Eastern European migrants are forcing local authorities to spend millions of pounds on providing care for their children in the face of calls for them to be repatriated to their parents’ home countries.
The numbers have doubled in the past five years alone, according to figures published by the Sunday Telegraph, suggesting that up to 8,000 migrant children of Eastern European origins have entered care proceedings in Britain in the last decade alone.
Some of those delivered to authorities are the result of compulsory care orders while others come from parents who put unwanted offspring put into the British care system because it is seen as offering better “life chances” than those at home, raising concerns of “adoption tourism”.
John Hemming, a former Liberal Democrat MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law, said the British care system was unwittingly acting as a “Pied Piper” for Eastern European children, despite the heavy cost to the public purse.
“The costs here are enormous and it is helping to break the care system,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “So if the Eastern European governments are calling out for the children to be sent back, why isn’t that happening? Apart from anything, it usually much more culturally appropriate for these children to be looked after in their parents’ home countries.”
No exact figures exist for the number of children from the new European states being put into the UK care system, because the government keeps records by ethnicity rather than nationality, but the evidence on the ground is starkly conclusive.
In August, Breitbart London reported on the difficulties Kent County Council was facing in finding foster homes for 639 ‘unaccompanied asylum seeking children’ (UASC) placed in its care. The council was also forced to ask central government for financial help after caring for the children blew a £5.5 million hole in its budget.
Since then the number of children in the Council’s care has risen to 924 unaccompanied children under the age of 18, the Times has reported.
The 2015 figures show that 2,500 children in the ‘White Other’ category are currently in the UK care system, either via children’s homes, foster care or adoption. That compares with around 1,500 in 2006. The numbers of Gypsy Roma children also increased from 90 in 2011 to 250 in 2015.
The total number of ‘White Other’ children who have passed in and out of the care system nationally over the last 10 years was more than 8,000.
Foster care alone typically costs around £40,000 per year, while the total costs in terms of legal bills and local authority support for new foster care cases is around £250,000 for the first two years.
A Lithuanian government spokesman told the Telegraph: “We were aware of 100 children born into the families of Lithuanian nationals who had been going through the care/adoption proceedings in the UK in 2015. To our knowledge, none of the parents expressed their preference for their children to be put into the UK care system. On the contrary, the majority wanted their children to be returned to Lithuania.”
The news comes as David Cameron is considering letting 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children into the UK after pressure from charities, according to a report.
Led by Save the Children, aid groups have been calling on the government to give a home to some of the children who have arrived in Europe from war zones across the world.