Refugee children in the UK face poverty, ill-health and disrupted education, according to a report on the Children's Society's homeless family support programme, based in Newham, east London. The programme, supported by the King's Fund, spent two years providing support to families from 50 nationalities and found that many lived on low incomes, experienced high levels of discrimination, found it difficult to register with GPs and had to take children out of schools when they were rehoused. King's Fund race and diversity director Naaz Coker said the government's Immigration and Asylum Bill, due to receive its final reading this week, would make the situation worse, and 'to include families with children in the 'cashless' voucher system is completely unacceptable'.

Executive summaries of the final report of the homeless families support programme are available from the Children's Society on 0171-841 4400.