In October 216, the French government closed the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp. Some of the children in the camp had family members in the UK. The UK government asked Devon to host a temporary respite centre where these young people could stay before being united with their family members. The UK Home Office identified a residential centre near Great Torrington and arranged care and security for the young people at the centre.
Devon County Council, as the lead agency for the safety and protection of children in Devon, worked with the government, the care providers, police, NHS and other local authorities across Devon to support the Home Office. The young people stayed in the centre while councils across the country contacted the young people’s family members and confirmed whether they were able to look after them. Thirty-seven young people stayed in the centre and almost all were united with their family members as planned. For a few this was not possible and Devon County Council took these few into our care as part of our commitment to the national transfer scheme. The centre closed in November having operated for four weeks.