31 March 2022

Supporting child refugees and their families

The devastating impact of the war in Ukraine on the children and young people affected will be felt for their lifetime.

This is a critical moment to do everything we can to support the rights of every child and young person and meet the needs of all the children in need of support, care and protection, their families and carers impacted by this situation.

As children and young people are uprooted from all they have ever known, we must ensure that there are measures in place to safeguard them from further harm. This includes following best practice in child protection and safeguarding, preventing risk from exploitation and trafficking, being responsive to trauma, following best practice in providing alternative care where this is needed, and providing support for their health and wellbeing.

There is much we can learn from what children and adults have shared of their experiences of war, conflict and emergencies caused by natural disasters, and from international guidance which addresses needs as well as rights of children (and adults) including war and conflict.

Everyone can help to provide the support needed. On our new resource page, ‘Supporting child refugees and their families’, we have brought together advice, guidance, information and training to help people in Scotland working with and supporting children and families in a professional, voluntary or personal capacity, and across Europe. We will be adding to these in the weeks and months ahead and providing other opportunities to access learning, share promising practice and look at needs together.

An updated version of our free online course, Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children, designed to equip learners with an understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children face, will be launched next month. Backed by sixteen leading international humanitarian and human rights organisations, the course is available to learners around the world in four different languages. Interested learners can click the ‘email me when I can join’ button on the FutureLearn website to be notified when the course goes live.

Every child has the right to live free from fear, harm and risk.

Children and young people of Ukraine are no different and we will do all we can to support their opportunity to grow and thrive in safety.

View the resource page

Sign up to be notified about the Caring for Children Moving Alone online course