The government is providing direct support and advice to groups interested in community sponsorship through these organisations:
Yes. Dedicated resettlement staff within Devon County Council can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website also offers more information on Community Sponsorship https://www.devon.gov.uk/refugees-in-devon/community-sponsorship/.
The decision to accept a family for resettlement is a joint decision by your group and the local authority. The county council is consulted on our agreement to accept the family for resettlement based on whether the proposed family’s needs can be met in the local area. Depending on each family, individuals from key statutory agencies (e.g. Health, Social Care and Education) are called on to inform this decision. We would offer your group our feedback and be advised of your group’s decision before advising the Home Office.
Local authorities may wish to assist the community sponsor by visiting the proposed property to assess its health and safety, i.e. whether or not it complies with local guidance on occupation levels, is in a proper state of structural repair, has safe electricity and/or gas supplied, adequate ventilation and lighting, etc. We have arranged to work with colleagues in city/district councils to undertake the inspection and share their findings. To request the inspection, we will provide you with a property offer form to complete and return to us.
Some of the ways we can help you are:
- putting your group in contact with the local safeguarding leads to advise on your groups safeguarding policy
- arrange an inspection of a proposed property
- arrange a police check on a proposed property by your Police Safer Neighbour Team
- supporting engagement of relevant partners in line with your resettlement plan
- support your group through the schools admission process
- provide local authority consent so that your group can operate as a community sponsor in the area
- after approval of your group by the Home Office, agree that your group can accept a refugee family and arrange a multidisciplinary needs assessment to identify any unusual or complex needs
- claim and pass on payments from the Home Office related to resettlement
- endeavour to participate in future monitoring/update meetings with the family, Home Office and your group
In the unlikely event that a sponsor agreement breaks down, the Local Authority will have the responsibility to step in to support the resettled family.
We would like to build a collaborative relationship with your group as early as possible and would welcome an opportuning to meet in person, discuss your approach, any issues relating to living in the area and introduce your group to useful services and other organisations who may assist you in your planning. When appropriate we ask you to share your resettlement plan with us before their submission to the Home Office. We provide groups with our consent in writing so that you can include this in your application to the Home Office.
The responsibility for assessing and approving applications from community groups and managing the community sponsorship process lies with the Home Office. However, local authorities have a role in the process. Because Devon is a dual Local Authority Area, you will need consent from both your city/district and the county council. To assist you, we
Yes. Devon County Council is already participating in the resettlement scheme and has encouraged and consented to other community sponsorships groups across Devon.