To agree to:
Reason(s) for decision:
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with approximately 4 million Ukrainian refugees leaving Ukraine to neighbouring countries to flee the conflict. The UK Government has positively responded with the development of two key pathways to enable Ukrainian refugees to the enter the UK. The two key schemes which are operating are the ‘Extended Family Scheme’, where family members can come to the UK where they have existing family in the UK, and the ‘Homes for Ukraine Scheme’ which is where Ukrainian Refugees are sponsored to come to the UK by a host family or individual. Initially, individual members of the public can sponsor a guest(s) from Ukraine who meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. In later phases, organisations and community groups will be able to sponsor multiple guests.
As part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, the government requires local government to undertake a number of checks and provide support to both the sponsor and Ukrainian guests. In two tier areas responsibilities fall to both County and District councils and Kent County Council (KCC) is working closely with its partners to ensure a coordinated response is provided. In addition, a number of KCC services in particular Children’s and Adult Social Care, have a statutory obligation to provide necessary support. The government is funding £10,500 per guest and an ongoing monthly “thank you” payment of £350 to sponsors to support the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. Additional funding is also being made available in respect education services and may also be made available to cover exceptional costs, which are outside of the funding allowance but are necessary to deliver the scheme and support both the Sponsors and Ukrainians coming into the UK under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.
Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the government has confirmed it will provide funding at a rate of £10,500 per guest to Councils to enable them to provide support to refugee families, to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities. The £10,500 funding for supporting Ukrainian nationals is for the first year at this stage with future years to be reviewed. The £10,500 includes the initial £200 payment per guest which is payable to those accessing the scheme. This funding will be un-ringfenced, but with a number of conditions attached.
Councils are being asked to administer ‘Thank You’ payments of £350 per sponsoring household per month. Additional funding will be allocated for these payments, but councils will be expected to absorb administration costs.
The government is also providing additional funding to councils to provide education services for children from families arriving from Ukraine under this scheme. The Department for Education (DfE) will allocate funding on a per pupil basis for the three phases of education at the following annual rates:
· Early years (ages 2 to 4) - £3,000
· Primary (ages 5 -11) - £6,580
· Secondary (ages 11-18) - £8,755
These tariffs include support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Collaboration with key partners such as District and Borough Councils will ensure funding is allocated equitably across organisations as required and will support emerging approaches which enable the Council to respond as the Scheme develops, and the partner best placed to support the different elements of the scheme is able to put the appropriate measures in place. This may be at a District/ Borough level or at a county level should Countywide infrastructure or services be required and considered most efficient and effective. The proportion of guests and sponsors is not known at this stage and the detail of scheme and related government guidance is still emerging. There is a risk that the initial grant funding will prove to be inadequate, should this be the case, KCC will seek to recover all additional costs from Central Government.
The Council owes a number of existing legal duties to arriving adults and children irrespective of their country of origin or where they may eventually reside within the County. These duties exist pursuant to a number of pieces of legislation that apply to Children and Adults. Legal advice will be sought as the Funding Framework is developed further and implemented.
It is important to note that the possibility of increasing pressure on existing service delivery. This in turn may present challenges for KCC in its ability to discharge its legal duties to existing and new service users. This will be kept under review through the mechanisms set out in this report.
The intention is to use existing contracting and commissioning processes where possible or there may be a need to put new contractual arrangements in place. Due to the urgency and fast-moving nature of the delivery of the scheme it may be necessary to make use of appropriate procurement and contractual mechanisms that enable emergency contracting.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Notice of proposed decision first published: 05/04/2022
This decision will be taken under urgency procedures.
Reason for urgency:
Case of special urgency - full statutory urgency procedure. Details on Record of Decision.
Decision due: 5 Apr 2022 by Leader of the Council
Lead director: Zena Cooke
Contact: Rebecca Spore, Director of Infrastructure Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01622 221151.
No Cabinet Committee consultation possible due to urgency process.
Financial implications: Please see above.
Legal implications: Please see above.
Equalities implications: Please see the Equality Impact Assessment.