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New family returns procedure published
10 June 2011
In June 2009 the UK Border Agency and its partners, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government, set up a pilot family return project in Glasgow. This sought to explore a method of managing the return of failed asylum seeking families who had exhausted all appeal rights without using detention.
The project centred on actively engaging with the families to encourage voluntary return by providing intensive support focused on helping them make sense of their stay in Scotland, confronting issues that were delaying a return and by building up skills in preparation for a voluntary return.
A report on the results of the pilot commissioned from ODS (offering different solutions) Consulting, an external research organisation. The report concluded that, with the introduction of the new family return process, the need to continue with the project was no longer justified. The project partners agreed and a phased closure was carried out.
Details of the new family returns procedure and independent panel can be found on the right hand side of this page.
Phil Taylor, regional director of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland:
'An independent report on the future of the pilot family return project in Glasgow recommended its closure following the roll out of the UKBA's new family returns process, which was agreed by project partners UK Border Agency, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council. A phased closure was carried out, with the final closure taking place on 10 June 2011.
'The welfare of children within our immigration system is an absolute priority. This project has allowed us to work in different ways with families and we have learned a lot from doing so. All of this learning and experience has helped to shape the new family returns process in the UK. It was a valuable project and we are grateful to all the project partners for their support.'
A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said:
'Young children involved in the asylum system are extremely vulnerable and it has to be seen as worthwhile to seek to improve their welfare. We accept the findings of the report and agree with the decision to close the family return project.'