Priorities for the new UK government

Children and Families Across Borders asks the new UK government to uphold the right to family by utilising international kinship

4 minute read

In an increasingly globalised world, more and more children in the UK have family connections overseas. Data shows that from 2004 onwards, more than a quarter of children under age 18 in England and Wales have a parent born abroad. Additionally, between 2020-2022, an increasing number of Looked After Children have been identified as having non-British citizenship or nationality.1 With over 100,000 children in care in the UK, it can be estimated that over a third of these children are likely to have family connections overseas which could and should be explored both for their long-term care and to help preserve their culture, identity and sense of belonging.  

Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) has long advocated for a child’s right to family, no matter where they are from. Founded in 1955, we work to protect children who have become separated from their families across international borders and reunite them where possible. As the only UK member of the International Social Service network, our work spans 130 countries and we support almost 3,000 children each year.  

The General Election in July 2024 brings an opportunity for a newly elected Government to prioritise the needs of children and the importance of family within the social care system.  

We are asking the new Government of the UK to:  

  • Ensure a child's rights approach is fully integrated within the current reforms of children's social care within England to.  
  • Ensure support for overseas kinship placements is on par with what a child would experience in England.  
  • Recognise the importance of cultural identity within the standard practice of kinship placements.  
  • Publish sub-sets of data reported from local government on the number of kinship or overseas assessments and the outcomes of overseas placements, and ensure such data is publicly available for research and analysis.  

We ask all candidates, if elected, to show their commitment to kinship families in their constituency by:

1. Asking a parliamentary question about when progress will be made on the national Kinship Care Strategy

2. Asking for a Westminster Hall debate about supporting kinship families overseas

3. Joining the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care

4. Writing to the leader of their council asking what actions are they taking to ensure children in care have their right to family upheld