Asylum seeker support flawed
Government warned over flaws in asylum seeker support system after child starves to death.

The government has been warned that it must have a proper support system in place for asylum seekers after a child starved to death in temporary accommodation in one of the wealthiest parts of the country.

A case review into a family of three found that they had been dependent on charity handouts - despite winning their bid for asylum.

It has emerged that the family needed to become homeless before the local authorities could offer any help, Inside Housing magazine reports.

"Child EG" died in temporary accommodation in Westminster. His mother, "Mrs G", also died - in unrelated circumstances. Details of their deaths were highlighted in the case review and in a letter sent by child safely experts at Westminster council to the government in March.

The Home Office has stopped funding the Refugee Integration and Employment Service as part of strict government budget cuts. But Daoud Zaaroura, chief executive of the North of England Refugee Service, told Inside Housing that without this sort of financial backing, there was a "real threat" of the "Child EG" case happening again.

Dave Garratt, chief executive of Refugee Action, told the magazine: "We are deeply concerned that our caseworkers are seeing increasing numbers of recent refugees who are being forced on to the streets."

In the letter to Westminster council, the government was criticised for being unable to "manage the transition from one form of public support to another".

The UK Border Agency responded: "We have already made several improvements to transitional arrangements."