1.1 How to Use this Guidance
This guidance sets out the current legal framework and good practice to assist local authorities in meeting their statutory duties and delivering an effective social work response when working with people who have ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF).
Local authorities also have wider responsibilities to support the integration of migrants and asylum seekers and to promote good relations within their communities. They are expected to act to reduce poverty, homelessness and discrimination experienced by anyone living in their local areas. The guidance therefore seeks to provide additional advice on responses that may be needed in circumstances where migrants are at risk of destitution and homelessness.
It highlights specific considerations for working with children and young people, adults with disabilities, and survivors of trafficking or domestic abuse, that may require a targeted response. The guidance will be regularly reviewed, with a view to updating it to incorporate any significant changes in policy and legislation.
This guidance intends to:
- Provide general guidance about the issues a local authority officer or social work practitioner, including those working in Housing, Welfare Rights and Health and Social Care Partnerships, would need to consider when working with migrant individuals and families in Scotland.
- Provide information for frontline professionals working, not only in statutory authorities, but also in the third sector, who need to establish a migrant individual or family’s support options and entitlement to services.
- Supplement any statutory guidance that must be followed by social workers and other professionals, for example, when assessing a child’s needs.
- Provide examples of good practice in responding to the needs of destitute and homeless migrant individuals and families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Social workers and others who are responsible for administering social services’ support may need to refer to several chapters in the guidance in order to establish how to best work with a person or family from the point of referral to finding a pathway to reduce their need for support from the local authority. Please refer to the ‘At a Glance Index’ to find out which chapters are essential reading.
The guidance is not intended to constitute advice in relation to any specific case. Every attempt has been made to present up to date and accurate information, and the guidance will be updated periodically. However, local authority decision makers are advised to check the current legal position and seek advice from their legal team on individual cases.