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This content is taken from the University of Strathclyde & CELCIS's online course, Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Hello. Here you are almost at the end of Week 4 of your course, another week packed with information. Here at CELCIS in the University of Strathclyde, we believe your participation in this course and the way you’re willing to share your ideas within such a rich and diverse group of participants is just one of the things making this course really come alive, so thank you. It’s been another interesting week watching all your comments and discussions about the topics we explored relating to the meaning of the suitability principle and how it might be applied to providing care and support to unaccompanied and separated children in your country. In addition, the interest generated by the poll was really excellent.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds I do realise you’re facing many challenges on a daily basis to provide suitable alternative care options for children and to stop them being placed in unsuitable settings, such as detention centres. Indeed, the standards we were discussing may seem unattainable. But I really urge you to try and make changes in whatever way you possibly can. It may take a long time for anything to happen, but even the small changes, we make are really important for children. Hearing from Nigel Cantwell, one of the actual drafters of the UN guidelines, meant we had a really firsthand insight into recommendations in the guidelines.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds He led us through some of the complex issues related to the use of large residential institutions and the detrimental impact this can have on children who have to stay in them. I hope you enjoyed the information provided by colleagues in Mexico, Ethiopia, and Sicily, and they helped us provide some really important ideas about what might be possible. I think the passion and hard work of people working these projects is inspirational. And I want to thank them for taking time out of their busy schedule to share their knowledge and experience. And I’d particularly like to thank all the children and young people who allowed us to film them.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 seconds So good luck with the quiz that’s coming up, and I’ll see you next week.

Looking back on Week 4

Thank you for completing Week 4 of your course.

This week we have explored what makes an alternative care setting unsuitable. We have also looked at the features of suitable care and what this means for the different forms of care that are ideally made available to unaccompanied and separated children. We also considered the importance of making sure children are not placed in unsuitable care settings, and things we can do to improve this situation.

While discussing suitable care options we focused on family-based and family-like care settings. We have been fortunate to watch real life examples of promising practice in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Sicily, and we would like to thank all the people who gave up time in their busy lives to allow us to film them. We would particularly like to thank the children and young people who participated in the filming for sharing an insight into their lives. In addition, a lot of people worked hard behind the scenes to help us make the short films and I would particularly like to thank members of the UNICEF and International Social Service teams in Mexico, UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Innovative Humanitarian Solutions in the district of Shire, Ethiopia, as well as the Italian Red Cross in Sicily. There are also a number of national and international non-governmental organisations to thank.

Thank you for all the discussions you have contributed to. It has been really interesting to read about your ideas and particularly your responses to some of the questions we asked you on the discussion pages.

We hope you now feel comfortable engaging in the following issues:

  • How we determine whether an alternative care setting is suitable
  • How we determine whether an alternative care setting is unsuitable
  • Different suitable forms of alternative care that might be made available for unaccompanied and separated children on the move, as well as accompanied children identified as being at risk of harm.

A document with links to all of the resources that have been used this week is available for you in the ‘Downloads’ section below.

In the next step you will be able to test what you have learnt this week. For your information, this quiz is only available in English. Remember, you can attempt the quiz as many times as you like until you get the correct answers.

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This video is from the free online course:

Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

University of Strathclyde