The purpose of this guide is to assist voluntary organisations working with destitute migrant families to identify which families can access support from social services. The guide is intended to help advisers advocate on behalf of their clients and to know when to refer a case to a solicitor. This guide is not intended to be a substitute for specialist legal advice.

This guide focuses on the support that may be available under s17 of the Children Act 1989 (“CA 1989”) to families who are not entitled to mainstream welfare benefits or housing. This guide will primarily be relevant to those who are not lawfully resident in the UK (including those with outstanding immigration applications) which are not asylum claims and those lawfully in the UK but with a condition that they cannot claim welfare benefits or housing assistance.

For more information on Section 17 support , see the webpage of Project 17 here.

A guide to support under Section 17 Children Act 1989