Families Together is a grants programme funded by a variety of donors. It seeks to address significant, institutional, regulatory and legal barriers to successful family reunion and the integration of refugees and migrants in the UK at the national, regional and local levels.
Families belong together
The right to be reunited with your family is protected by UK, European and international law.
Refugee family reunion and family migration are immigration routes available to refugees and migrants to reunite with their separated loved ones in the UK.
However, there are many challenges to successful family reunification. These range from restrictive policies, regulations and procedures, and their interpretation and implementation, to the enormously high costs to be met by vulnerable families, for what is a basic right to family life.
Helping refugees and migrants in the UK
When it comes to integration, the Families Together programme focuses on the integration needs of newly reunited refugee and migrant families. It aims to expand their statutory rights and entitlements, and ensure meaningful access to statutory resources and services, based on those rights and entitlements.
As a result, the main integration focus of the programme is on the ‘pre-arrival’ and ‘arrival’ phases of integration.
What this grants programme will support
In line with its goals of affecting strategic shifts in the policy and regulatory landscapes, in the above key focus areas, the Families Together programme will use its grant fund strategically to support a range of stakeholders to design and deliver:
- service delivery
- communications and campaigns
- policy and advocacy initiatives.
Strengthening the sector
To achieve its policy objectives, the programme will primarily work with and through partners from the refugee and migrant family reunion and integration sector. It will promote improved programme design and delivery, and effective co-ordination and co-operation, through a range of activities.
First round of re-granting
The programme announced its first call for proposals in January 2018, inviting organisations to submit grant applications for funding, based on priority research and service delivery objectives of the programme. The closing date for proposal submission is 1 March 2018.
The programme’s first parliamentary event in February will highlight the impact that the lack of legal aid in England and Wales has had on refugee families trying to reunite. The event will provide an opportunity to refugee families to speak of their experiences and the challenges in trying to reunite with their separated loved ones, with MPs from across the UK.
The programme commissioned urgent research on the impact of the lack of legal aid for refugee family reunion in England and Wales to inform the Ministry of Justice review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act of 2012 that is due this year. Our report will be released in March 2018.
Get in touch
The British Red Cross – Families Together programme is supported by a panel of external experts from across the sector in the UK. They provide strategic direction and leadership.
For more information please contact Ravin Weerawardena, programme manager, Families Together Programme, British Red Cross, 44 Moorfields, London EC2Y 9AL, Tel: 0344 871 1111, email: firstname.lastname@example.org