Online course – April 12 2019

Training to support unaccompanied and separated children

A new online course on how to respond to the needs and rights of unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children has opened for registration. SOS Children’s Villages International is part of the task force that created the course.

Registration opens today for the first run of the course “Caring for Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children”, which begins on Monday, 27 May.

The course explores how to offer the best possible alternative care, protection and support to unaccompanied and separated children refugee and migrant children. It is a free six-week online course, available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.

The course is freely accessible to anyone interested in supporting unaccompanied and separated children. It will be of particular interest to practitioners and policy makers and all those who work directly with unaccompanied and separated children as well as children on the move at risk of family separation. This includes staff of humanitarian organisations, social workers, child protection professionals, teachers, lawyers, psychologists, medical staff, care workers and volunteers.

By the end of the course, learners will be able to identify the specific risks, vulnerabilities and support needs of unaccompanied and separated children; apply the content and meaning of relevant international and national legislation and agreements, and have learnt about good practices in relation to suitable alternative care settings that meet the needs and circumstances of individual unaccompanied and separated children on the move.

The course content includes first-hand experience from professionals, volunteers and young people. Organisations represented in the content of the course include the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Social Service, UNICEF and UNHCR.

Experts involved in the content of this course include Dr Nigel Cantwell, who was involved in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – which marks its 30th anniversary this year – and was the lead consultant for the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which marks its 10th  anniversary this year. 

The course was created with the support of members of the Geneva-based Taskforce for Children on the Move, including the following international agencies and organisations which work together on initiatives to promote the protection and care of children:

Better Care Network; CELCIS; Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; Hope and Homes for Children; International Detention Coalition; International Federation of Educative Communities; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; International Federation of Social Workers; International Organisation on Migration; International Social Service; Latin American Foster Care Network; Save the Children; SOS Children’s Villages International; Terre des hommes; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Learn more:

More information on the project providing the course is available at: