Presentation on theme: "Returning or placing children overseas – Issues and solutions Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) Andy Elvin CEO Formerly known as International."— Presentation transcript:
Returning or placing children overseas – Issues and solutions Children and Families Across Borders (CFAB) Andy Elvin CEO Formerly known as International Social Service of the UK (ISS UK)
Aims of Presentation Overview of CFAB’s work Focus on: Cross Border child protection issues Issues with Placing Children Overseas Potential Joint Court Pilot in UK
Where we work Over 120 countries
What We Can Do? CFAB SERVICES Assessments Welfare Checks Social Service & Police Checks Advice Pass on Child Protection Concerns Post- Placement Services
Section One: Child Protection Duty to pass on information to competent body overseas if family flee or move in a planned way. Vital to gather information from overseas. CFAB can obtain information from overseas and pass on child protection concerns to overseas authorities. Examples of Cross Border Child Protection Issues: Child abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession Staged fake births or miracle babies Trafficking FGM UASC
Child Protection (2) The number referral to CFAB of families fleeing social services has increased 600% in 2013 (20 cases cases 2013) Most common destinations are Poland, Lithuania & Spain Good Practice Ensure you have contact details of family overseas If child on plan of protection agree that child’s passport held by LA Remember child may have UK and/or other passport Discuss issue with family so they are aware you are monitoring
Child Trafficking: Current Estimates Numbers of children identified are much lower than actual estimates as so few frontline professionals have heard of the NRM children identified as trafficked children identified as trafficked children identified as trafficked Key Countries outside EU in 2012: Vietnam 72 children Nigeria 67 Children Albania 25 children In EU Romania, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Bulgaria key countries Source – UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) 2013
Private Fostering 10,000 children from overseas may be privately fostered in the U.K. They are living with a carer who has no parental responsibility for them. Notification does not work Ubiquitous “Aunt” Hidden in plain view No visa tracking Issues of status at 18
Placing children overseas In out of every 5 children born in London had at least 1 parent from overseas. Vital social workers obtain details of family overseas An increasing number of children looked after have relatives overseas, at least 4000 and possibly up to 10,000. All children have right to family overseas so all overseas relatives must be given proper consideration. Parents Solicitors must help to contact extended family.
Issues in Placing overseas Evidence gathering – availability of social work staff Differing social work assessment practice worldwide. Increased use of video link/Skype for witnesses. Brussels II & Hague 1996 – limitations & benefits Ongoing risk to child
Practical placement issues Visa issues – US v. Australian model. Availability of UK entry visas to relatives in some cases. Mirror orders and gaining orders once child placed. Follow up visits.
Joint Court Proposal Issue is what is most effective Best Interests Determination process? Joint Court will bring together family and immigration court Child will be subject to this once identified Within 6 months BID made and child will return to family/alternate care or stay in UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain
Joint Court Proposal 2 Issues are: Governments nervous of effect on immigration numbers Availability of robust assessments in some countries Cannot be used if ongoing conflict in country of origin Opportunities Will resolve immigration issue early so child’s future can be planed with confidence Will resolve issues of legal parental responsibility early
Child must be at heart of BID process Child welfare, not immigration, is key determinant Thank you! Conclusion