Written evidence from Dr Andrew Jolly and Professor Anna Gupta (CPN0029)

 

Following our conversation this week, we wanted to share a summary of our research on reviews into child deaths and serious abuse of children in families who were subject to the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) rule. Our full research paper is currently under peer review, however, to inform your enquiry, we briefly highlight our main findings below.

 

Using the NSPCC national case review repository[1] we identified 26 reviews where children were in families with NRPF since 2006 (see table below).

 

 

Name

Date

Local Authority

Keyword(s)

Child B

2006

Sandwell

Immigrant

BSCB-2009-10/3

2009

Birmingham

Immigrant

Child J and Child L

2009

Lewisham

Immigrant

BSCB-2009-10/2

2010

Birmingham

Immigrant; Asylum

Rachel (Child R) SCR0310

2011

Gloucestershire

Immigrant

Child G

2011

Southwark

Immigrant

Child CH

2015

Haringey

Immigrant; Asylum

Child R

2015

Southwark

Immigrant

Child S

2016

Greenwich 

Asylum

Diljeet

2016

Bradford

Immigrant

Child H1

2017

Manchester

Asylum

Child GI

2018

Manchester

Asylum

Child G

2018

Wolverhampton

No Recourse to Public Funds; Immigrant

Child M

2018

City & Hackney

No Recourse to Public Funds; Immigrant

Child N & O

2018

City & Hackney

No Recourse to Public Funds

Ellie

2018

Medway

No Recourse to Public funds; Immigrant; Asylum

Child L1

2018

Manchester

Immigrant

Child I

2019

Hertfordshire

Asylum

Child U

2019

Greenwich

immigration; No Recourse to Public Funds

Child K

2019

Lambeth and Bromley

Immigration; No Recourse to Public Funds

Baby T

2020

Redbridge

Asylum; No Recourse to Public Funds

Child A

2020

Greenwich

Immigrant

Helen

2020

Salford

Immigration; Refugee; Migrant; Asylum

Leo

2021

Thurrock

No Recourse to Public Funds; Immigrant

Child P1

2021

Unnamed

No Recourse to Public Funds; Asylum

Child AZ

2021

Northamptonshire

No Recourse to Public Funds

Source: Jolly, A. & Gupta, A. (2022) Children and Families with No Recourse to Public Funds: Learning from Case Reviews

 

Although our research does not draw a direct causal link between the NRPF rule and child deaths, our analysis illustrates the particular vulnerabilities caused by exclusionary policies such as NRPF, which exacerbated the isolation of the children and families involved, making it more difficult for professionals to respond in ways which safeguarded children’s welfare.

 

We analysed the 26 reviews line by line and identified a number of themes, which we categorised by experiences of children and families, and agency responses:

 

Children’s and Families’ experiences

 

Agency responses

 

“Even if every issue identified above had been managed faultlessly, there are no grounds for asserting that events would have unfolded in any significantly different way, far less that the tragic outcome would have been predicted or prevented.”

Similarly, Ellie’s review concluded that most agencies met expected standards, nevertheless: 

“lawful and efficient responses are not always enough to compensate for the very particular vulnerabilities of the extremely marginalised group represented by those who have no recourse to public funds.”

 

Our conclusion is that the circumstances of the lives of children and families subject to the NRPF rule, including poverty, precarious housing and social isolation are extremely harmful for children and challenging for their parents to be able to provide safe and adequate care. The current child protection system focuses on harm caused by parental action or inaction, with an absence of attention to social determinants of harm and how these impact of children’s development and parenting capacity. As a result, it does not adequately safeguard children where harm arises from being subject to the NRPF rule, rather than abuse or neglect from a parent or care giver.

 

 

 

March 2022


[1] https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/case-reviews/national-case-review-repository