The Children's Panel - Advice Service

The Children’s Panel Advice Service has operated since 1994 and is the only national service of its kind. Advisers work directly with separated children seeking asylum, helping them through the asylum system and ensuring that they are protected. The team also offers advice and information to carers and other professionals working with children and young people.

Advice for children and other agencies

Any child or adult working with or supporting separated children is welcome to contact us for general advice or advice on a
specific issue.  We are open Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 5.30pm.

Referrals may come from the young person themselves, the UKBA, local authority social services or foster carers, legal representatives, community organisations or elsewhere. In many other parts of the young person’s life there may be a constant change of adults and support services – the Children's Panel offers consistent support, in a safe and friendly environment where the children know they will receive the help they need.  We take a holistic approach to the
young people in our service, and act in the best interests of the child.  Advisers provide a combination of practical support and advice to best address each child’s needs.

Allocated Casework

Experienced managers and Advisers are able to identify particularly vulnerable children and allocate them individual Advisers. Allocated Advisers work intensively with young people in many ways:

  • Providing advice and information for young people, carers, professionals and other stakeholders by OISC registered advisers
  • Helping young people access legal representation
  • Accompanying the young people to asylum interviews and immigration tribunal and appeal hearings
  • Supporting the young people during appointments with GPs, hospitals, social services and other service providers

We also help with other issues such as foster placements, getting into school, trying to help locate their family, health issues or simply being someone with whom they can talk when there is no one else they can turn to.

Croydon Drop-In Service

Drop-In Service, London

We operate a Drop-In service for separated children in our Croydon office. Children outside London can attend drop-in services and surgeries around England and details of these can be found on the 'Contact the Children's Section' page.

Young people can attend the Drop-In service with any problem or issue they would like help with. They do not need an appointment
and can call in after school if they are in education.

We have access to  a wide range of interpreters and many of the Advisers speak two or more languages including Arabic, Albanian, Somali, Vietnamese, Amharic, Tigrinya and Mandarin.  We have also worked with sign language interpreters.