Safe, Secure and Thriving Campaign
Why did we choose this campaign?
We launched our Safe, Secure and Thriving Campaign to highlight the need for more robust post-placement support for children placed with carers overseas. Currently, we do not know the total number of children being placed overseas, which countries they are being placed in, what orders are being used or how many are successful or eventually breakdown.
There is a huge lack of large scale data about the outcomes of children placed overseas. Without it, we don’t know if support for overseas kinship placements is on par with what a child would experience in the UK. Location, borders or nationality should never be a barrier to adequate post-placement support.
Without proper governmental monitoring and guidance in place, children who are already vulnerable can be put at further risk of neglect, abuse, exploitation, or forced to take dangerous journeys back to the UK. Even in these cases, a local authority can refuse responsibility for a child because of the cross-border nature of their placement.
The Department for Education's focus on kinship care within their Stable Homes, Built on Love Implementation Strategy is a positive step to ensuring that all children can maintain meaningful relationships with their families and communities. A new kinship strategy should consider family relationships extending across borders while ensuring that necessary safeguards and support for children and kinship carers are in place, which supports a thriving and secure environment.