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New research will audit best practice in inter-country children and families cases

Children and Families Across Borders announces research and advocacy project

Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) – the leading UK charity that protects these children in cases involving the UK and one or more other countries – is undertaking new research to identify and share examples of best practice in social work cases that cross international borders. 

The charity says that in an increasingly globalised world (in which more than 13% of the UK population are foreign born), cases of child protection have become more complicated from both a political and regulatory perspective. At the same time, children services within local authorities have fewer resources to navigate these complexities. The findings of this research will examine precisely where decision-making may falter and how child placements could be improved.

The first phase of the project, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, will consist of a research audit into best practice and challenges in inter-country children and families cases, focusing on 200 cases where children at risk travel across international borders and where children in care are placed with families abroad. CFAB will utilise its large casework data base to examine where the challenges and solutions lie. We will also invite local authorities and other agencies to contribute data for a better understanding of how to ensure these cases are resolved in the best interest of children.

In the second phase, CFAB will use the knowledge gained from research to lead on advocacy initiatives that will improve policy and practice. This will include the creation of a Working Group to improve multi-agency collaboration and enable changes to policy to better serve children. In addition, CFAB will take its knowledge of best practice "on the ground" by creating practical resources and delivering training to front-line social workers and other multi-agency professionals.

CFAB would welcome anyone who is interested in the project to contact it directly. Updates on the project progress will be shared on the CFAB website and newsletter.

For more information, click here.