Former Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP is to lead a cross-party inquiry into whether the current asylum support system provided by the Home Office for those seeking protection in the UK meets the needs of children and families. So says a press release issued by The Children’s Society on Tuesday.
The inquiry is calling for people to submit evidence and is looking to “build a clearer picture of whether the support is adequate to protect these children and young people’s welfare, in line with the government’s obligations”.
“I am concerned that currently many thousands of children and young people grow up in the asylum system and we know that severe poverty can have a detrimental effect on health, education and development. The panel will look at the asylum support system through the eyes of children and hear about their experiences.”
I hadn’t seen anyone else pick up on this and I thought it was worthy of note.
Looking back over the recent posts on this blog I’ve realised I hadn’t written about my disappointment with the recent government reshuffle. It seems a bit late to go into details now – let’s just say I was deeply unimpressed. One of the aspects I was least happy with was Sarah’s removal from the Department for Education, seemingly to make way for the return of David Laws. My impression was that she had been a highly effective, if low-profile, minister and had won respect from the sector. Something that seems to be confirmed by this news.
I am pleased by this. Ministerial office is only one path to influence and there are ways to get things done from the backbenches. This looks like a good fit for Sarah and I know that she isn’t likely to pull her punches if the inquiry decides it needs to criticise the Government.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.