Welfare support

Support for detained families

The Children’s Society’s Bedford office (close to Yarl’s Wood) provides support, advice and information to detained families on welfare issues including:

  • accessing legal support
  • engaging with social services on safeguarding and welfare issues
  • health
  • education
  • maintaining links with support networks.

This work is done while advocating for the speedy end to a family’s detention.

Support for split families

The Children’s Society supports parents in detention, who are separated from their children. Their children remain in the community, either in the care of other family members or children’s services. Many of these parents have been held indefinitely in detention for periods of six months to two years. During this time they have often had minimal contact with their children. We bring the impact of the continued detention of the parent on the welfare and wellbeing of the children in the community to the attention of the authorities.

Post-detention support

The Bedford team provides a post-detention service for released families. This includes advice on accessing the following services and support:

  • accommodation and subsistence
  • health and counselling
  • legal representation
  • social services
  • education
  • services to help address destitution arising from having been detained.

The Children’s Society documents failures in welfare provision in detention and collects evidence of the impact of detention on families.

We aim to highlight the incompatibility of an agenda to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within a system which detains children for the purposes of immigration control.