Proposes number of suggestions for Home Office
8th July 2011: The UK’s one of the largest children’s charity Barnardo’s has put forth the rules the organisation wants the Government to follow to make sure it keeps the charity’s support. The charity has also threatened that the organisation will abandon its services if any family is lodged for more than prescribed time limit.
The children’s charity will offer help and support to families while they are being held in new centres for up to a week before being removed.
The chief executive of Barnardo’s, Anne Marie Carrie maintained the new centres were a "last resort" and "can not be a detention centre by any other means", adding she would not be afraid to speak out over concerns.
She asserted "I am absolutely clear that if policy and practice fall short of safeguarding the welfare, dignity and respect of families, then Barnardo’s will raise concerns, will speak out, and ultimately, if we have to, we will withdraw our services."
The Home Office said children will usually be kept in the centres for up to 72 hours, before their departure but their stays could reach "a week as a maximum".
Carrie said that if any family has been lodged more than once or for more than a week due to a UK Border Agency procedural error, she would speak out. If this happens more than twice, then the charity will discontinue its services.
Barnardo’s further added that they will also pull out if more than 10 percent of families removed from the UK are processed through the centres and if the Tinsley House detention centre is used, if the pre-departure accommodation (PDA) unit is full.
The charity organisation has also called for “immediate review of personnel" if the behaviour of any staff in the PDA, which will include personnel from both the UKBA and private-security firms, raises concerns. The organisation said if the concerns are not addressed, then also Barnardo’s will remove the services.
Carrie also called for a hardship fund to be set up to help failed asylum seekers with immediate costs incurred on return to their countries.
Carrie said she agreed there’s a risk the PDA could become a revolving door for families and that’s why Barnardo’s will speak out, if any family has stayed more than once, or for more than the maximum of a week due to a UKBA procedural error.