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Winter 2012

CFAB launches new Membership Scheme!

CFAB is delighted to announce the launch of its brand new

CFAB is a unique charity that understands the challenges local authorities are facing surrounding international social work. CFAB has over 50 years experience working with these international matters and can help your staff to avoid some of the pitfalls.

Forget about your front line staff having to agree those fees on the phone and look forward to an easier and quicker way to safeguard many more children and families in need of your help.

If you sign up before March 31st 2013, your annual fee will be frozen for the next 3 years at just £5,000!



Our Membership Scheme will offer unprecedented advantages, including a number of valuable and cost-saving benefits:

CFAB is the only organisation in the UK that provides assistance and expertise on international social work issues.

Membership Scheme. Offered to all local authorities across the UK, becoming a member will give you complete access to our expert services for a single annual payment of only £5000. We are thrilled that memberships have already started to come in.

Unlimited case consultancy and specialist advice for statutory cases regarding children and family work in international contexts. Assistance in all Hague 1996 and Brussels IIa matters. CFAB will carry out all 1996 Hague Convention assessment requests in your local authority which otherwise will be your responsibility. Two bespoke training events per year for up to 50 people on either Child Trafficking, Private Fostering, Children in Care or International Social Work Issues. Expert input to strategy meetings, case conferences and LSCB as required.

COST & TIME SAVINGS Cases are increasing which deal with child protection, child trafficking and children in care where the child is from overseas. Joining CFAB’s membership scheme will save you time and money as well as meeting the safeguarding needs of your service users. BARRIERS REMOVED At present vital information is not always obtained due to frontline staff being unable to agree the current fees requested. Joining will remove considerable pressure from staff having to agree these fees to commission our service. Staff will also be able to use CFAB as often as they need, ultimately enabling them to protect many more children at risk and families in need of help.

Advice and guidance to UK social workers travelling overseas. Includes visa advice and linking UK workers with professionals overseas. The Membership Scheme is available to join immediately! A number of local authorities have already joined and are enjoying the unprecedented benefits. If you are interested in joining please email us for more information and to request a Membership Sign Up form at

IN THIS ISSUE: Private Fostering Project 2 Child abuse based on witchcraft or spirit possession ...... page 3 In focus: Miracle Babies.... page 5 plus lots more!

CFAB Newsletter 

Autumn 2012

Whose child?

Responding to children privately fostered from overseas CFAB’s unique collaboration with local authorities across the UK Did you know there are an estimated 8,500 children from overseas living in the UK with somebody else other than a close relative? The recent figures show only 5% are known to local authorities for support. The rest remain invisible...

BOLA’S STORY Bola came to the attention of Social Services in Bolton when her neighbour reported that she never went to school. Investigations showed that Bola had entered the UK three years previously and stayed with her ‘Uncle’. It was discovered she had been treated like a servant, beaten regularly and never attended school. She was taken into care and CFAB were contacted to see if we could contact her family in Romania. Unfortunately, her family had ‘sold’ Bola and there was a very serious risk that it would happen again if she returned to any of her large extended family overseas. Bola is now living with foster carers in the UK and is very happy. She is now attending school where she is developing well.

Over 10 years ago, 8 year old Victoria Adjo Climbié was murdered by her carers. She was a privately fostered child, sent from overseas to live with her great aunt for a better life. The inquiry into her death ultimately led to the formation of the Every Child Matters initiative and the Children Act 2004. Following the introduction of the private fostering regulations in 2005, concerted effort continues to be made by local authorities to identify children who can otherwise remain hidden. Thanks to funding from The Rank Foundation and John Lyon’s Charity, CFAB has launched an innovative and unique national project to deliver training and support to social workers and multi agency professionals for 2 years, to help identify privately fostered children from overseas. This training is to enable the practitioner to: • Learn about the issues of private fostering • Identify privately fostered children • Safeguard children & promote contact • Train other colleagues and participate in sharing best practice Other benefits of this offer include FREE support and advice to participants for up to two years. In

addition, the local authority will be invited to participate in the research strand of this project, which will explore in-depth issues for privately fostered children from overseas. Finally, in 2013/14 we are planning to hold a symposium, followed by an International Conference in 2015. We are delighted to be taking bookings for this training and very much look forward to collaborating with local authorities to improve the identification and safeguarding arrangements for children from overseas living with somebody else in the U.K.

HOW TO BOOK CFAB will deliver FREE specialist training at your work place on a date convenient for you. To register your interest and to receive an expression of interest form please email We will then provide the contact person with further details.

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CFAB Newsletter 

Autumn 2012

Child abuse based on a belief in witchcraft or spirit based possession For the past year CFAB has been a representative on the DfE working group on this subject, which aims to raise awareness and set out urgent practical steps to identify and protect children at risk. A series of cases of severe abuse and the death of a child over recent years has highlighted the dangers of this form of abuse and prompted action from the Government, including an action plan launched in August of this year. Thankfully this form of abuse is not widespread but it can be lethal when it does occur. The cases of Kristy Bamu and Ikpomwosa, were child deaths linked to this belief system. Belief in spirits and possession is common to many major religions and is not the problem: the problem is where such a belief leads an adult to abuse a child. This form of abuse occurs when parents or carers believe, or are encouraged to believe, that their child is somehow possessed by an evil spirit and that this is causing the child to misbehave or is bringing bad luck to the family. In extreme cases they might believe that the child is actually a witch and is deliberately causing harm to the family. This belief often leads to severe physical abuse or severe neglect. Children can be starved to “starve the devil out.” They can also be burned, beaten, cut and strangled in order to , in the minds of the abusers, “force the devil out.”

Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths - but there has been a ‘wall of silence’ around its scale and extent. Tim Loughton - Former Children’s Minister

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Often children are targeted for exhibiting normal childhood behaviour such as bed wetting, being afraid of the dark, answering back or disobeying their parents. Sometimes children with additional needs are viewed as possessed. Guidance on identifying and investigating this form of abuse, can be found on our website at http:// If you suspect that any physical abuse to a child that may be related to a belief in spirit possession or witchcraft then it is important to act quickly. You can call CFAB on 0207 735 8941 and we can offer expert guidance in investigating this form of child abuse. It is most likely that the signs of this form of abuse will be severe physical abuse or neglect.

CFAB Newsletter 

Autumn 2012

BGC Charity Trading Day CFAB stars in action! BGC Partners were the largest corporate victim of 9/11, losing 658 staff in the attacks. Every year they host a Charity Day where all profits made on 9/11 are donated to selected charities. This year approximately $12 million was raised globally and will be distributed amongst 100 charities - one of which is CFAB! CFAB was represented by 5 of Britains’ greatest Paralympians and Steve Rider! Naomi Riches,

Mark Colbourne

David Smith, Mark Colbourne, Jody Cundy and Sam Hynd were amongst many celebrities who participated in the day trading, and below are just a few photos of our guys in action! CFAB is so grateful to the 5 paralympians and Steve Rider for all their support and help during the day and in the organisation of this event. It was a super day enjoyed by all.

Members of the CFAB team with Sam Hynd and CFAB patron Steve Rider

2nd Embassy Social Welfare Meeting CFAB was delighted to hold the second successful Embassy Social Welfare Meeting on 27th September at the US Embassy. The event aimed to discuss the issue of placing children overseas with extended family members, and the role that High Commissions and Embassies can play. The morning was a great success and welcomed participants from over 50 Embassies. The morning was opened by David Stewart, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs and Consul General at the US Embassy and was followed by a presentation from CFAB and Karen Tatom from UKBA. A useful downloadable document is available on our website on the themes and key points emerging from the morning CFAB is enormously grateful to David Stewart and all the staff at the US Embassy for hosting the event

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Sam Hynd, Jody Cundy & Mark Colbourne

Naomi Riches

David Smith

Call my Bluff Wine Tasting! On Thursday 8th November twelve teams joined us at the Hyatt Regency, The Churchill for a brand new wine tasting event with a difference! In teams of ten, guests listened to a panel of experts from Atlas Fine Wines each describe 6 wines. However, only one of them was telling the truth and in their teams the guests had to work out who had called their bluff... The evening was great fun and was enjoyed by all those who attended. The evening finished with a short live auction of some fantastic wine-related prizes and the raffle draw and prize giving. raising an astounding ÂŁ30,000 for CFAB! We are incredibly grateful to Atlas Fine Wines for forming the panel of judges and to all those who donated prizes and everyone who supported us on the evening.

CFAB Newsletter 

Autumn 2012

In focus: Miracle Babies Introduction CFAB has recently seen an increase in so-called ‘miracle baby’ cases. These are cases where “fertility clinics” overseas offer treatment to women who are unable to have children, and despite the women never being pregnant, are able to take a baby home. The truth is they are given someone else’s new born child and told that it is theirs. They are then issued with false birth certificates.

couple’s story of having been duped by the clinic is credible, and allowed them to keep the child who came into their care via this method. CFAB is extremely worried about the message this has sent to the bogus clinics and couples who may

Also affected are those couples in the UK who have put themselves forward as adopters. They have been through a lengthy, emotional and arduous process to be approved as adopters. They may be denied the right to be parents in favour of a couple who, however seemingly unwittingly, used a bogus fertility clinic rather than apply to adopt.

The fate of the actual birth mother is unknown. It is believed that they are vulnerable women who are coerced, threatened, beaten and possibly raped. It is clear that there is no evidence that they have willingly given up their children. Baby farms are a growing and concerning issue in Nigeria. UK High Court Case CFAB has heard stories concerning couples in the UK claiming they were duped by the clinic and that the woman genuinely believed that she was pregnant and gave birth. The couples have used false documents to obtain visas to bring the children to the UK. Health services in the UK have then raised the alarm with local authorities, and family court care proceedings have followed with DNA tests showing no biological link between the child and couple. Recently a High Court Judge, Mr. Justice Coleridge, has judged that a

anything about her child’s life or play any role in it.

be considering trying to gain a child by this method. We fear that this decision will encourage traffickers. The Victims The real victims here are the children and the actual birth mothers. Both risk not being considered in these cases. The child will never know their birth family, their family medical background or how they came to be. They may never be told the truth about their origins either. The actual mother will never see her child grow up, will never know

CFAB’s role CFAB is working to ensure that it is the rights of the child that are paramount in consideration of any future cases, and that the desire of the adults to have babies and the methods they choose to achieve this are not given precedence over the best interests of the child. If you have any concerns or queires regarding miracle baby cases please contact our advice line on:

020 7735 8941 Unit 1.03 Canterbury Court 1-3 Brixton Road London SW9 6DE

CFAB is now on Twitter! @CFAB2012 Follow us today!

Tel: 020 7735 8941 Fax: 020 7582 0696 CFAB2012 Page 5

CFAB Newsletter 

Autumn 2012

A CFAB success story The day after attending CFAB child trafficking training (supported by Comic Relief ) a UKBA border official became suspicious about an American adult entering the UK with a 15 year old boy. Using the knowledge of identifying potential victims of child trafficking gained at the training, the official flagged up the adult and child as in need of closer scrutiny. Immigration officials questioned both more closely and searched their luggage. It quickly became clear that the boy was being bought in to be used for sexual exploitation and may already have been a victim of sexual exploitation in the USA. The officials liaised with the USA to formulate a plan. The adult and child were returned separately, the adult to the US Police who arrested him and the child to child protective services in the USA who placed him in foster care and arranged services for him to address the trauma he had suffered. This is one of a number of cases where child protection concerns and protective action have followed attendance at CFAB training, demonstrating that our training offers practical operational skills for frontline staff.

If you would like to support CFAB to enable us to expand our programmes please visit our website at or call 020 7735 8941

Dates for your diary... 13th February 2013

In the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra, and Paralympian gold medallist Mark ColbourneCFAB’s 7th ICP Dinner will be held at the French Ambassador’s Residence from 7.30pm in Kensington Palace Gardens. This event is by invitation only

12th March 2013

CFAB’s 3rd Embassy Social Welfare Meeting will be taking place at the Canadian Embassy focussing on the process of UK family and childcare law and court proceedings. Guest speakers from CAFCASS.

14th & 15th May 2013

CFAB’s 54th International Spring Fair and Food Festival at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall supported by Diplomatic Missions in London and open to members of the public to attend. HRH Princess Alexandra will be attending on the morning of 15th May 2012. For details on any of the above, or to register your interest, please contact Emma Derham on Page 6

autumn Newsletter 2012  

autumn Newsletter detailing all the charity's news in the winter of 2012

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