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To contact us regarding support please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWWB is a registered charity made up of volunteers that began working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the unofficial Calais refugee camp since March 2016.
This work has continued into the UK, where we continue to advocate for young people, families and adults if there is no other statutory or voluntary sector provision in place. Using the skills and knowledge we have acquired through our social work training we support people to attend meetings/report to the Home Office, liaise with other agencies including social services, access support services, liaise with solicitors etc. We do not offer financial support. We have succesfully challenged age assessments which have allowed young people to access the services they require to help them thrive in the UK.
We have also provided Independent Social Work / Family Assessments for Article 8 Human Rights Appeals which have contributed to successful appeals. These assessments are carried out by registered social workers often accompanied by social work students. All of our volunteers are insured under our Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance.
Our Trustees and Steering Committee members are all social workers or legal professionals with a background in immigration/asylum work and children's and adult social care.
We are all volunteers and we do not charge for our services, if you are a legal firm referring to us for support with a client we sometimes charge for assessments where there is Legal Aid funding available which goes straight back into the charity to subsidise the majority of our pro-bono work.
To contact us regarding support please email our team at SWWBcases@protonmail.com. As a network of volunteers we have limited capacity, if we can't assist you we may be able to help you find a service who can. If you have concerns about a child, young person or adult please contact your local Children or Adult Social Services department or the Police in an emergency.
Duncan Lewis High Court ChalLENGE
In October 2016 the UK and French governments announced a plan to demolish the unofficial refugee camp in Calais - home to thousands of people. SWWB teamed up with Duncan Lewis to process the legal applications for unaccompanied children and young people to enter the UK. We designed a model of 'Needs and Best Interest Assessments' to support these legal applications. For a young person to claim asylum in the UK it must be deemed to be in their best interest. Our volunteers interviewed over 40 young people in the hectic and unplanned run-up to the camps demolition.
ahmed - age assessment and advocacy in the uk
One young person, Ahmed, successfully entered the UK and his solicitor alerted us to his whereabouts. Ahmed presented as 16 in Calais, but on arrival in the UK, the Home Office deemed him to be 18. Ahmed is now living in adult accommodation on S95 support, he is living with one older male. Through our network of volunteers we have linked Ahmed with a key worker who has accompanied him to a local refugee service where he can get meals, English classes and meet other young people. We have also raised a referral to Children's Services requesting a proper age assessment. Ahmed has someone he can speak to and ask for support, we are liaising with his solicitor, with Children's Services and with local agencies to ensure Ahmed is not at risk of further harm and that he can flourish now that he has sought refuge in the UK. In August 2017 the age assessment was succesfully over-turned and Ahmed can now access the support he needs and has a right to as a child.
Current Pro-bono support…
We received a referral from Kids in Need of Defence (KIND) - they requested a Best Interest Assessment on behalf of 2 children under 10 years of age who both have autism. The children, despite one of them having been born in the UK and the other living most of his life here, were facing removal from the UK due to their mother's insecure immigration status - which she had been trying for many years to resolve with the Home Office. Our volunteer, supported by an experienced SWWB Case Co-ordinator, completed a pro bono social work assessment which the family's solicitors say will form a central part of the case.
All of this work is provided completely free by volunteer social workers and it is a model we wish to support other social workers to replicate around the work. If you would like to volunteer please click on the JOIN US section of our website.