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Advice on how public bodies can support the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

First published:
13 July 2022
Last updated:

Overview and purpose

Wales is the first ever ‘Nation of Sanctuary’. As people from Ukraine arrive in Wales we want to ensure they have access to a full wrap-around service. This service will support them by ensuring their safety and provide them with access to public services.

Local authorities have a critical role to play in the support for people from Ukraine arriving in Wales. They are best placed to support their local communities to offer these people the warmest possible welcome on their arrival.

This guidance provides information for local authorities on their roles in the delivery of the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Wales in relation to individual sponsors.

The UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme relies on individuals in the UK, with at least 6 months leave to remain, acting as a sponsor and matching with people displaced from Ukraine.

Organisations, such as charities, will be able to act as a sponsor and host individuals and groups displaced from Ukraine in the second phase of this scheme.

The Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor Scheme is a quicker and safer route for displaced people from Ukraine to come to the UK. It removes the need for applicants to be matched with a host before being given permission travel to the UK.

By acting as ‘Super Sponsor’, rather than waiting for the UK Government’s matching process, Wales can provide sanctuary immediately, welcoming significant numbers with the right safeguards in place. Those arriving under Super Sponsor arrangements are encouraged not to accept informal offers of accommodation as these have not been subject to the necessary checks. There is no cap on the numbers we will welcome. The First Minister has suggested 1,000 as an immediate step on the Wales Super Sponsor Scheme, and then a fair and proportionate share of the total coming to the UK.

Applications for the Super Sponsor Scheme are done via the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine portal. The applicant selects ‘The Welsh Government’ when asked for the name of their sponsor and when they are provided with a visa, we can welcome them here.

As with other resettlement schemes, local authorities working in partnership with other statutory service providers have a critical role to play in its success. They are best placed to provide the support required to ensure those arriving are given the warmest possible welcome. This is what Welsh local authorities have done and will continue to do for those who have arrived from many countries through asylum, resettlement and relocation programmes. With the support of the Welsh Government they will continue to do so for people displaced from Ukraine.

This guidance outlines the role of councils in supporting Ukrainian guests who:

  • arrive under the Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor scheme
  • match to hosts in Wales through the Homes for Ukraine scheme

This guidance does not cover displaced people coming to Wales through the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The Welsh Government is seeking clarity from the Home Office if a visa provided for one route can transfer to another one in the event that a match breaks down.


"Super Sponsor” refers to the Welsh Government in its role under the Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor scheme.

“Host” or “hosts” refers to an individual, group or organisation approved to accommodate an individual or household from Ukraine under the “Homes for Ukraine” sponsorship scheme, or, has agreed to participate in the Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor scheme. Under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme a person individually matched may be referred to as a “sponsor” or “sponsors”.

“Guest” or “guests” refers to an individual or household previously resident in Ukraine, prior to 1 January 2022, who has secured a visa under the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme, which enables them to be housed by a sponsor (Host).

To apply to the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme you must be Ukrainian, or the immediate family member of a Ukrainian national, who:

  • was residing in Ukraine on or immediately before 1 January 2022 (including those who have now left Ukraine); or
  • is currently outside the UK and has a UK-based sponsor who is eligible for the Homes or Ukraine Scheme

UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme

Background and eligibility

These rules are at the discretion of the UK Government and may be subject to change. This guidance explains how the Welsh Government expects this scheme to operate in Wales. See also the latest version of the relevant guidance on the UK Government website.

On Friday 18 March 2022, people from Ukraine could register their interest online. Potential sponsors (individuals and organisations) could also register their interest in sponsoring someone.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme was opened to visa applications on 14 March 2022 by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Sponsors at this stage must be specific individuals.

This scheme is open to Ukrainian nationals who were residents in Ukraine on or immediately before to 1 January 2022 to be sponsored to come the UK. Immediate family members, who may be of other nationalities, are also eligible, for example, spouse or partner or children under 18.  Applicants can apply from Ukraine or from any other third country.

Phase I of the scheme

A person in the UK may nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property.

The number of people who can access this scheme is uncapped. It is dependent on the capacity of the sponsors (individual hosts) who come forward.

Displaced people from Ukraine will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years. They can access benefits, healthcare, employment, and other support. They must have a visa. They need to meet standard security checks before a visa can be issued.

Hosts (and members of their household aged over 16 years) must apply for an enhanced disclosure if they are hosting someone in their own home. This must be done when they register for both the Super Sponsor scheme and Homes for Ukraine scheme.

The local authority will also make checks.  These will include social work and local authority record checks for any child or adult protection risks or concerns.  Where hosts are providing a separate property the above checks will be done only by the property owner or owners.

Sponsors in the UK can be of any nationality and with any immigration status. They must have at least six months’ leave to remain within the UK and pass the background checks. They can live in any part of the UK. Sponsors/hosts must provide accommodation for at least 6 months.

Local authorities will administer ‘thank you’ payments of £350 per month for each sponsor household on behalf of the UK Government. This is a ‘thank you’ payment not a rental or any other kind of contractual payment. Additional funding will be allocated for these payments. Local authority administration costs, including fraud prevention, should be covered within the tariff.

Whilst the sponsorship arrangement exists sponsors/hosts are eligible for the ‘thank you' payment of £350 per month for up to 12 months in total. There will be only one monthly payment per address paid in arrears regardless of:

  • the number of guests being hosted
  • the size or location of the property

Payments should not be released to sponsors until property checks have been completed. Guidance on the required property checks is set out in a section below.

This payment will be tax free. It should not affect the sponsor’s entitlement to benefits or to a Council Tax reduction. We will continue to work with local authorities on the delivery of these payments.

Sponsors/hosts should not charge rent. They are not expected to cover costs of food and living expenses. Sponsors/hosts may wish to offer this especially in early weeks while guests are settling in the UK. Sponsors/hosts should not expect their guest to carry out any unpaid work.

The scheme will be delivered in phases. In Phase I individual people can:

  • host a guest from Ukraine who meets the eligibility criteria for this scheme; or
  • be matched with a guest via the Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor scheme

In later phases organisations and community groups will be able to host groups of guests.

More information is available from the Frequently Asked Questions page.


Data flow and systems

Data sharing

The Welsh Government receives and shares the following data with local authorities:

  • Homes for Ukraine: Individual and Super Sponsor schemes
  • Offers of support

We do not receive any data relating to people coming to Wales under the Ukraine Family scheme.

Any queries on the data that is shared should be sent to

Homes for Ukraine: Individual and Super Sponsor schemes

The Welsh Government receives data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) about sponsors and citizens who have applied for visas under the Homes for Ukraine individual and super sponsor schemes.

We also receive data on Ukrainian citizens entering the UK under the Homes for Ukraine schemes from the Home Office.

Data on sponsors, approved applicants, visa statuses and UK arrivals is currently shared with local authorities through a secure file transfer. However, access to this data will be through the Homes for Ukraine Data Platform once operational.

Information governance documentation, including the Homes for Ukraine Scheme: privacy notice, has been put in place and is reviewed regularly.

Offers of support

The Welsh Government receives data about potential offers of accommodation for Ukrainian citizens from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Additional information about these offers is collected by Welsh Government including the location of the accommodation being offered.

The Welsh Government shares details of accommodation offers with the relevant local authorities through a secure file transfer.

The Welsh Government also collects data related to other offers of support from businesses and organisations. Where necessary data is shared with local authorities through a secure file transfer.

The ‘Ukraine support offers: privacy notice’ provides further information regarding the sharing of data relating to offers of support.

Homes for Ukraine Data Platform

The Welsh Government are working with the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) and Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) to develop a new national Data Platform to support the Homes for Ukraine resettlement scheme in Wales.

The Data Platform will provide secure access to an up-to-date, single source of data to those providing support to Ukrainian citizens coming into Wales.

It will help local authority colleagues monitor and support individuals on their journey towards resettlement and enable accurate reporting to Welsh Ministers and UK Government.

The Data Platform is at the early stages of development and the team are working with stakeholders across the Welsh public sector in shaping it to meet user needs.

The project’s FAQ resource offers more information on the platform itself, the kinds of data the platform will record, and the information governance procedures that are in place.


Transport for Wales (TfW) has set up a 6 month free travel scheme which allows people from Ukraine to travel free on any TfW rail services. 

The person must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • hold a valid passport (Ukrainian refugees only) until processed through the Home Office
  • have a letter issued by the Home Office / Message from Rt Hon Priti Patel MP. See GOV.UK: Ukrainian nationals in the UK: visa support
  • hold a biometric British Residence Permit (BRP) marked that a person is a ‘refugee’
  • have proof of being a ‘refugee’ who has Humanitarian Protection (HP)
  • be someone who can present a BRP which does not include those phrases but accompanied by a letter or email which says they have been granted refugee status / Humanitarian protection

They must show their passport or Home Office documentation showing their status to conductors and station staff.

A free bus scheme, called ‘Welcome Ticket’, is available to all refugees including people coming from Ukraine. This allows people unlimited free travel on the majority of local bus services across Wales and those operating to England if they start or finish in Wales.

Welcome Ticket’ is a voluntary scheme that bus companies volunteer to take part in and runs for 6 months as from 26 March 2022.

Both travel schemes are available for any refugees or those on a humanitarian visa issued within 6 months of the date of travel.

In England, Scotland and Wales people from Ukraine can get free travel by train, bus, coach or light rail from the major airport or port where they arrive. To be eligible they must travel within 48 hours of arriving in the UK.

In Northern Ireland they can get free train or bus travel within 7 days of arriving.

Role of sponsors and hosts

Sponsors are required to:

  • provide suitable accommodation for a minimum of 6 months
  • stay in regular contact with the person they are sponsoring prior to their arrival to help organise and coordinate their arrival in the UK
  • where possible meet them on arrival, and facilitate transfer to their accommodation
  • signpost the person to public services and assist them with tasks such as registering with a local GP surgery

Further information on the role of sponsors is set out in the Scheme guidance for individual sponsors.

We advise all sponsors to regularly read that guidance to get the latest information about ways to support the people they are hosting.

Welsh Government Super Sponsor scheme

The Welsh Government’s Super Sponsor scheme is designed to provide a quicker and safer route for people from Ukraine to come to a place of sanctuary.

It removes the need for applicants to be matched to an individual sponsor prior to being given permission to travel to the UK. Through the Super Sponsor Scheme, people are offered initial accommodation and support to help them settle into Wales.

This support includes language and interpretation services, a health assessment, help to register for a bank account and access to social security payments.

Once people have arrived in Wales local authorities will assess people’s accommodation needs and seek to move people into longer-term accommodation.

This may be a social or private rental property or a property that has been registered by an individual on Homes for Ukraine: record your interest.

Due to the positive response to the Super Sponsor Scheme, we have paused new applications and this will be regularly reviewed.

Role of the Welsh Government

By adopting the super sponsor approach, the Welsh Government has committed to provide support for the individuals and families on arrival into the UK. We have developed support services to provide UK-based transport, accommodation, wraparound services and to work with local authorities to secure ongoing accommodation during their stay in Wales.

We work closely with local authorities and the third sector to provide a warm welcome through this initial accommodation and support package. Once arrivals are matched into longer-term accommodation, the local authority provides ongoing support and uses the national data platform to record people’s location and progress to access funding.

Role of local authorities

Local authorities are the key delivery mechanism for the Homes for Ukraine Super Sponsor Scheme. The approach is similar to previous resettlement programmes and all 22 local authority resettlement teams will be involved in supporting and matching arrivals into longer-term accommodation across Wales.

The initial process is:

  • person arrives into Wales under Super Sponsor Scheme and is allocated into initial accommodation that has been set up across Wales
  • local authority and partners undertake initial triage on arrival to assess for any emergency needs
  • local authority resettlement partnerships work with Welcome Centres and arrivals to identify immediate and longer-term needs. This will see arrivals receive initial financial support, local information on services and area, support with staying in touch with friends and family, advice and support to access benefits and advice and support on accessing health and education services
  • arrivals can access ongoing support through local authority and Third Sector as required

There are specific arrangements that need to be put in place to enable full provision of services and the implementation of overall resettlement processes, these are outlined in this guidance.

Third Sector Non-Statutory Support schemes

Wales Sanctuary Service

The Welsh Government has an existing contract with a Welsh Refugee Council-led consortium of third sector organisations to deliver advice and advocacy services to sanctuary seekers in Wales. The latest iteration of this service is called the Wales Sanctuary Service, replacing the Asylum Rights Programme in April 2022. Since the service was commissioned, the Ukraine crisis has led to thousands of additional sanctuary seekers arriving in Wales so we have varied the contract accordingly from July onwards.

The service can be called upon to provide help to Ukrainian arrivals with a range of queries or barriers in accessing support.This route to direct support for Ukrainians will be useful where the capacity of statutory services is stretched. The service is recruiting additional staff now so additional capacity will start small and increase rapidly.

As well as advice and advocacy provision, the extension of the service includes a dedicated virtual peer support forum for Ukrainians. Displaced People in Action will be coordinating this forum to help Ukrainians to connect with each other and discuss shared opportunities and challenges encountered in Wales. The service also includes immigration legal advice provided by Asylum Justice, where required. 

Finally, the service will recruit a Third Sector Coordinator to help us to map the outpouring of offers and informal support services, with a view to directing these offers most appropriately.

You can refer Ukrainians into the service for help via 0808 196 7273.

If there are any questions about the service itself please contact:

Family Reunion Integration Service

Those arriving in Wales under the Ukraine Family Scheme receive very little support, their hosting family members do not receive thank you payments, and their host local authorities do not receive the £10,500 tariff. The Welsh Government has repeatedly called for funding parity between the two Ukraine visa schemes but UK Government has not agreed to provide this.

In the absence of any other support, Welsh Government is seeking to support Ukrainian families and local authorities by grant funding the British Red Cross to provide trauma-informed, preventative and holistic integration support for these families. This project builds upon successful methods of supporting refugees reunited under the normal Refugee Family Reunion route.

The service will provide a casework programme, led by the needs of Ukrainians arriving and their families. Bespoke integration plans will be established to help people settle in, access rights and entitlements and be supported where vulnerability is identified.

Unfortunately, we do not have data on Ukraine Family Scheme arrivals in Wales. As a result, we will need to take a referral and ‘snowballing’ approach to promoting the scheme. We will encourage all local authorities and third sector organisations who are in touch with Ukraine Family Scheme arrivals to promote the service to those individuals. We will also seek to use social media networks to promote the service.

We are not yet ready for referrals into the service but the Project Manager for this work and can help to answer queries relating to the project:

Homes for Ukraine Host support

Welsh Government knows that many Homes for Ukraine hosts are making a large number of queries to local government and some are struggling with the unexpectedly high time commitment which being a host entails. To help hosts and local government with these issues, the Welsh Government have grant funded Housing Justice Cymru to expand the work they have been doing with us over a number of years in relation to hosting. In recent years, Welsh Government has funded a consortium of third sector organisations, led by Housing Justice Cymru, to provide hosting arrangements for those refused asylum in Wales. The experience they have gathered in that time is extremely valuable to us now.

The Homes for Ukraine host support will include expert and reliable information, training, advice and guidance for people hosting, or considering hosting, on the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Wales. This includes:

  • introduction to Hosting session for prospective hosts, facilitated online in large groups. Sessions will encourage but inform about the likely impact of sharing your home
  • initial training for hosts, including discussion about trauma (including vicarious trauma), managing expectations, setting house rules, safeguarding and orientation
  • reflective practice sessions for hosts with trauma experts
  • one-to-one mediation sessions where need is identified and early intervention might prevent breakdown of a placement
  • phone and email advice and support for hosts
  • development of information and links fully vetted by Housing Justice Cymru and the Welsh Government to combat the misinformation and lack of consideration of safeguarding risks with some other sources of information.

The service is currently recruiting staff to start taking referrals but a Project Manager is now in post and can be contacted for more information about the support available:

Contact Centre

The Welsh Government has commissioned the establishment of a Contact Centre to coordinate and support the arrival of people in Wales under the Homes for Ukraine Super Sponsor Scheme.

The Contact Centre provides advice to people on the Home for Ukraine Individual Sponsor and Families Scheme. It has a 24hr helpline to manage general enquiries. The team also provides support with tracking Super Sponsor visa holders through their journey and allocating people to their initial accommodation in Wales. Initial accommodation types include Welcome Centres, hotels and other types of temporary accommodation.

The Contact Centre provides advice on travel arrangements and coordinates the movement of people between initial temporary accommodation where necessary.

The Contact Centre is establishing a case management team.  The team will support the accommodation needs of more complex cases such as:

  • there are particular health and wellbeing or accessibility needs
  • there are safeguarding concerns
  • where someone has not arrived at their expected destination

The Contact Centre is hosted by Cardiff Local Authority and operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, although the service is reduced between 20:00hrs and 08:00hrs.

Freephone within UK: 808 1751508

From outside the UK: 020 4542 5671 / +44 (0)20 4542 5671


Arrival hubs

A network of Arrival Hubs and Welcome Centres are being established in Wales to support the arrival of people from Ukraine under the Super Sponsor Scheme. However they must also support people travelling to private sponsors and families.

Read the guidance on the establishment and operation of Arrival hubs.

Welcome centres and initial accommodation

Welcome Centres

The Welsh Government acts as ‘Super Sponsor’ for those allocated to Welcome Centres. The Welsh Government will provide funding to Local authorities who have Welcome Centres to implement deliver wraparound support for people in those centres.

Local authorities should provide the following services and support:

  • welcome and Induction
  • access to money
  • access to interpretation services
  • casework support
  • access to education
  • access to healthcare
  • transport
  • risk assessment checks, safeguarding and on-site security
  • immediate essential items
  • connectivity: mobile phones and SIM cards
  • activities
  • local co-ordination between support partners
  • engagement with the Welsh Government

Full details about the wrap around services is available from the Objective Connect information platform please contact to arrange access.

Hotel accommodation

Welsh Government have now commissioned Corporate Travel Management (CTM) to find and make hotel bookings across Wales on a more significant scale to fulfil the increasing demand for initial accommodation. The Welsh Government is setting up further Welcome Centres in July and securing longer term accommodation over the summer to help manage this high level of demand.

Local authorities are asked to liaise with hotel operators to provide support to Ukrainians that are placed in hotel accommodation. The Welsh Government is looking at how to rationalise the type and location of hotels to give local authorities clarity on who will need to provide support and the likely number of people that may require it.

It is expected that stays in hotel accommodation will be short term only until either suitable accommodation is found or capacity is available in a Welcome Centre.

The Welsh Government will provide information about hotel bookings made in local authority areas and individuals and families allocated to the accommodation to enable local authorities in partnership with third sector, registered social landlords and other partners, to provide support.

The Welsh Government will register those local authority single points of contact (not already registered) on the Objective Connect Welcome Centre Portal which will give access to the necessary translated information to support Ukrainians placed in hotels.

The basic level of support should be:

  • translated materials explaining the situation, what will happen next and what support to expect are made available to all arrivals
  • cash or pre-paid cards provided to arrivals in line with guidance
  • undertake an initial welfare check, ideally in person
  • ascertain whether there are any immediate health needs
    If arrivals are reporting they are unwell, advice should be sought from the NHS 111 service
  • help arrivals to settle into the local area, this might be in conjunction with local voluntary or third sector groups

Local authority costs will be met from the tariff but, in some instances, for example where local authority areas are seeing significant numbers of arrivals into hotels, additional funding will be available. Local authorities should keep a record of associated expenditure.

The Welsh Government aims to ensure that the stay in hotels is as short as possible. We want to be as flexible as possible about arrangements Local authorities may want to put in place locally for arrivals in hotels with hosting or other accommodation options. This will work alongside the centralised process for matching offers of accommodation across Wales. Our priority remains moving people out of Welcome Centres and any hosting and other accommodation offers for this process should still be made to the mailbox.

Process for placement in initial accommodation

  • CTM source emergency accommodation hotel options. Preliminary booking is undertaken and Welsh Government notified. Welsh Government checks with Local authority prior to confirming booking and informs relevant Local authority if a booking is confirmed. Timescale: Immediate.
  • Contact Centre provides support to Ukrainian arrivals to help people get information about accommodation, the interpretation service and the Nation of Sanctuary website. Timescale: Prior to arrival. 
  • Contact Centre contacts Local authority about placements in their area so Local authority can make contact with arrivals to deliver services. Note: where arrivals are unexpected it may be necessary to allocate accommodation at very short notice. The Contact Centre will do their utmost to ensure everyone is informed as soon as possible. Timescale: Once travel arrangements are known. 
  • Local authority provides induction pack with local contact numbers and local services. Timescale: Upon arrival. 
  • Local authority ensures £200 payment is made as soon as possible. £200 can be divided into smaller amounts (ideally no less than £50 per person immediately) if it is not possible to immediately provide £200. Balance to be provided as quickly as possible. Timescale: Upon arrival. 
  • Local authority confirms arrival of individual with the Contact Centre through the data sharing process. Timescale: Upon arrival. 
  • Hotel ensures catering, cleaning, linen and laundry services. Ideally, provision of essential items on arrival. Where the hotel does not offer a full board option meal allowance packages will have been pre-arranged. Timescale: Upon arrival and continuous. 
  • Local authority arranges provision of SIM card and internet-enabled devices (as required). Timescale: Within 48 hours. 
  • Hotel ensures access to free WiFi. Timescale: Upon arrival and continuous. 
  • Local authority arranges for opening of bank account.
    Timescale: Within 7 days. 
  • Local authority supports Universal Credit application. Timescale: Within 7 days. 
  • Local authority contacts Local Health Board to ensure they are aware of arrival. Timescale: Upon arrival.
  • Local authority to consider whether local voluntary organisations can be utilised to provide additional informal support, through interpretation, conversational English, befriending or other means, to support temporary stays in emergency accommodation. Timescale: Within 7 days.


The Home for Ukraine: framework for accommodation guidance explains the principles local authorities need to consider when housing people from the Ukraine. This includes providing accommodation after a stay in a Welcome Centre or where a hosted placement has broken down. It also provides advice about ‘thank you’ payments to hosts.

The Framework explains the over-arching principles to help local authorities with the challenging process of balancing our commitment to the people from Ukraine and homeless households in temporary accommodation.

The Framework includes recommended approaches to support the matching of Ukrainians in our Welcome Centres to hosted placements across Wales. It also includes the re‑matching of people where an initial placement has broken down and a new placement needs to be agreed.

Expected standards for accommodation is explained in this guidance.

Person checks

Those arriving under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme will have met standard international security checks before being issued with a visa. Sponsors and all adults in the sponsor’s household will also be subject to initial Police National Computer (PNC), criminal records and Warnings Index checks by the Home Office.  

PNC checks will only identify individuals who have been subject to arrest, remand, conviction or warning markers. All requests for Police information should be carried out through the formal Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) process. This process includes checks of various police databases. It gives the best reassurance possible that vital information is not missed which could lead to safeguarding concerns.

Local authorities should undertake basic DBS checks for all adults in the sponsor’s household. An enhanced DBS check is required if accommodation is offered for children or vulnerable adults. Enhanced checks are needed for each individual over the age of 16 in the sponsor’s household. Wherever possible these should be completed before people start living with the sponsor. However this may not always be achievable.

Sponsors in Wales can be:

  • of any nationality
  • have any immigration status
  • must have at least 6 months’ leave to remain within the UK
  • must have passed the background checks

Complete Background Screening Ltd

The Welsh Government has confirmed that an arrangement with Complete Background Screening Ltd (CBS) allows access to the existing online Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) DBS solution. This will be approved by the UK Home Office and managed by CBS and Vibrant Nation.

To set up an account local authorities should email directly. CBS will manage the registration process on behalf of CIW.

The following information is required:

  • name of organisation       
  • address and postcode      
  • contact telephone number  
  • main contact name
  • contact email address or shared inbox address

The main contact will receive an email with log‑in details into the CIW system and that will give access to the DBS Portal. The Main contact can share the log‑in credentials with other users who will be able to access the system simultaneously.

Mental wellbeing and health care

Service referrals. All families from Ukraine can register with a doctor (GP) to access mainstream health services. This includes mental health services.

Guidance for Health Boards on the Health and Wellbeing of Asylum Seekers and Refugees explains how health support should be provided. Local authorities should work with local health boards to signpost people to advice and referral pathways to specialist public health services. For example for vaccinations (including the COVID-19 vaccination) or health screening.

Advice on further support services such as:

  • initial stabilisation
  • counselling and mental health support
  • adult social care
  • children’s services

should be provided as needed.

Materials to support the mental health and initial stabilisation of those arriving from Ukraine have been translated into Ukrainian and Russian. These are published on the Traumatic Stress Wales website.

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) has produced a useful toolkit that can be used directly by people who have experienced traumatic events. This has been translated into over 20 different languages (including Ukrainian and Russian).

Supporting people who have suffered traumatic events Toolkit:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published support materials to help with stabilisation during the initial resettlement phase.

CALL Mental Health Helpline is available to support people and their families arriving in Wales. CALL uses Language Line if someone wants to access help in a language other than English and Welsh. Information on the CALL Mental Health Helpline has also been translated into 20 different languages (including Russian and Ukrainian):

Support for Displaced People in Wales in Private Accommodation guidance for sponsors has been published by Public Health Wales (PHW). The document includes links to Royal College of Psychiatrists resources on coping after a traumatic event. This information is for anyone who has experienced a traumatic event or who knows someone who has. Public Health Wales has also published a leaflet to explain the effects of being exposed to distressing events which have been translated into multiple languages. This is included in a mental health resources document published on the Traumatic Stress Wales website.

Information about understanding and dealing with grief (in Ukrainian) is available from Cruse Bereavement Support.

The information includes step-by-step instructions on how to call the Cruse helpline and receive help through an interpreter. There is an article on their website about traumatic loss in conflict and war.


The Welsh Government is working to ensure that safeguarding is a central consideration in the systems, policy and advice being developed to support the arrival of people from Ukraine. We know this is also a priority for local authorities and relevant safeguarding partners.

There are a number of different ways in which people from Ukraine and people in Wales will come to be living in a single household. This guidance is about the individual UK Government sponsoring scheme via Homes for Ukraine. It will be reviewed and updated regularly.

Overall, local authorities are required to carry out their existing statutory safeguarding functions in relation to this individual sponsoring scheme, as they would for any other population in Wales. Advice on identifying and responding to safeguarding concerns about children or adults at risk (as defined in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014) is explained in the Wales Safeguarding Procedures.

Full information is available in the Homes for Ukraine: safeguarding and modern slavery guidance.


Social security

The Welsh Government has no powers to change the laws or policies on immigration this is reserved to the UK Government. When a person arrives in the UK their immigration status is decided by the Home Office. People coming to Wales from the Ukraine under the Home Office schemes will have immigration documents or visas to show their rights to work and claim benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have removed certain residence‑based qualifying conditions for people from the Ukraine. People from the Ukraine who have come to the UK under certain Home Office visa schemes are exempt from the Habitual Residence and Past Presence Tests. This means they can apply for certain benefits immediately after arriving.

The Welsh Government has no powers in relation to:

  • the welfare benefits system including benefits for disabled people
  • support for people seeking employment
  • support for people to get into work
  • access to benefits such as Universal Credit

These are managed by the UK Government at the DWP.

Income related benefits for children, such as Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit, are managed by the UK Government at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Council tax discounts and exemptions

A person who has come to Wales under the Home for Ukraine sponsorship scheme will be disregarded for council tax purposes. This will protect the host’s entitlement to the following discounts:

  • 25% discount for one liable adult in the sponsor household or
  • 50% discount where all people in the sponsor household are already disregarded

The host will not lose any exemption from council tax if they offer accommodation to a person who has a visa under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

If the host provides accommodation in a second home the higher premium council tax will not be charged.

An individual or family from the Ukraine living in separate accommodation will be liable to pay the standard rate of council tax. The Welsh Government want them to have access to council tax support to reduce the amount they must pay.

For 2022 to 2023, the Welsh Government made provision in the Council Tax Reduction Scheme regulations (CTRS) so that Afghanistan Nationals and UK Nationals from Afghanistan would be eligible for council tax support. It is proposed to make the same provision for people from Ukraine but this cannot be done until 2023 to 2024.

Until the appropriate legislation is in place, the Welsh Government has asked local authorities to use their discretionary powers under Section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This would mean the council tax bills of households who host people under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are not affected. Also people from the Ukraine living in separate accommodation will be treated as having access to the CTRS.


Support for people from Ukraine seeking employment is managed by the UK Government at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Employment support will be assessed at a local level by resettlement teams. DWP Work Coaches will signpost individuals to suitable employability and skills support.

DWP Work Coaches will undertake individual assessments. People from Ukraine will have access to a range of employment and skills support that is tailored to their individual needs.

For businesses seeking to offer employment it is important to note that guests are given time to rest and to recuperate. They may not be immediately available for work. Offers of accommodation must not to be linked to offers of employment.

DWP has implemented a new process for employers to share details of their potential vacancies. Employers should complete an on-line template via the DWP’s offer work to people who have come to the UK from Afghanistan or Ukraine page.

When a completed template has been submitted, a member of the team at the DWP will contact the prospective employer to discuss the vacancy. Suitable vacancies will be made available to anyone seeking employment across the Job Centre Network.

The Working Wales service can provide personalised expert careers advice and employment support. It is a free service available to anyone aged 16 and over living in Wales.

Working Wales can help by offering:

  • careers information, advice and guidance
  • help to find job opportunities
  • CV and application support
  • job interview preparation
  • support to apply for funding
  • advice and coaching on career change
  • help to upskill and access training
  • referrals to other employability services

Working Wales can also help people seeking sanctuary by providing access to:

  • a language line for interpretation during our appointments
  • advisers specialising in support for refugees and those seeking sanctuary
  • transferring overseas qualifications into recognised UK equivalents for those applying for work or training

Working Wales contact details:

Pets from Ukraine

Cats, dogs or ferrets brought into the UK must meet strict health requirements. Read the Bringing your pet to Wales from Ukraine: frequently asked questions for more information.

Birds, rodents and other small mammals may need a licence from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). These birds and small mammals must be kept indoors in an enclosure for 30 days. They must not have any contact with other pets or wildlife. These requirements do not apply to reptiles or invertebrates.

Welsh ministers have decided not to relax the quarantine requirements in Wales for cats, dogs and ferrets. We will monitor the implementation of the home containment policy in England and Scotland. If the policy changes this guidance will be amended.  Please check the date of the guidance to make sure it is up to date.

It is important to ask hosts if they are happy to accept pets and the type of pets they can accept. Some people may dislike or not be able to tolerate some types of animals.  Some hosts or their household members may have allergies which would make it difficult to host a pet.

There may be limited capacity to house pets at Welcome Centres. Cats, dogs and ferrets which meet APHA requirements may have to be housed elsewhere. This will usually be in boarding kennels or catteries. Welcome Centres may pay for this using their wrap-around services budget. The Contact Centre will notify the Welcome Centre about people who are travelling with pets. This will allow the Welcome Centre time to make the necessary arrangements. The local authority should have a list of registered kennels and catteries in their area.

No one should arrive at their accommodation in Wales with a pet that does not meet APHA requirements. If there are concerns a pet is not compliant guidance should be sought immediately from APHA.

Contact details

Telephone: +44 3000 200 301 (option 2)

Evidence of compliance may be in the form of an APHA licence or a pet passport. APHA may need to send someone to assess the animal. Hosts or the Welcome Centre should ask the pet owner to keep the animal indoors. The animal must not have contact with other pets, wildlife or humans. APHA must be satisfied the animal is compliant before it can live with the family.

There are no restrictions for pets that meet all APHA requirements.

Other information

Tempo Time Credits: support for volunteers and Hosts

Tempo Time Credits is charity in England and Wales that provides opportunities for people to do volunteer work in exchange for time credits. Those time credits allows them entry to events and activities hosted by a range of organisations. 

Tempo Time Credits will support all families hosting people from Ukrainian with 10 time credits. This will provide an opportunity to access to a range of opportunities, experiences and activities to support wellbeing and relationship building.

Tempo Time Credits could be used by the hosting family and guests together to have experiences in the community.  Or they could be used by the guests on their own. Watch the video on How do I use Tempo Time Credits.

Contact Tempo’s Customer Service team for further information: