To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he is developing to support local authorities to aid the transition to life in the UK for Afghan refugees.
5 January 2022
Councils who support people through the Afghanistan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme will receive £20,520 per person, over three years, for integration support provision and other local costs, in addition to £4,500 for education per child, £850 for English Language courses per adult, and £2,600 for health provision per person. This funding will support councils to devise their own welcome programmes for new arrivals and the provision of services tailored to this group, which they are experts at and have long experience of - including via the Syrian programme plus welcoming many other migrant groups to live, work and settle in their areas.
We have also piloted a welcome week of learning sessions for residents encompassing life in Modern Britain, our values and laws, and sources of support. We are evaluating feedback from Afghans.
DLUHC has directly supported Afghan arrivals through setting up welcome weeks at bridging hotels and a Welcome Pack. They aim to improve understanding of life in the UK, including on education, employment, health, language, law, safeguarding and cultural norms. Additionally, DLUHC has a team of Local Engagement leads dedicated to working with councils to help find homes and settle Afghan arrivals.
Other departments are providing support including liaison officers in hotels to answer questions; utilising Strategic Migration Partners who are experienced in helping arrivals settle into the UK; and supporting Afghan families onto Universal Credit or into work, finding GPs and schools and of course finding homes