A referral would need to be made to Children’s Social Care in the council area where the child is when support is required, which is usually where the family are living. The Council’s website should contain general information about how to make a referral.
Information about the family’s immigration status and fact that they have, or are believed to have, no recourse to public funds should be outlined in the referral to ensure that this information is flagged up to social services at the outset.
Some councils have established a specialist ‘No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) team’, which may sit within Children’s Social Care, or in another department, such as Housing. Even where there is a specialist team, the referral route will still be through Children’s Social Care. Any specific referral arrangement for families with no recourse to public funds may also be available on the Council’s website.
If a family lives in a two-tier area, where there is a County Council and District Council, the referral should be made to the County Council, as this is the social services authority.
If a family with no recourse to public funds approaches their local housing authority then they are most likely to be refused assistance because they will be ineligible under the Housing Act 1996. In such instances, an appropriate service would need to be identified in order to signpost or refer the family to for support, for example, the Home Office or social services.