International Kinship Care Guide

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International Kinship Care Guide

International Kinship Care Guide


The International Kinship Care Guide is a good practice guide for professionals placing children from local authority care with family members abroad.

In collaboration with the Cross-Border Child Safeguarding (CBCS) Working Group, a number of government departments, child protection agencies, and local authority social workers, CFAB has developed this guide on international kinship care placements and minimising breakdown when Looked After Children are placed with family overseas.

“This is a comprehensive guide for professionals exploring family placements abroad for children, and many of the considerations here will apply for other forms of care.  It bridges the gaps between various domestic policies and legislation.”

-Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England

What the guidance covers

"All local authorities should read this.  It's robust and comprehensive, I am sure social workers will find it helpful."

-Victoria Roberts, Barrister, Coram Chambers

Broadly, the guidance sets out:


  • the steps which should be taken whilst assessing potential carers overseas;
  • recommendations for the ongoing relationship between the relevant authorities in each country to ensure that responsibilities are clear and are mutually agreed;
  • barriers to permanency which would need to be considered before placement, or which would need additional support for the child and carer in order to ensure that the child has a successful and permanent placement.

Why further guidance is needed

"An exceptional piece of work - detailed, insightful, respectful, timely."

-John Simmonds, Director of Policy, Research and Development, CoramBAAF

CFAB estimates more than 18,000 Looked After Children in England and Wales may have family members abroad that could and should be explored as options for their long-term care.


Despite the benefits that are associated with international kinship care placements - such as allowing the child to maintain a sense of family identity - these placements are rarely considered as a long-term and permanent option for children and young people currently in care in the UK.

A summary guidance sheet on international kinship care is also available as part of our series of factsheets.

Take a look at our Guides for Professionals. Find out more here.


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