Charities around the country working with people with no recourse to public funds have said they have encountered multiple cases in which people approaching local authorities for housing were told social services would accommodate the child but not the parent.

“It’s very widespread,” said Abi Brunswick, director of Project 17, a London-based organisation working with families who do not have access to mainstream welfare due to immigration problems. She said they had seen at least 11 families in eight different London boroughs in the last year who she says “were wrongly threatened with having their children taken into care”.

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