A female volunteer wearing a blue plastic poncho covering her arms and head and a yellow vest that says Siri Anne on the back of it holds a tiny baby. It is raining and the volunteering is looking out to sea.
A volunteer holds a frightened child who arrived in Lesbos, Greece, moments earlier on a crowded raft from Turkey. The boat, steered by an untrained refugee, landed on a rocky stretch of the coast.

Getting care and protection right for children on the move

You may be a border guard or immigration official. Perhaps you are a social worker working for the government or a non-governmental organisation. You might be a volunteer, a foster carer or a guardian. Maybe a residential care worker, teacher, health worker, judge, lawyer or translator. You may be a youth worker, a community support worker or someone with responsibility for developing policy and legislation. Indeed if you have any responsibility for unaccompanied and separated children - and other children on the move who are at risk of harm - you will have a role to play in contributing to their care and protection.

Over the next few course steps we will think about the importance of identifying unaccompanied and separated children. We will also be exploring the tools and processes of case management that can help us develop and implement care and protection plans for them. A process that is also applicable to accompanied children on the move who might be at risk of harm.

This week we will work step-by-step through the different actions as illustrated in the diagram below from the Global Protection Cluster (2014) Interagency Guidelines For Case Management And Child Protection. In this diagram a box at the top has 'Identification of a possible unaccompanied or separated child'. There is an arrow pointing to the box underneath which says 'Assessment of the needs, circumstances and wishes of the child'. An arrow then points to a box underneath this that says 'Developing a care and protection plan that meets the identified needs'. An arrow points to a box underneath this that says 'Implementation of the care plan, including direct support and referral to other services'. There are two arrows coming out of this box. One to the right hand side that says 'Referral to services, e.g. health, psychosocial support' and a box pointing directly down from the Implementation box that says 'Regular follow-up and review of the child's circumstances and care plan'. An arrow comes out from the right hand side of this box and goes straight up to join 'Referral to services' box

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This article is from the free online course:

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

University of Strathclyde