Voluntary Sector Safeguarding Services for Migrant Children and Families: Opportunities and Challenges July 2015 - August 2016


phf_logo_rgbThis study will explore the role played by voluntary sector organisations providing  services such as advice and material support to migrant children and families who are destitute. It will seek to explain one of the findings of a recent study conducted by COMPAS on the responses of local authorities to destitute children and their families, which found that voluntary sector organisations found this area of work particularly challenging. The study will seek to identify the causes of those challenges, and how those challenges could be addressed.






Twenty-four semi-structured interviews will be conducted mainly in London and Birmingham across different parts of the voluntary sector, including refugee organisations, homelessness organisations, faith-based organisations, domestic violence organisations and children’s organisations; and with policy/sectoral experts and funders. Four focus groups (two each in London and Birmingham) will provide further opportunity to explore themes raised in interviews; and two round tables will be conducted to consult on the study’s emerging findings. A literature review will be undertaken, drawing on academic literature on the voluntary sector, cross-sector partnerships, and welfare services and deservingness, to inform the research design and contextualise the findings.


This research aims to inform a better understanding of the underlying reasons for barriers to the effective operational and strategic work across the voluntary sector and will be a key contribution to the debate on relative deservingness of different groups of migrants and the role the voluntary sector plays in this debate. Furthermore, the research will aim to benefit funders by informing a better understanding of how they can support voluntary sector organisations to effectively meet emerging needs within their communities, at both strategic and operational levels.