Lord Laming supports our Safe, Secure, and Thriving Campaign

Children and Families Across Borders is delighted that Lord Laming is supporting our Safe, Secure and Thriving Campaign. We were lucky enough to record a short video with him explaining the issues and CFAB’s recommendations.  

Lord Laming is perhaps one of the most influential social workers in British history. He was the Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate from 1991 until 1998, before going on to chair the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. This inquiry investigated the circumstances that led to Victoria being tortured and murdered by her Great Aunt, with whom she had been sent to live from Cote d’Ivoire. His findings led to major changes in child protection policies, including the introduction of the Children’s Act 2004. Given his extensive experience in the children’s social care sector, his support for the Safe, Secure and Thriving campaign is a major step forward in our campaign.

The Safe, Secure and Thriving Campaign developed as a response to our research showing that there are 18,000 Looked After Children in England and Wales who have family members abroad who could – and should – be explored as options for their long-term care. Yet half of local authorities who responded to CFAB do not regularly explore overseas families as care options, meaning many children are left without the option of being reunited with their family. Additionally, there are worrying discrepancies in the support given to children who are placed with family abroad. This is leaving children at risk of being left abroad without appropriate care and without a safety net.  

CFAB has developed a series of recommendations to address this worrying situation. We are asking that local authorities collect data on how many children are being placed abroad, so that the scale of the issue is better understood. We are also recommending that children placed overseas are offered, as standard, proper post-placement support and monitoring, including contingency plans, in case a placement breaks down. CFAB also asserts that kinship carers overseas should be entitled to the same support and training that is given to those in the UK. If these recommendations are adopted, it will mean a significant improvement for those children in care who are separated from their families by international borders.

We recently had the privilege of meeting with Lord Laming to discuss the vulnerabilities faced by children removed from their parents’ care who have family overseas and his support for CFAB and our campaign was unequivocal: CFAB must be involved in every single case. No exceptions. We are very grateful to Lord Laming for his ongoing support and would highly recommend his informative video on the subject.