All around the world, thousands of children are travelling across and between borders as unaccompanied and separated children. Different countries may respond to the needs of these children in different ways, but the concern for children on the move is a global one. More than 20 organisations, including IFSW, ISS, UNICEF, and UNHCR, have come together to design a course for social workers and others concerned with the welfare of children.
The course, starting 15 February 2021, will equip learners with an understanding of how to discern and respond to the needs, circumstances and wishes of unaccompanied and separated children on the move as well as those at risk of separation. This includes resources and information to support prevention of family/primary caregiver separation; prevention of unnecessary placement of a child in alternative care; and, when such care is necessary, ensuring the availability of suitable alternative care.
Rory Truell, IFSW Secretary-General, highlights the role of Social Workers in this context: «Children’s Rights are universal – they do not stop at borders or in countries of transit and destination. This course really emphasises the key role of social workers in supporting, empowering and protecting children moving alone.»
Pascal Rudin, IFSW Representative to the United Nations on Children’s Rights, has been involved in the production and update of the course. He says «Over 29,000 participants from more than 150 countries have already joined the discussion on how to offer the best possible alternative care, protection and support to the thousands of unaccompanied and separated children on the move. The course has been adapted to include working in COVID-19 context. Start 2021 by joining thousands more for the fifth and final run of an innovative free training course!»
Participants will be able to share ideas and examples of practice with other learners across the world. To it widely accessible, the course is free of charge, can be studied on one’s own pace and is available in four languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
More information can be found here: http://www.childrenonthemovemooc.com/