Dear Child Protection Professional,
You are well aware of the phenomenon of migration. Many people go abroad to work in order to satisfy their needs related to the house, family or children. Thousands of parents had to go abroad leaving their children behind mainly with their grandparents or relatives.
Migration has both positive and negative effects. Parents earn more money and can afford to improve the living conditions of the other family members, buy the things they need to have a decent life, pay their children’s tuition, medical treatment and lead a healthy lifestyle. Many children had the opportunity to visit and spend their holidays in foreign countries.
The negative effects of the migration of parents, however, cannot be ignored either. The most affected are the children, who are deprived of parental affection, a parental model, who might experience social integration problems or somatic symptom disorders and depression.
In spite of its effects, migration continues to be an objective phenomenon, which is part of the reality.
In these conditions, some children can hardly cope with their daily responsibilities and feelings: they are late for school, don’t cope with their homework, have lower motivation to learn, are emotionally cold, have behavioural disorders, are not empathetic, don’t have the skills to communicate efficiently and to handle conflicts peacefully.
The children whose parents work abroad have the same needs as the other children. Some needs are even stronger – the need for affection, approval, acceptance, safety and protection. They expect equal treatment; they don’t want to be perceived as “abandoned” or to be “labelled” in any way.
This message is an appeal to the child care professionals to protect the children in distress given that the psycho-social assistance of children left behind by migrant parents requires a specific approach that takes into account the needs of these children and the vulnerabilities associated with the separation from their parents.
Only as a team, specialists will be able to ensure supervision and protection of the children whose parents work abroad.
For more information on working with children and families affected by migration, please download „Families Without Borders: Children left behind? Parents gone abroad? Answers for professionals” Guide for professionals
Video course: Key Aspects of Child Protection, developed by Terre des hommes Moldova (in English and Romanian);
Child Protection Hub for South-East Europe offers a wide range of resources on child protection issues, in English, Romanian and other languages.
Professional development resources developed by Terre des hommes Moldova;
Guide for professionals working with children left behind, developed by the Center for Information and Documentation on Child Rights (CRIC);
The situation of children without parental care as a result of migration, developed by UNICEF MOLDOVA and other resources on the subject of migration;
The Course Support and Trainer’s Guide “The psycho-sociology of the child – social professional relationship”, developed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family Center of Investigations and Consultancy “SocioPolis” and Caritas Czech Republic;
- Brochures for professionals, developed by the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention
If you know of other helpful resources on this topic, please write us and we will add them to the list above.