20 years of patronage from HRH Princess Alexandra

March 2021

Two decades ago, as we entered the new millennium, CFAB was delighted to welcome HRH Princess Alexandra as our Royal Patron, following in the footsteps of her Sister-in-Law, Katherine, Duchess of Kent and previously our charity’s original Royal Patron Princess Alexandra’s mother The Duchess of Kent.  Over the past twenty years’ we have been exceptionally grateful for Princess Alexandra’s involvement and support. She has been and continues to be, an inspiration to all of those involved with CFAB.

Over the past twenty years’, CFAB has responded to challenges of various global crises and international conflicts. In the early 2000’s, we faced a sharp increase in demand due to the volatile conflict in the Middle East. By 2010, we had increased our reach and were working with over 100 partners worldwide (and today we now work with over 130), notably assisting with some high profile Libyan Family Reunifications following the abduction of children. In 2015, demand for services reached an all-time high as Europe’s refugee crisis reached a peak. This led to CFAB being commissioned by the International Organisation for Migration to work with unaccompanied refugee children who arrived in Europe and wished to join family in the UK. In 2016, at the request of the Home Office, CFAB was a key participant in addressing the resettlement of children from the refugee camp in Calais into the UK, alongside other organisations such as Save the Children, Unicef and Refugee Action.  Today, with the global Coronavirus pandemic, we face new types of challenges and complexities but our work remains as relevant as ever. Indeed, we have experienced a 30% increase in our casework over the past twelve months.

Since 2000, we have also worked hard to develop expert training sessions for Social Workers and other professionals, to increase knowledge around international child protection and cross-border family reunification. In 2012, thanks to a grant from Comic Relief, CFAB trained over 700 professionals in the three months prior to the London Olympics to prepare the workforce on issues of child trafficking. As part of this grant, we also pioneered the first online child trafficking awareness training for all professionals working with vulnerable children. We continue to provide a range of high-quality training sessions, with our next virtual International Social Work Training taking place in April 2021. More information about this training and others that we offer can be found here.

CFAB continues to be at the forefront of advocating for a child’s right to family and international family reunification. Most recently this can be seen in our pivotal role in launching the International Kinship Care Guide which has been widely praised for its comprehensive approach in outlining best practice in placing a child overseas. Looking ahead, CFAB will continue to be a strong voice, advocating for the rights of vulnerable children who have become separated from their families across international borders.

Throughout all of these challenges, we have been immensely grateful for our royal patronage. From hosting receptions to promote our specialised services and attending our International Child Protection dinners and other fundraising events, HRH Princess Alexandra has provided much valued support to our organisation and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the years ahead.