In March 2011 Barnardo’s agreed to provide family support, social work and welfare services within Cedars pre-departure accommodation. Cedars is a purpose-built centre used to accommodate families in the last 72 hours before the flight back to their country of return, as a last resort in the final stages of the family returns process.
In April 2014 we published a report about our work in Cedars and our recommendations to Government two years on.
Barnardo’s experience and expertise in delivering high-quality children’s services enables us to help children and families when they are most in need at this highly stressful time. Our role is clearly defined and Barnardo’s is not involved in the operational aspects of the accommodation, including security and transport overseas.
In July 2011 we established ‘red lines’ which clearly outline the conditional terms of Barnardo’s involvement. These ‘red lines’ are built into our grant agreement with the Home Office and are monitored on an on-going basis by senior staff. We have and will ‘speak out’ if these lines are breached.
Barnardo’s decision to provide welfare and social work services in Cedars goes right back to our core purpose – to support the most vulnerable children in the UK. We are in no doubt that these children are some of the most vulnerable. The very nature of Cedars as a last resort means that families who stay there often have complex and challenging needs.