Tackling and Preventing Destitution

Welcome to our partnership page for the sharing of experience and knowledge of supporting people with a status of No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)

NRPF Resources in Scotland

Background Reading

Using a human-rights focused approach, COSLA and the Scottish Government published a strategy in March 2021 to improve support for people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) living in Scotland. This strategy was Ending Destitution Together

One of the actions from the Ending Destitution Together report resulted in the formation of the Fair Way Scotland partnership.

The partnership published a report in October 2021 setting out proposals to counteract UK Government policy that leaves many people seeking sanctuary in Scotland unable to access most benefits due to their immigration status under ‘NRPF’ conditions.

The report, produced with input from people with personal experience of the asylum and immigration system, claims NRPF conditions amount to ‘destitution by design’ undermining Scotland’s human rights ambitions and providing an urgent example of where human rights are being breached.  The initiative seeks to create a co-ordinated gateway to a safe destination which joins up temporary accommodation with personal and emotional support, legal casework and general advice and advocacy.

The full five year Fair Way Scotland action plan runs from 2021 – 2026

The freephone number for Fairway Scotland is 0808 196 7274 to speak to someone who can connect you with relevant help and advice.

General resources

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) published the following article:
No Recourse To Public Funds is a public health risk and causes destitution‘ which links to their report from March 2021 about migrants with NRPF during the COVID-19 Pandemic. (The link to this report is currently broken but will be restored as soon as possible).

JustRight Scotland runs the  Scottish Refugee & Migrant Centre which delivers collaborative projects targeting 5 key areas of work: Children, Women, Family Reunion, Destitution and Just Citizens. In 2019 they ran a workshop on the topic of Access to Healthcare for People with No Recourse to Public Funds which has links to many useful resources.

The Migrant Rights Network has an online Know your rights guide to help migrants understand their rights and how to assert them. 

Migration Scotland (a collaboration between the Scottish Government and COSLA) created an online Guide to Migrant Rights and Entitlements (updated May 2022)

Migration Policy Scotland builds connections between lived experience and professional expertise, between policy and practice, between those seeking to be heard and those seeking to better understand how migration can shape our future.

The NRPF Network is based in England but provides information for Scotland too. It is a national network safeguarding the welfare of destitute families, adults and care leavers who are unable to access benefits due to their immigration status. They support councils to prevent homelessness, alleviate child poverty, promote integration within local communities, and to operate cost-efficient services.

More specific resources can be found below:

  • EUSS (European Union Settlement Scheme) Clinics

Our NRNE Partnership Facilitators and Citizens Rights Project volunteers Iona and Laura have new dates for their EU Settlement Scheme Application Support Clinics. 

These clinics will be held monthly and appointments can be made by emailing [email protected]

These clinics can assist with:

  • Late applications, for those whom missed the application deadline of 30th June
  • Referral on for higher level immigration advice via Settled UK for complex and vulnerable cases
  • Joining family member applications
  • Following up on outstanding applications with Home Office, support to provide additional evidence to application
  • Upgrading from Pre-Settled to Settled Status
  • Support to access digital profile


  • Assisting EEA nationals: entitlements and support options

For Local Authorities working with EAA Nationals, this factsheet (published jointly by COSLA and the NRPF Network in May 2022) provides information to help local authorities in Scotland understand how the immigration status of an EEA national will affect their entitlements and to establish what support options may need to be considered by the local authority when a person is destitute or at risk of homelessness.

  • Just Citizens, a project of JustRight Scotland

JustCitizens have written several factsheets to help EU citizens better understand their rights to live, work, study and access healthcare, benefits and housing in Scotland.

Rights of EU Citizens in Scotland

The NRPF Network has a useful online resource to help establish a family’s support options when they are destitute or at risk of homelessness, and have no recourse to public funds. Please be aware that this is mainly a guide for English practitioners but does include some information relating to Scotland. The Support for migrant families web tool is useful for finding out pathways to support. In Scotland families can be referred for help for their children due to legislation passed under Section 22 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. 

The Scottish Refugee Council provides a Family Rights Service which supports parents and their children from the start to the end of the asylum process. 

The Children’s Poverty Action group (CPAG) have an 

Advice line for frontline advisers and support staff in Scotland

which is for welfare rights advisers, student advisers, housing staff, health staff, family support staff, social workers, solicitors and other advisers and frontline support staff from organisations in Scotland. 

They offer free, independent, expert, up-to-date advice and information to frontline advisers and support staff in Scotland on all aspects of the benefits and tax credits system – what to claim, how to claim and what to do when things go wrong.

Welfare pages for students in Aberdeen:

University of Aberdeen, including the Hardship Fund

Robert Gordon University including the Emergency Loan Fund 

Information on the Scottish Government Students Awards Agency Scotland website may also be useful.

To find out more about our sub-group of organisations working with international students and NRPF please click here.

JustRight Scotland has a useful blog post 

‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ and migrant women living with abuse

Click here for more information about our No Recourse North East Partnership sub-group for organisations working with people affected by domestic violence and a status of NRPF.

Latest News

Latest Resources