Campaigns

Advocacy

Campaigns

Advocacy

CFAB’s work is complex but essential. The children we work with have no one else to turn to. These are the children who have fallen through the cracks of society. They often have no safe place or family nearby and may be thousands of miles from home. Without CFAB’s help they will remain in dangerous situations or quite simply be forgotten.

Beyond our practical support, CFAB undertakes advocacy work to uphold every child’s right to family. We work with partners to inform and reform policy – this keeps international child protection on the agenda with policy makers and ensures that our unique technical expertise is fed into wider discussions about child protection.

Cross Border Child Safeguarding Working Group

CFAB’s CEO is the Chair of the Cross Border Child Safeguarding Working Group (CBCS WG). Through this group, we provide a forum where cross-sector representatives can share information on emerging issues related to international child protection and discuss solutions to practical challenges. The working group:

  • Promotes better information sharing and cooperation of agencies involved in cross-border child safeguarding cases;
  • Identifies issues of common interest where joint action can be taken to implement better safeguarding practice and policies;
  • Brings together examples of good practice for dissemination;
  • Helps to identify solutions to issues highlighted and identify changes which may be required to policy, legislation and in the recruitment, training and guidance issued to social workers and other child protection practitioners.


Helps to identify solutions to issues highlighted and identify changes which may be required to policy, legislation and in the recruitment, training and guidance issued to social workers and other child protection practitioners.

In collaboration with the CBCS WG, a number of government departments, child protection agencies, and local authority social workers, CFAB produced the International Kinship Care Guide. This is the first of its kind guide to comprehensively address good practice for placing Looked After Children currently in care in the UK with family  who live in another country.

To read the guide, click here.

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Interim Report: The Case for Change – Children and Families Across Borders's response

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Interim Report: The Case for Change was released on the 17th of June. Please see CFAB’s response to this report here.

The impact of Brexit on cross-border child protection

When Britain left the EU, we left many arrangements and agreements that underpinned many of the UK's cross border child protection and family reunion cooperation with the European Union.

We left the Brussels IIa Regulation, altering how cross-border care proceedings with EU countries are now managed. We left The Dublin Agreements on reuniting asylum-seeking families. The free movement of people officially ended, meaning European children in the UK must settle their status by June 2021 to avoid losing any of their fundamental rights in the UK.

To tackle these challenges, we have been preparing a range of activities and resources:

  • We have produced a number of Guides around leaving Brussels IIa and using The Hague Convention 1996 which can be found on our Guides page.
  • We have written an in-depth article on the legal framework around cross-border care proceedings for children connected to the EU which can be accessed on Community Care Learn.
  • On 7th July 2021, we hosted a webinar for Consular staff entitled The UK's EU departure and the end of the EU Settlement Scheme in partnership with The Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit. The Guides produced for this event can be found here.
  • As Chair of the Cross Border Child Safeguarding Working Group, CFAB’s CEO, Carolyn Housman recently engaged with the Association of Directors of Children's Services, asking them to lay out their plan to ensure all European children in care are supported regularise their status. We are awaiting their response. 

CFAB’s contribution to The Centre for Social Justice’s Report, Safely Reducing the Number of Children Going into Care

In early 2021, we were delighted to be asked to contribute to a report compiled by The Centre for Social Justice, Safely Reducing the Number of Children Going into Care.

This report focuses on the failings of the current children’s care system, the poor outcomes for children in care and the alarming increase in the number of children entering the care system – an increase of 3% in the last year.

Importantly, the report also provides potential solutions, focusing on impact of relationships and recommending that the care system should be structured in such a way that continuous stable relationships, both within the family and with professionals, can be encouraged.

Within the report, CFAB’s CEO Carolyn Housman points out that there are currently 18,000 Looked After Children in England and Wales who may have family members abroad who could – and should – be explored as options for their long-term care. The report highlights CFAB’s Freedom of Information request which demonstrated that over half of the local authorities in England and Wales had not considered family overseas as a care option for children between 2015 - 2017. Given the high number of children in England with family overseas, and to improve the chances of future family reunification, CFAB has launched a campaign – Safe, Secure and Thriving – which calls for improved data on the number of children in care who have family abroad, on the number of placements of children from care with family abroad, and on the outcomes for these placements.  

To find out more and read the report, click here.

To find out more about CFAB’s Safe, Secure and Thriving campaign, click here.