Children and Families Across Borders's response to the Government’s children’s social care implementation strategy

Today (Thursday 2 February), the Government published new plans for children’s social care which pledges that vulnerable children will be better supported to stay with their families in safe and loving homes.  

The Government has rightly recognised that children who grow up in loving, stable homes have better outcomes in life. Given CFAB’s focus on family reunification, we are encouraged by the Government’s prioritisation of family-like kinship placements when a child can no longer live with their parents.  

Statement from CFAB’s CEO, Carolyn Housman:  

“We are heartened by the Government’s focus on better supporting vulnerable children to stay with their families.  We know this can only truly be achieved by increasing the possibility and quality of kinship arrangements that cross international borders. With one in three children having a foreign-born parent, CFAB estimates that there are currently 18,500 Looked After Children in the care system, who could and should have family members abroad explored as long-term care options.”

In today’s global society, we know that that for the Government to achieve this proposed family-centred reform of children’s social care, the consideration of family relationships which extend across international borders must be included. This must include both children who can be placed overseas to live with extended family members and Unaccompanied Minors and Asylum-Seeking Children in care in the UK who should not be deprived of their family connection in other countries.  We welcome the proposals to invest £9 million in kinship care training and will look to support local authorities to apply some of this training to kinship carers overseas where Looked After Children have been placed with them. We also greatly encourage the Government to further explore the case for financial allowance for kinship carers, particularly through the extension of legal aid as we have first-hand experience of how this will benefit overseas kinship carers when international placements are requested.  

CFAB look forward to supporting the Government with these reforms and contributing to the proposed National Kinship Care Strategy to ensure that vulnerable children can remain with their families in safe and loving homes, no matter where they are from.