range of issues relating to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in care, not just funding, so it is right that they take time to look at this complex issue properly.