Children of asylum seekers to be handed over to social services

Responsibility for handling the administration of asylum seeking children in Sweden may be removed from immigration authorities, according to DN. The foreign office has issued a white paper, in which it criticizes the way immigration service deals with children and their safety once they arrive in Sweden. It has been suggested that social services should be made responsible for this instead, while the immigration authorities will concentrate purely on financial matters in each case.

“The immigration authority does not have the competence to care for children, while the social services do”, said Jan Erlandson, councilor at the foreign office. Allegedly more than half of the children who arrive in Sweden are in need of counseling and therapy. A majority of the children are young teenagers, between the ages of 15 and 17.

The immigration office has also been heavily criticized for their slow administration process, due to lack of identity papers. “It can be difficult to find out who the child’s next of kin or guardian is in their country of origin”, explained DN. Changes in the law could be passed next year at the earliest. It is estimated that the reform will cost the government 5 million crowns.