UK struggles to help rising number of lone children seeking asylum

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:50 GMT, Sep 7, 2016 |

The number of asylum seeking children in the care of English councils has risen 62% in a year. The largest group are boys aged 16 and 17, coming from countries such as Afghanistan or Eritrea.

The Home Office said it had increased funding to cover the costs of care and other support for unaccompanied minors. Figures released recently under the Freedom of Information Act reveal at least 104 councils were caring for more unaccompanied minors than they were in 2015.

There were at least 4,156 children seeking asylum without parents or guardians and cared for by 147 councils on 31 March 2016, compared with 2,569 the year before.  Unaccompanied minors made up about 8% of all asylum claims in the UK in 2015.