Supporting children and families from Ukraine
Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND UK) has expanded its work to provide free legal support to children and young people fleeing the war in Ukraine, prioritising assistance for unaccompanied children.
We offer free legal advice and representation to a limited number of children and young people from Ukraine who are in or who want to come to the UK. KIND UK has provided free legal help to children with immigration and nationality matters since 2017. In the last year KIND UK has taken on around 600 UK immigration, nationality and citizenship cases in the UK. We have a 99% success rate with our casework.
This service takes referrals via email, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children at risk in and outside Ukraine
UNICEF reported in February 2023 that 8.36 million children from Ukraine are ‘in need’ outside Ukraine, and 4.1 million children are ‘in need’ in Ukraine. Approximately 8 million people from Ukraine have sought refuge in European countries, and approximately 4.8 million have registered for temporary protection schemes. 
Russian forces are committing grave violations against children in Ukraine, including sexual violence, targeting children in conflict, recruiting and forcing children to serve as soldiers, and forcibly transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.
Some children have fled the war with their parents (mainly mothers) or other adult family members. Some have fled on their own or been separated from parents or guardians.
The UK as Destination
The UK government has provided visa routes for those fleeing the war in Ukraine to seek safety in the UK, but some children who need protection are not eligible for these routes.
In particular, the Homes for Ukraine scheme requires that unaccompanied children can only be sponsored by persons known to their parents prior to the war, unless there are exceptional circumstances and the sponsor is approved by the local authority.
More detailed information
KIND UK is compiling a collection of guides and information which may be of use to Ukrainian nationals and residents who are fleeing the war in Ukraine. These are listed below. Some of this content is also available in Ukrainian; if you see something here which is only available in English and would like to request it be translated, please contact us and we will prioritise it for translation.
Частина цього контенту також доступна українською мовою; Якщо ви бачите тут щось, що доступне лише англійською мовою, і хочете попросити його перекласти, будь ласка, зв’яжіться з нами, і ми визначимо пріоритет для перекладу.
- Поради для дітей та молоді з України [UA]Ця інформація також доступна англійською мовою / This information is also available in English Органiзацiя Kids in Need of Defence UK (KIND UK) (Дiти потребують захисту) пропонує безкоштовні консультаціі для дітей та молоді, які зараз перебувають або виїхали з України, та бажають подати заяву на приїзд до Великобританії або продовжити своє перебування там. Ми надаємо… Read More »Поради для дітей та молоді з України [UA]
- Advice for children and young people from Ukraine [EN]Ця інформація також доступна українською мовою / This page is also available in Ukrainian Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND UK) offers free advice for children and young people who are currently in or have left Ukraine who wish to apply to come to the UK or extend their stay in the UK. We… Read More »Advice for children and young people from Ukraine [EN]
- How to find a UK sponsor (Homes for Ukraine Scheme)The Homes for Ukraine scheme enables Ukrainian nationals to stay with a sponsor in the UK for at least 6 months. The UK Government provides a list of organisations which it has approved, and which help to match people coming from Ukraine with sponsors (hosts) in the UK. It is recommend that you look for… Read More »How to find a UK sponsor (Homes for Ukraine Scheme)
- How to contact your Local AuthorityIf you need support, you can contact your Local Authority (also called your local council). Your Local Authority has a duty to protect children and you are able to contact them for support. For example, you can contact your Local Authority about: You can find out which is your Local Authority by entering your postcode… Read More »How to contact your Local Authority
- Where to get mental health supportYou may be experiencing challenging feelings and worries. You can find support to help you during this difficult time. There are a number of professionals and organisations offering mental health support which you can contact for support as set out below. Register with a doctor Healthcare in the UK is provided by the NHS (National… Read More »Where to get mental health support
- Visa options (other than Ukraine-specific schemes) & claiming asylumVisas: apply for permission to enter or stay in the UK Besides the UK’s visa schemes for people from Ukraine (for which please see the UK Government’s “UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals” guidance), you may be eligible to apply for other visas which are not specifically for people from Ukraine. Work, study or seasonal… Read More »Visa options (other than Ukraine-specific schemes) & claiming asylum
- Ukraine: Resources for LawyersSet out below are useful resources for lawyers assisting children and young people from Ukraine who wish to apply to settle in the UK, very generously compiled by pro bono lawyers volunteering for the project. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and while we make every effort to provide useful information, KIND UK… Read More »Ukraine: Resources for Lawyers
- Ukraine: Other SupportThese organisations provide support to people who have come to the UK as part of Homes for Ukraine (and frequently to other migrants and refugees as well). People who have fled Ukraine should also ensure they approach their local authority if they need support. This list is non-exhaustive and KIND UK does not specifically endorse… Read More »Ukraine: Other Support
- My body is here but my soul is in Ukraine English language version – click here for Ukrainian language version. “To anyone fleeing Ukraine and coming to the UK, I say do not to give up because Ukrainians never give up. The world is not without kind people who will do their best to help you.” This year, KIND UK expanded its work to provide… Read More »My body is here but my soul is in Ukraine
- Моє тіло тут, але душа в Україні«Усім, хто залишає УкраЇну та приїжджає до Великобританії, я кажу не здаватись, тому що українці ніколи не здаються. Світ не без добрих людей, які зроблять усе можливе, щоб допомогти вам.» Цього року KIND UK поширив свою роботу з надання безкоштовної правової підтримки дітям, молоді та сім’ям, які тікають від війни в Україні. Ми допомагаємо тим,… Read More »Моє тіло тут, але душа в Україні
About KIND UK
KIND UK is a collaboration between five award-winning, UK-based organisations that specialise in children’s immigration and asylum law: Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, JustRight Scotland, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Central England Law Centre, and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.
We partner with KIND, a US charity supporting legal representation for children facing deportation proceedings alone, and which engages in research, advocacy, and capacity building in Europe.