At a glance


  • Children / families

Other details

Geographical remit: 


More children are on the move today than at any time since the Second World War. More children in the UK are born into multinational families than ever before. In an increasingly globalised world, increasing numbers of children are finding themselves separated from their families across international borders. This includes children whose parents have died and have relatives overseas, children who have been trafficked or exploited and children who are travelling as unaccompanied refugees. Most children in these circumstances end up in care systems which are unsuitable for their long-term needs. Children and Families Across Borders makes sure they have the best possible chance of being reunited with their families. As the only UK charity with a children’s international social work team, and the UK’s only member of the International Social Service network, we can alert social services and professionally assess long-term care options for children in the UK and over 120 countries. We believe that all children should have the opportunity to enjoy their right to a family life wherever possible, and be protected from abuse and exploitation, regardless of where they are from. Our work has been transforming children’s lives for over 60 years and has never been more relevant.


CFAB is the only UK charity with an inter-country social work team. Our qualified social workers and specially trained case workers:

  • manage children’s cases referred to us by other charities, social service providers, government agencies, international partners and individuals 
  • make sure all options for a child’s long term care are thoroughly assessed, that their views are listened to, and that they get the right long-term support
  • run the UK’s only free professional Advice Line on international children and family cases
  • carry out training and awareness-raising work in the UK – helping professionals recognise and deal with situations in which children from overseas are at risk
  • improve practice in inter-country social work through policy work and through training and exchanges with partners and governments overseas.
  • provide dedicated post-placement support to families who have been reunited in the UKacross international borders, via Dublin III or other immigration routes

This means, for example:

  • A child from overseas who finds themselves in the care system in the UK will often have family overseas who are ready and willing to look after them. CFAB professionally assesses options to help them get the best possible long-term care - wherever possible reuniting them with their family.
  • When a child who social services have concerns about moves between the UK and another country, CFAB alerts the relevant authorities to ensure that they are still protected.

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