Devon to host temporary respite facility for refugees

PUBLISHED: 10:56 24 October 2016

Archant

Devon is to host a temporary Home Office respite facility for vulnerable young refugees arriving from Calais.

Emergency accommodation for up to 70 young people leaving the refugee camp in Calais has been secured in Devon ahead of its imminent closure by the French Government.

The UK Government has made clear its intention to transfer children and young people from the camp.

The purpose of the temporary facility in Devon is to provide a safe and welcoming place to accommodate the young people before they are reunited with family members or moved to other parts of the country.

Devon County Council as lead agency for the safety and protection of children in Devon is working with the police, NHS and other local authorities across Devon to support the Home Office.

The council’s cabinet member with responsibility for children, cllr James McInnes, said: “These will be vulnerable young people. They will be frightened and they will be exhausted, and we as an authority have a statutory responsibility to support those that present in Devon.

“We are working with all our partners across the county to support the Home Office as part of this emergency response.

These vulnerable young people’s privacy should be respected, as they are supported to help rebuild their lives.”

It is not known how many young people will require temporary accommodation in Devon, but in discussion with the Home Office, the Devon facility is to provide a safe place for up to 70 vulnerable refugee children and young people.

The accommodation, care provision, security and other arrangements are being commissioned directly via the Home Office.

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