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One in four children in need of protection who left the UK continued to be at risk of abuse or neglect

CFAB publishes new research into international children and families cases

One in four children in need of protection who left the UK continued to be at risk of abuse or neglect as it was not possible, despite the efforts of social workers and other professionals, to safeguard them once they had travelled to another country.

This is one of the findings from a study by Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB), funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, into cross-border child protection and international family placements.

CFAB says that in an increasingly globalised world, cases of child protection have become more complicated from both a political and regulatory perspective whilst, at the same time, local authority Children's Services departments have fewer resources to navigate these complexities. CFAB's latest research highlights instances where vulnerable children and their families are at risk of 'falling between the cracks' due to confusion over legal responsibilities and a lack of clear professional guidance. 

Other findings are:

The research also makes several key recommendations for practice and policy as to how professionals can better protect children moving across international borders and for how the processes around international family placements could be improved, better promoting a child's right to family life. These require:

Carolyn Housman, CFAB CEO, said:

"These are challenging times for the social work profession, and the landscape both domestically and internationally is changing rapidly.  However, we all have a responsibility throughout this period of change to maintain our commitment to protecting the rights and interests of the most vulnerable children in our societies, and supporting these children's rights to a family life – safe and without fear of harm."

For the research, click here.