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Concluding thoughts

Concluding thoughts by Course Leader Chrissie Gale
Well done for getting to the end of your course. This final discussion will allow us to think about some of the topics we’ve explored together over the last six weeks. We’ve certainly thought about a lot of information, how to provide the best possible suitable alternative care, protection, and support for unaccompanied separated children on the move, as well as those children who, for protection reasons, have had to be separated from the carers they were moving with. I hope that all the course materials have illustrated how the provision of suitable alternative care can also provide access to protection and support services that all children have the right to receive.
We’ve thought through the weeks about the importance of careful assessment of the particular vulnerabilities of unaccompanied and separated children and how we can provide the best possible care in a constructive and child-friendly manner that meets their individual wishes, circumstances, and needs. And please do remember the importance of the discussion we had about full and meaningful participation of children when decisions are being made about their lives. I hope the course materials regarding case management were really useful to you. And I would really recommend you think about how you might use and adapt some of the information in the reference materials we provided, especially if you’re not already using a case management process.
We’ve seen how, unfortunately, many children remain in unsuitable forms of care. However, we’ve also had the opportunity to look at promising practises from around the world where children are in more suitable alternative care placements and where services are being improved, and I hope it was inspirational. And finally, we thought about the issue of care leaving and the importance of preparing children and young people to take this step. It’s been an honour and a privilege to be your course leader over the last six weeks.
And I’d like to thank all those people who contributed to the development of this course, especially those people who took time out of their busy working lives to let us film them and use their contribution to enrich this course. And I particularly like to thank all those children and young people who shared with us their ideas and aspirations about how we can and should improve the support we offer them. And finally, I’d like to thank you for joining us on this course and for your contributions through the questions you answered, the comments you posted, and the ideas you shared. Thank you.
I do hope you found the course enjoyable, and I hope the information we’ve looked at will really help you now and in the future with all the work you do to support unaccompanied separated children on the move wherever they are. Thank you.

In this video Chrissie Gale shares with you her concluding thoughts and summarises some of the main themes we have covered over the six weeks of the course. Chrissie made this video while in Sicily where unaccompanied and separated children were arriving on the coast behind her.

One of the main themes of the course has been the importance of offering the best possible alternative care, protection, and support to unaccompanied and separated children on the move, whether they are in transit for a short or medium period of time, or in a country of final destination.

We began the course by understanding some of the reasons why children are moving and the risks they face. We also understood how children who are moving with their parents or legal/customary caregivers may also face protection concerns and need alternative care.

We looked at some of the international treaties and guidance that should guide our work, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. We were also present at the moment when different States adopted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.

We considered how important it is to carefully assess the individual circumstances of each unaccompanied and separated child, and to take their best interests into account. The results of these assessments will help us accurately plan for their care and protection.

We also realised how working with unaccompanied and separated children in a child friendly manner is very important. It can encourage children to accept our support rather than rely on others who will take advantage of them, as, for example, smugglers and traffickers.

I hope you found the information about tools and processes of case management useful. Please do consider how you might be able to adapt and use some of the materials in the additional reference documents we provided – especially if you are not already using case management procedures where you work.

And please remember our discussions about the importance of the full and meaningful participation of children when decisions are being made about their lives.

We took time to explore different forms of suitable and unsuitable alternative care. We were also fortunate to observe real examples of promising practice in different parts of the world where suitable care is being provided and services are being improved.

And finally, we looked at the process of unaccompanied and separated children leaving care, the challenges they may face during this period, and ways in which we might support them.

We do understand there are everyday challenges you face in supporting unaccompanied and separated children on the move. We hope, however, that the guidance we have offered and the standards we would like to see achieved for each child are something we can all strive towards together.

Finally, thank you so much for all your comments and the contributions you have made to the course. The opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge enriches the course and helps us all learn ways in which we might better support unaccompanied and separated children on the move.

I hope the information and ideas we have shared throughout the course will be of some practical help in whatever your role might be to support unaccompanied and separated children on the move.

How did the course work for you?

The course team is especially keen to hear about your overall experience on the course, what you found helpful, and interesting.

We have really enjoyed delivering the course and hope you have taken as much as possible from the six weeks. We wish you all the very best in your future endeavours!

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This course is sponsored by the Caring for Children Moving Alone MOOC Taskforce, and includes free access and a Certificate when learners are eligible. To be eligible for the Certificate as you finish a course page you must click the pink ‘Mark as Complete’ button at the bottom of each course page. You do not have to mark the quizzes as complete as they are optional.

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Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children

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