October 2018
Issue on Transnational Families
"You can feel the hardship, but you also have to do whatever. What I mean to say is that when they are left alone it’s not that they are not loved, that is the truth, but it’s because of the situation."

- Noluthando , South African mother who left her children behind to migrate for work, from Fragmenting the family?: The complexity of household migration strategies in post-apartheid South Africa
Focus on Transnational Families
As the international community prepares to attend the Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration   in Marrakech on the 10th and 11th December 2018, we focus this issue of the newsletter on the growing body of literature exploring the impact of migration on children’s care and well-being. While we previously highlighted recent research and resources on children who have themselves migrated, either with their families or unaccompanied, we focus here on articles exploring the situations of children whose parents or other caregivers have migrated within their country or across borders. Understanding the diversity of care arrangements in those contexts and their relationship to child rights and well-being is essential for governments and practitioners working to inform policy and services to support appropriate care. Going beyond the concept of ‘left behind children,' recent research is exploring the complex reality of transnational families and transnational care. 

Population, Space and Place Special Issue on Transnational Families

This special issue of the journal of  Population, Space and Place , with several open access articles, aims to address the gap in transnational families studies by identifying if there are common patterns and effects of transnational family life across countries and regions, using cross‐country comparative analyses.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
The authors of this study from Population, Space and Place use data from surveys in three countries to document the frequency and variability of intensive, engaged transnational parenting in the diverse global regions of Asia , Africa , and the Americas .

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This multimethod qualitative study from Population, Space and Place in 4 high‐migration communities in East Lombok, Indonesia , explored the strategic actions migrant parents take regarding birth registration.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
In this paper from Population, Space and Place , the authors examine the reunification patterns of children left‐behind by parents who migrated to France and Spain in order to understand whether children from standard two‐parent families differ in their chances of joining their migrant parents in the destination country compared to children in non‐standard families (single parent and blended families), as well as the potential role of immigration policies on these chances.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This open access paper from Population, Space and Place aims to fill a knowledge gap by comparing transnational and nontransnational African families with parents living in Europe to understand their different family structures.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from Population, Space and Place is a pioneer effort to comparatively examine how the life satisfaction of children is influenced by their experiences of migration and by their interactions with parents in two geographical contexts: Ghana and China .

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from  Population, Space and Place  provides the first estimates of the prevalence of parental absence via migration that are comparable across populations in contemporary Latin America .

Related Topics: Children and Migration
Other Resources on Transnational Families

The Global Migration Indicators 2018 report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a snapshot of what is known about migration today. The report reviews key trends in global migration, including sections on remittances and the migration of women and children, and highlights the relevant SDGs and Global Compact objectives.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
In this chapter from the  Handbook of Migration and Globalisation , the authors examine the relationship between family, globalisation and migration through the lens of care, focusing specifically on the experiences of transnational families around the world .

Related Topics: Children and Migration

In this mixed methods study from United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research , the authors use nationally representative panel data from South Africa to investigate migration patterns when viewed from the perspective of children. 

Related Topics: Children and Migration
According to some estimates, a third of the adult Moldovan population is working abroad, often 'leaving behind’ children in the care of relatives, neighbors or in orphanages. This paper from the  Journal of European Studies investigates how such high migration rates affect Moldovan family life and personal definitions of identity and success.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from Child Indicators Research empirically measures the perceptions towards maternal and paternal migration of male and female children who stay behind in Ghana .

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This paper from the Social Sciences and Education Research Review examines the situation of children in Romania whose parents are going to work abroad, leaving the children without parental care.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This chapter from  Migration between Africa and Europe  investigates family life in the context of international migration between Ghana and Europe (the UK and the Netherlands ). The chapter finds that transnational family forms, in which one or more members of the nuclear family are living abroad while the other members remain in the home or another country, are common.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from the journal of Comparative Migration Studies uses nationally representative data collected in 2011–2012 in Moldova and Georgia to investigate how children’s health associates with five transnational characteristics: migrant and return-migrant household types, parental migration and parental divorce, maternal and/or paternal migration and caregiver’s identity, the duration of migration, and remittances.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from the International Journal for Equity in Health aims to explore unintentional injury disparity among schooling left-behind children, migrant children and residential children in China , and to examine the risk factors of unintentional injury among the three types of children based on a multi-level system framework.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
The authors of this article from Childhood and Parenting in Transnational Settings have started to conduct a qualitative research intending to determine, if and to which extent, children left behind are vulnerable to human trafficking in Romania .

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This paper from the  Human Resource Management Review  provides a typology that can be applied to the transnational family as a theoretical lens through which diverse forms of transnational families can be understood.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
The aim of this chapter from Childhood and Parenting in Transnational Settings is to explore how caregiving arrangements among parents of the recent East European labour migrants in Sweden develop in a transnational setting.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This article from Childhood and Parenting in Transnational Settings examines the case of three groups of young people in Filipino transnational families: stay-behind children of migrant parents, migrant children reunited with their parents in their receiving country, and children of ‘mixed’ couples.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This study from the journal of Migration Studies explores the experiences of Jamaican transnational mothers in New York City, US and documents their stories in light of current research which investigates how transnational motherhood transgresses gender stereotypes and pushes the boundaries of gender roles and expectations.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This article from the journal of Ethnography looks at the interaction between transnational family relationships in Cape Verde , on the one hand, and family-related immigration policies, on the other.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This paper from Euromentor aims to analyze the situation of children of Romanian migrants left at home in the care of a parent or other guardian (with or without legal forms).

Related Topics: Children and Migration

Understanding the Situation
The aim of this study from JAMA Psychiatry was to examine trajectories of latent psychopathology factors—general (P), internalizing (INT), and externalizing (EXT)—among children reared in institutions in Romania and to evaluate whether randomization to foster care is associated with reductions in psychopathology from middle childhood through adolescence. This study is part of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project.

This study from the journal of Child Development examined disruptions in caregiving, as well as the association of these disruptions, with cognitive, behavioral, and social outcomes at age 12 in a sample of 136 Romanian children who were abandoned to institutions as infants and who experienced a range of subsequent types of care.

The Chronicle of Social Change, a US national news site focused on children, youth and families, has released this ambitious data and reporting project to examine where kids go when they’re removed from home. The project yielded significant findings about states’ struggles to recruit and retain foster homes, and their increased reliance on relatives and group homes.

This report from Anglicare Tasmania looks at the nature and extent of the income and housing challenges faced by families in Tasmania, Australia who have had children removed by Child Safety Services, and the impacts those challenges may have on positive family reunification outcomes.

This paper from The World Bank Research Observer summarizes evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa under the Transfer Project, including the Kenya Cash Transfers for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, the Lesotho Child Grant Program, the Zambia Child Grant Program, and more.

Among the findings from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in Tanzania , this report highlights data related to the gendered differences in childcare responsibilities in households, violence experienced at home during childhood, household living arrangements (including those who grew up primarily in alternative or kinship care), and the situation of "non-resident" children.

In this study from  PLoS ONE , the relationship between family structure and positive adolescent sexual behaviour, measured as delay in sexual debut, in sub-Saharan Africa was examined using the bioecological theory framed by a risk and resilience perspective. After controlling for other covariates, the study found that adolescents living with neither parent had lower odds of delaying sexual debut although results were only significant for males.

Related Topics: Strengthening Family Care
Policies, Standards, and Guidelines

The FrameWorks Institute's Reframing Early Childhood Development and Learning is a communications toolkit for building public support in Kenya for better child development policies and programs. Related materials include: Talking about Early Childhood in Kenya: A FrameWorks Message Brief and Expanding the Basics: Mapping the Gaps between Expert, Decision-Maker and Public Understandings of Early Childhood Development in Kenya

This article, published in Governance , explores the issue of the major reform of the child welfare sector that has been carried out in Russia in recent years.

Learning from Practice

This evaluation examined the designs and implementation processes of the saving group components of ChildFund’s Economic Strengthening to Keep and Reintegrate Children in Family Care (ESFAM) and AVSI Foundation’s Family Resilience (FARE) projects in Uganda and identified practical lessons for implementers. Read also: ASPIRES Family Care Process Assessment: Cash Transfers for Family-Child Reintegration and Prevention of Separation

The purpose of this report from the Kisumu Street Children Rehabilitation Consortium of Kenya is to share with local and national governmental leaders about Kisumu’s successes in significantly reducing the street population within the city and to inform others of the successful (and unsuccessful) interventions deployed in order to achieve these results.

This report by The Brotherhood of St Laurence presents an evaluation of the second stage of the the Developing Independence (DI) in Out-of-home care (OOHC) pilot in Melbourne, Australia.

This paper from the First Peoples Child & Family Review documents findings from an evaluation of the Live-In Family Enhancement (LIFE) program in Manitoba, Canada , and recommends that this approach be expanded for use in prevention as well as reunification.

This study from the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review reviews a series of interrelated studies on the development of children residing in institutions (i.e., orphanages) in the Russian Federation or placed with families in the USA and the Russian Federation.

The purpose of this paper from the Journal of Children's Services is to validate measures of professional self-efficacy for detecting and responding to child abuse and neglect presentations, and then evaluate a clinical training program for health professionals in a tertiary-level hospital in Vietnam .

This paper from the journal of  Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk  discusses the experiences of parents receiving family reunification services because their children have been placed in child and youth care centres in South Africa .

In this issue, we highlight the care-related Concluding Observations adopted by the  Committee on the Rights of the Child  at its  79 th Session  held 17 September - 5 October 2018, with a particular focus on sections addressing children's care.
Click below to read the Country Care Reviews for the following countries:

S audi Arabia

This video from Focus in Africa, BBC World News highlights findings from a recent Disability Rights International (DRI) report which explores the practice of infanticide of children born with disabilities in Kenya .

14 November 2018
10-11 December 2018
24 June 2019
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
15-17 September 2019
Glasgow, Scotland
29-31 October 2019
Tel Aviv, Israel
9 November 2019
15 January 2019
No deadline given

Newsletter participants, currently 4,187 in total, work on issues related to the care and support of vulnerable children across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. The purpose of the newsletter is to enable members to exchange information on matters of mutual concern. If you would like to share a document, raise a specific issue, request a newsletter subscription, or reach out in any other way to the Network, please send the information to us at  contact@bettercarenetwork.org  or visit our website at  www.bettercarenetwork.org.  

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