Removal of Care

180 miles commute to the respite centre

A group of 67 families sought help from their local Law Centre when faced with the closure of their local residential respite unit. The local authority’s suggested alternatives were over 180 miles from their homes and as many of these families live in difficult circumstances, often with a single parent, this was not feasible.

The Law Centre prevented the closure of the centre pending a judicial review into how the decision was reached. The case currently continues, with the families seeking proper consultation of the impact of the closure on their children and their own lives and what alternatives could be sought.

Missing application leads to loss of benefits

AF arrived in the UK a few years ago after fleeing persecution in his home country. He claimed asylum and was granted a limited amount of leave to remain in the UK. Before his leave ran out he applied for further leave to remain. However, there was a mix up at the Home Office and they claimed they had not received his application. When he had been awarded leave to remain in the UK he had been granted permission to work. He was also allowed to claim benefits to help him pay for food and rent.

After his leave ran out his benefits stopped. This meant that he could not afford to pay his rent and he was evicted from his home for rent arrears. He was forced to live on the streets. He also became ill very quickly and eventually ended up in hospital around a year later. He was diagnosed with a long-term illness and he was also suffering from severe depression because of the situation. After a few weeks, the hospital discharged him and referred him to social services.

Social services refused to help, and so AF went to a charity and they referred him to solicitors for help with his housing situation. The solicitors wrote to social services threatening court action unless they conducted an assessment and housed AF until the assessment could be completed. Because of this social services decided that AF was so ill that they would house him and provide him with financial support. In time AF’s health gradually improved and he was able to move out of social services accommodation into housing provided by the Home Office.


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