6: From the Windrush Generation to the ‘Air Jamaica generation’: local authority support for families with no recourse to public funds


The ‘Air Jamaica generation’ of migrants to the UK over the past 30 years has received less political and scholarly attention than the so-called Windrush generation. Children of this generation are often invisible in social policy discussions because they lack the legal right to paid employment, and are subject to the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) rule. This excludes them from accessing welfare provision, including most social security benefits, council housing and homelessness assistance. This chapter examines support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, one of the few welfare entitlements which children and families with NRPF retain, arguing that, without access to mainstream social security, section 17 is an inadequate safety net to prevent poverty. The chapter concludes that this is rooted in discriminatory legislation and policy, resulting in situations which, while structural in cause, would be viewed as neglectful if perpetrated by a parent or carer.

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Social Policy Review 31
Analysis and debate in social policy, 2019