KiCA Local Research

Local Authority areas covered: Kent and Medway

Things to consider

  • Providing an information pack prior to arrival in the UK, detailing information about necessities to bring, such as warm clothing needed, emergency medications, personal documents, electrical adaptors etc
  • Arrange a virtual meeting between existing and new staff members to help build connections
  • Set up a WhatsApp group that allows relationships to build between new recruits and the local team in advance of their arrival
  • Arranging to meet and greet your new recruit at the airport
  • Providing a welcome pack with basic provisions, such as groceries, bedding, toiletries etc
  • Collating a local guide to help recruits to navigate the local area and know what to expect, e.g. how to register with a GP surgery, average cost of necessities, where the local shops are etc
  • Helping recruits to apply for a national insurance number and to open a bank account
  • Arranging a local tour to familiarise themselves with the area – local shops and supermarkets, pharmacies, green spaces, places of worship, transport links etc
  • Securing short-term accommodation for recruits, and then supporting them to find longer term accommodation
  • A buddying scheme between local staff and new overseas recruits
  • Information about local community networks
  • Research and consider all expected costs
  • Providing clearly labelled contact details for members of the new recruit’s team


  • Securing short-term accommodation for recruits as close to their work site as possible prior to their arrival in the UK
  • Support to find longer term accommodation should then be given once training and probation period is up – accommodation can be further away from work site if the recruit has been able to obtain a UK drivers licence during this period or feels comfortable with transport links in the local area
  • Help the recruit to ensure they accept tenancies that are fit for habitation - make sure their water and power works, and that there is no structural damage that could cause injury


  • Pre-arranged pick up from airports with clear instructions to be given on how/where to find the shuttle/taxi/chauffeur etc
  • Clearly labelled bus timetables (Stagecoach, Arriva), and train schedules (Southeastern, Southern) from their local station and bus stops
  • If the recruit needs to learn how to drive as a condition of employment, or if the public transport is limited in their area, then the grant can be used towards paying for driving lessons and a driver's licence
  • Investigate and clearly label all travel options on a map of the recruit’s local area, including services such as Uber and other local/national taxi services


Community and Refugee Organisations

  • Consider finding other local expats and putting them in contact with your new recruits – depending on what country and culture they are from, there are social groups in Kent and perhaps London (as it is easy to travel to), that cater to supporting expats from various countries and cultures
  • - Kent and Medway partnership trust - this link has signposts to lots of services such as mental health crisis clinics, where to seek housing and financial advice, and counselling support groups
  • & - application process as to how to get a library card to use in recruit’s local town. They can use this to access the internet and use a computer to communicate with family back home if they cannot afford one themselves, and they can borrow books to help with language skills
  • - a list of all faith groups in Kent, searchable by town or postcode, to help find a local church, mosque, or other place of worship
  • - a list of clubs and groups approved by KCC for a range of ages, such as gardening clubs, scouts/brownies for children of recruits, and other activities to help integrate into British culture
  • – information about events and social gatherings in Medway
  • – a list of community centres and groups in Kent and Medway to allow recruits to socialise and interact with their community

Pastoral Support/Welcome Pack

Job Information

  • Information about the job and expected duties
  • Rota information – shift patterns and daily breaks
  • Team information – consider if the new recruit can be placed with colleagues who may have been previous foreign recruits themselves, so there will be an understanding of the new recruit's current feelings of potential homesickness etc
  • Relevant information about the site the employee will be working at, such as where the staff room is, where it is acceptable to use a mobile phone to take calls, which bathroom they can use etc
  • Company information – make sure the recruit has been given the ethos and values of the company, and has been advised on any benefits they get from working for this employer
  • Ensure recruit is aware of holiday entitlements and SSP amounts – SSP is significantly lower pay as opposed to worked hours, so make sure that all recruits are aware of this if they need time off sick during adjustment period

Local Information

  • Introduction to the local area – arrange a tour of the area with the recruit if possible
  • Map of the local area – clearly label important services, such as emergency healthcare, public transport, and places of worship
  • Public transport information – what bus service runs between their accommodation and place of work? Can they use services like UBER?
  • Useful phone contacts, e.g. local GP surgery, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, their new employer’s office number and personal number
  • Information about weather conditions/UV/Pollen count in Kent and Medway

Practical Items

  • Essentials for the first few days, e.g. bedding, groceries, a PAYG SIM card with a UK mobile number
  • A prepaid debit card for emergency purchases, or for anything they may have forgotten to bring with them

Holidays and Diversity - a detailed list of holidays that are celebrated globally by different religious and ethnic groups, so employers can be made aware of holidays what recruits may celebrate.

International Food/Groceries

Your new recruit may wish to try British foods, but they may also wish to ensure they have access to products that remind them of home. The main supermarkets in the UK have their own selections of World Foods that can be found online, but there are also lots of smaller individual grocers in Kent and Medway that can cater to your international recruits.

Migrant/Refugee Assistance

  • - English language support, with free to access learning materials to help develop English verbal and understanding skills
  • - Unseen – a charity surrounding modern day slavery and how it is becoming an ever-increasing issue in health and social care. This link gives advice on how to protect yourself as an employer, and how to protect your employees
  • - This charity aims to promote community integration, social inclusion and cohesion within the Swale and Kent communities. They focus on how individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, religion and beliefs, sexuality, sexual orientation, social class, and other social factors, should be treated with dignity, respect and adequate opportunities to access services within the community
  • - Medway African and Caribbean Association – non-profit organisation that promotes an awareness of African and Caribbean cultures in the local community, and offers support to members on issues such as racial inequalities
  • Ensure your recruit has the details for their home nation embassy – full list of embassies and their locations in the UK can be found here -
  • - Migrants Rights Network fights injustices in the UK for migrant workers and their families, this page gives an overview of what rights foreign migrants have
  • - Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants – this page offers a range of resources and advice for immigrants about their right to work and remain status, including how to go about getting a spouse and children settled status
  • - Code of Practice for recruitment of international staff in the Health and Social Care sector – there are many requirements that are employers are legally obliged to uphold if they recruit internationally, this guide sets these obligations out so appropriate support can be provided
  • FREE International Recruitment Legal Helpline – launching as of Monday 15th January 24, the service will run for 2 months, until Friday 15th March. This legal helpline will be available to all CQC-registered adult social care providers in the South-East region, delivered by the immigration experts at Lester Aldridge LLP.  Providers will be entitled to a free phone consultation of up to 30-minutes (one call per matter). Operating hours are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday, and if calls are made to the helpline outside of these hours, providers will be able to leave a message for a call back within 48 hours. Email enquiries will also receive a call back within 48 hours. Contact as follows: 01202 786126 ---

Useful Links

An Expat Guide To Moving To The UK

Overseas recruitment bite-size guide for social care providers in England

Pastoral Care Guide for International Recruitment in Social Care

Pastoral support

International students

Citizens Advice Ashford

Citizens Advice Swale

Citizens Advice North & West Kent

Citizens Advice Medway

Citizens Advice Canterbury & Surrounding Areas

Citizens Advice Thanet

Citizens Advice Dover, Deal & District

Citizens Advice Maidstone

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