Kent County Council has defended paying up to £150 per journey for a Dover taxi firm to transport migrants to “supported accommodation.”
It comes after the authority reveals that the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children has risen from 220 in March last year to 368 in March this year.
By Friday, this figure had increased to 629.
A spokesman said: “Under the Children Act 1989, it is KCC’s legal responsibility to care for under-18s who arrive in the county from abroad, seeking asylum.
“Recent world events have led to a huge increase in the number coming through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel, and Kent is now at breaking point.”
'Recent world events have led to a huge increase in the number coming through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.' - KCC spokesman
KCC will not reveal the name of the firm involved but said that it is necessary for them to travel by taxi because of the varying distances.
When they first arrive on British soil, an assessment of their physical and mental health, language ability and other issues is done.
Those under 16 goes into foster care and 16-17 year olds either go into foster homes or into supported accommodation.
The spokesman said: “We have been working with the Home Office and the Department for Education to try to address this problem; we are asking for a fairer distribution so that these young people are placed across the whole of the UK, and not just left here in Kent.
“We have had some productive talks with the Directors of Children’s Services for other local authorities and have begun transferring a number of UASC to foster homes in areas close to Kent - about 50 so far.
“We have no more foster beds available anywhere in the county and the current situation is unsustainable.”
KCC said that it is trying to keep the costs of these journeys to a minimum but have negotiated better rates by entering into contracts with other companies.
“We hope to recoup these costs from central government in due course,” he said.