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Information, advice and support to help newly arrived families settle and feel welcomed in Sandwell.
Newly arrived families, asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants should feel safe, respected and understood.
Families need support with accommodation, education, childcare, family support, health, benefits and employment.
There is lots of advice and practical support available to help families settle into their new life.
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The process for claiming asylum in the UK
Get help by phone if you’re an asylum applicant or refugee and you need advice about the asylum process or adapting to life in the UK.
What you need to know about visas and immigration
Information and advice on the Afghan Resettlement Scheme
Support and resources for British and non-British nationals who have been affected by the situation in Afghanistan from August 2021.
Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)
Councils play a key role in supporting arrivals from Afghanistan resettle in the UK
Councils play a key role in supporting asylum seekers, resettlement and unaccompanied children.
Information about the immigration routes available for Ukrainian nationals in the UK, British nationals and their family members.
Guidance on the Homes for Ukraine scheme which outlines the role of councils across England play in supporting the scheme.
All Ukrainians arriving in England will be able to access NHS healthcare free of charge, including GP and nurse consultations, hospital services, and urgent care centres.
The Helpline is open:
Monday – Friday 10.00am-8.00pm
Call free helpline number: 0800 148 8586
Step by Step Guide - what you need to do to stay in the UK if you or your family are from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
Each child must have their own application. You can apply for your child or they can apply for themselves.
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you and your family have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK, please get in touch with Brushstrokes on 0121 565 2234 or via email. They can provide free advice to residents from Sandwell and West Birmingham.
Find local support services and advice to help newly arrived families in Sandwell
Local Authority asylum support service to help families making the transition from asylum seeker to resident
A community partnership working with newly arrived families, refugees, asylum seekers to rebuild lives and make new homes.
A weekly immigration advice clinic held by Brushstrokes
Find asylum support services
A network of organisations, groups and individuals pledging to build a culture of welcome across the borough as part of the national City of Sanctuary network.
Services to help Sandwell residents with housing, money, welfare, health and wellbeing
The STEPS Centre supports children and their families/carers who are new to Sandwell and the UK, and speak English as an additional language.
The STEPS Centre provides:
- EAL development for children new to Sandwell and the UK and for whom English is an additional language
- Information and short courses for their parents and carers
- EAL CPD opportunities for Sandwell schools
- Support for the transition of newly arrived children into Sandwell schools
How to apply for a school place in Sandwell
Your 2-year-old may get free childcare if you are getting support under the Immigration and Asylum Act and have either:
- claimed asylum in the UK and are waiting for a decision (known as ‘part 6’)
- been refused asylum in the UK (known as ‘section 4’)
A 2-year-old you care for may also get free childcare if your household income is £15,400 a year or less after tax, and you have any of the following:
- leave to remain with ‘no recourse to public funds’ on family or private life grounds
- support from your local council because you have ‘a child in need’, for example they have a disability or a child protection plan
- the right to live in the UK because you’re the main carer of a British citizen (known as a ‘Zambrano Carer’)
Afghanistan Resettlement Education Grant
The Local Authority received funding for education, including free childcare for 2,3 and 4 year old (15 and 30 hours).
Families in the Afghanistan Resettlement programme can access 2, 3 and 4 year old funding.
Ukraine refugees will be entitled to claim benefits as soon as they arrive.
Families can apply for 2 year old early education funding once they have a national insurance number and their Universal Credit claim confirmed.
To meet the economic eligibility criteria families on Universal Credit will need to confirm a household income of £15,400 or less after tax, not including benefit payments.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
language support in the borough (including English for Speakers of Other Languages – ESOL)
Functional English Skills and Conversational English classes
ESOL classes to improve your English
Children's Centres provide support to families with children and young adults 0-19 years (up to 25 years if they have special education needs or disabilities).
They offer family support, early learning , information and advice on health, parenting, money and benefits, education and school readiness.
There are lots of free services and activities at your local children's centre.
Parent and Toddler Groups are places to meet other families with babies and toddlers. A chance to socialise and give your baby an opportunity to play, grow and develop.
Parenting programmes provide you with the opportunities to learn and improve your parenting skills, helping you understand your children's needs and helping you cope with present and future difficulties.
They also provide you with a chance to meet and share experiences with other parents and make new friends
support services in Sandwell
National Health Service (NHS) advice and support
Find doctors (GP), health practitioners and health services in Sandwell
Health Visitors work with parents and carers who have new babies, offering support from the ante-natal period until your child starts school at five years
Find local health and wellbeing services
free independent and impartial advice and support on all welfare benefits
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on:
- Legal Matters
- and other problems
information and support services to help families with money and benefits
find volunteering opportunities, meet new people, learn new skills