HC Deb 27 February 2001 vol 363 c623W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if unaccompanied asylum seeking children are supported in the same way as children ordinarily resident in the UK under the Children Act 1989. [151379]

Mr. Hutton

Local authorities have the same duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of unaccompanied asylum seeking children as they do for the indigenous population of children in need. All local authorities have a duty under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to provide services for all children in need in Chair area, including accommodation and support. There are currently approximately 6,000 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the United Kingdom, the riajority of whom are aged 16 and 17. They are generally provided with support under Section 17 of the Children Act, with those aged under 16 being formally looked after under Section 20 of the Act.

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