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Training for Local Authority staff on childrens’ citizenship

Free training for local authority practice managers, trainers, IROs, and others who train, mentor, or review children’s social work, provided by Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND UK).

We will use the details you submit here to contact you about this training session and potentially to follow up with you after the session. We won’t share your details with other organisations or individuals without your permission. 

Approximately 1 in 10 children in care in the UK is not a British citizen. Many of them would benefit from legal advice about their immigration status and/or eligibility for British citizenship.

1 in 10 children in care in the UK is not a British citizen

Kids in Need of Defense UK (hosted at Central England Law Centre) is pleased to offer a free workshop designed for local authority staff who train, mentor, or monitor other colleagues’ work (or who expect to do so in future) either through ad-hoc or formal training sessions or social work reviews. Others may be welcome to join on request. This will be an intensive and participatory workshop, focusing on cases that may arise for social workers who work with children in care, care leavers, and/or children in need.

Event details

These sessions are online workshops and will be held via Microsoft Teams. Joining instructions will be supplied to registered participants a few days before your chosen session.

We are currently offering two sessions:

8 July 2022, 1-2.30pm

14 July 2022, 10-11.30am

The sessions on 8 July and 14 July are the same – please sign up for only one.

What this workshop will cover

Participants will discuss:

  • Why citizenship and immigration status are important for children and young people to a child’s well-being and life chances.
  • When and why specialist legal advice is needed.
  • Some of the routes to improving immigration status or acquiring British citizenship and how a child’s eligibility for a particular immigration status or route to British citizenship can change.
  • Local authorities’ duties to address immigration status/citizenship for children in care, care leavers and children in need (and their families).
  • How to address children’s immigration and citizenship issues by building this into care plans, pathway plans, IRO reviews, child-in-need assessments, and other work.
  • The benefits of early resolution of immigration/citizenship issues for children’s well-being and to save the LA significant time and money.
  • How to work effectively with people who have unresolved immigration/citizenship issues.

We will discuss cases like that of Ana* [name changed]:

Ana entered the UK at age 11 with ‘indefinite leave to enter’. Her mum had previously naturalised as a British citizen. Ana’s mum was not able to care for her adequately, and Ana was taken into care at age 14. At age 17, Ana was pregnant. She had no documentation of her immigration status. She wouldn’t be able to work or to claim benefits for herself or her baby after leaving care. KIND UK helped Ana obtain documents proving there was no time limit on her stay in the UK, and to make an urgent application for British citizenship before she turned 18, which was granted.

We will also discuss how participants can take what they learn in this workshop back to their local authority, challenges they may face in introducing training or other work relating to children’s immigration and citizenship issues, and how to overcome those challenges.

About the trainers:

Sara Roach has worked as a senior leader for the public sector, primarily in local authorities for 30 years.  Leading work on safeguarding, community safety and partnerships, Sara left Coventry City Council in 2015 and has been working as an Independent Consultant, supporting Local Authorities, Police Forces and safeguarding partnerships.  Sara led on the production of the West Midlands Child Sexual Exploitation Strategic Framework; the development of the Dudley and Wolverhampton Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs; created the regional West Midlands MARAC approach; delivered whole system reviews to support contextual safeguarding responses to exploitation; and is currently working in the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit, supporting their work to reduce serious youth violence.  Sara has a good understanding of whole system approaches and applies this to safeguarding to ensure that children and young people can receive consistent, fair and quality services which enable them to thrive.

Cynthia Orchard has worked on migration, refugee, and citizenship issues for around 20 years with charities, the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, and the UK Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She qualified as a lawyer in the US and did a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. She previously worked as a legal aid adviser in the UK and was accredited with the Legal Aid Agency and registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). She currently works as a long-term consultant with Kids in Need of Defense UK and on an ad hoc basis with the European Network on Statelessness and other charities. She immigrated to the UK and went through the process of naturalising as a British citizen. She had foster brothers as a child and has a strong interest in social care issues and helping Children’s Services improve their approaches to children’s immigration and citizenship issues.

Jennifer Todd is a Scottish qualified solicitor who has worked in the field of immigration and asylum since 2009, with particular expertise acting for vulnerable clients including unaccompanied minors and victims of trafficking. She has an Accreditation as a Specialist in Immigration Law from the Law Society of Scotland and has worked in both the private and NGO sectors. After eight years working in private practice in a Glasgow based Legal Aid firm, in September 2021 she joined the KIND UK project as a Supervising Solicitor, supervising corporate lawyers who provide pro bono assistance on KIND cases. She also works part-time as a Legal Advisor for Freedom from Torture, helping therapy clients to access legal advice and support.

Please contact with any questions about this training.


KIND UK, hosted at Central England Law Centre, has assisted hundreds of children to regularise or improve their immigration status, become British citizens, or obtain proof that they are already British citizens. We provide free legal assistance through our pro bono legal advice project, in collaboration with five charities and more than 20 corporate law firms. We have achieved positive outcomes in over 99% of our cases. Many of our clients are ‘children in need’ who have an entitlement to support from their local authority under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (England) or are in care or care leavers.  

Initial information about a child’s immigration status/citizenship can be sought through our online tool:

If you have concerns about a child’s current immigration status or need legal advice in relation to the status of a child in your care, please make a referral to KIND UK.