AFRUCA works with various local authorities across the country to provide training and support for African parents going through the child protection system. We have had very good success in working with parents to enable their children return home without a recurrence of child abuse. We also conduct cultural assessments of related cases – especially of different African backgrounds and provide oral evidence in court if required.

AFRUCA’s work with families is premised on the fact that culture and religion should not be a reason to abuse children. We are aware that many parents, coming from different countries, with different cultural and religious practices might not be aware of UK laws and regulations on child protection, and might put their children at risk of harm as a result. Our family support programme aims to assist parents in gaining new skills, knowledge and understanding of parenting, while at the same time “de-learning” many of those practices that could be harmful to children. This is important for parents in order for their children to be safeguarded from abuse and harm, while removing any basis for intervention in family lives by local authorities. In effect, our family support programme serves as a prevention and early intervention programme supporting parents to ensure children can be protected from abuse and harm.

Parents who have had their children removed by local authorities can be assisted and supported to gain new skills and knowledge in order to ensure they can create the necessary safe and happy environment in order for their children to return home. At AFRUCA most of the parents we work with have had their children removed as a result of physical chastisement – this is a practice viewed by many African parents as essential for effective discipline in children. However, many children are put at risk of harm as a result. It is essential that parents are assisted to change their mindset about how discipline can be enforced in the home, that there are a lot of different, more effective ways to discipline children without the use of violence and that gaining new skills is essential to positive parenting.

AFRUCA takes referrals from local authorities across the country to work with African families in the child protection system. If you are a practitioner wishing to make a referral please email iro@afruca.org (AFRUCA Head Office, London) or rose@afruca.org (AFRUCA Centre, Manchester) for a referral form. Please note: this is a paid-for service.

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