To: KCC Members
Date: 25th March 2022
Subject: Ukraine Support
This information is to keep you informed on KCC’s involvement in support for those fleeing the war in Ukraine and to provide information if you are approached by residents.
It will also help you to inform residents as to what they themselves can do to help find out what is being done in Kent to help communities, volunteers and individuals to support the incredible response to the refugee crisis – whether that is offering accommodation in their homes, volunteering or donating money or essential aid.
There is also advice to Ukrainians already living in Kent, those with family still in Ukraine, and refugees arriving in the county.
1. WHAT IS KCC DOING?
All Kent Resilience Forum Partners have been mobilised and are on hand to support current and any further needs of Ukrainian arrivals, as these emerge.
The Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) is a partnership of organisations and agencies who work together to improve the resilience of Kent and Medway, and to ensure a coordinated response to emergencies that could have a significant impact on communities.
Strategic (SCG) and Tactical Co-ordinating Group (TCG) meetings are in place and the Core Communications Cell, The Ukrainian Crisis Communications Cell, the Vulnerable People and Communities Cell and an internal Ukrainian Conflict Officer Working Group are in place to ensure that the appropriate help and support is made available and that KCC is working with partners on the relevant issues.
The voluntary sector and charities in Kent are also rallying to provide support in local communities.
2. WHERE ARE WE ON CHECKS ON RECEIVING HOUSEHOLDS?
KCC is actively working with partners to provide immediate support and assistance when the first Ukrainians arrive in Kent and ensure they receive the warmest welcome to the county and all the support they need to settle safely into our communities.
KCC is ready to support the safeguarding needs of arrivals and residents providing accommodation and will provide social care support for adults and children, translation services, children’s education and help with accessing healthcare.
DBS checks, which are required of all sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, will be carried out as well enhanced DBS checks for hosts who will have Ukrainian children staying with them.
Accommodation must be safe and suitable and district, borough and city council partners will conduct the relevant housing checks.
3. WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH FUNDING?
Government have advised that funding is being allocated to upper tier authorities with the expectation that an agreed proportion should be immediately passported onto districts. Funding is not ringfenced but has a number of conditions and is expected to be £10,500 per person for one year.
4. HOW MANY FAMILIES HAVE ARRIVED IN KENT AND HOW MANY ARE WE EXPECTING?
Latest data from Government tells us there are currently 1,165 Ukrainian individuals matched with sponsors in 429 properties in Kent who signed up for the scheme at www.homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk
5. WHERE CAN I DIRECT RESIDENTS?
• For all the latest information and guidance residents can visit the KCC website at www.kent.gov.uk/Ukraine
• If you are a charity or volunteer group wanting to offer help, please email Ukraine@kent.gov.uk or contact your local council.
• For Visa information go to GOV.UK website UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals.
• If you’re Ukrainian and you have family in the UK: The Ukraine Family Scheme allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to come to or stay in the UK. You can find out more information in the following ways;
o If you’re outside the UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-ukraine-family-scheme-visa
o If you’re in the UK. You can call the free 24/7 helpline on +44 808 164 8810 (0808 164 8810 from within the UK) for help with any questions about the scheme. If you cannot contact UK 0808 numbers, please use +44 (0)175 390 7510.
• If you’re Ukrainian and you don’t have family in the UK The Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukrainians is a scheme for Ukrainians without any family in the UK. It allows sponsors, such as communities, private sponsors or local authorities, to bring those forced to flee Ukraine to the UK. Further details on the scheme for people will be published soon, including information on how people and organisations in the UK can apply to be sponsors.
• I am a Ukrainian refugee and I have arrived in Kent with nowhere to go You need to contact the nearest District or Borough Council
• I am a Kent resident and wish to offer support during the Ukrainian crisis KCC is actively working with partners to provide immediate support and assistance when the first Ukrainians arrive in Kent, to ensure they receive the warmest welcome to the county and all the support they need to settle safely into our communities. Residents can contribute to this support by donating (see section below on ‘Other ways to help’) or by volunteering their home to host those fleeing the war in Ukraine. For more information and to register for the government’s initiative visit ‘Homes for Ukraine’. KCC will carry out the DBS checks, which are required of all sponsors under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, as well enhanced DBS checks for hosts who will have Ukrainian children staying with them. Our district, borough and city council partners will then conduct the relevant housing checks to ensure that accommodation is safe and suitable. KCC is also supporting the safeguarding needs of arrivals and residents, providing accommodation and will provide social care support for adults and children, translation services, children’s education and help with accessing healthcare.
Charities and volunteers who want to offer support should email Ukraine@kent.gov.uk
Other ways you can help The Government has said that one of the best ways to help is by donating cash rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed. Individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what they need most.
If you want to donate to help the Ukrainian people in their time of crisis you can do so through the British Red Cross Disaster Emergency Committee Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal: DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal British Red Cross.
More information about what you can do to help can be found on the GOV.UK website.
If you are worried about family members or relatives:
• See advice for British nationals who are in Ukraine on GOV.UK
• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine have an emergency helpline number for anyone concerned about Ukrainian citizens – 07553 483628
• See UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals on GOV.UK for guidance on visa support for Ukrainian nationals and their family members.