TRAIN has been working to support Traveller and Romani families who are experiencing child protection involvement since 2015. It was set up to respond to urgent need and because no other specific support for Traveller and Romani children and families in child protection existed in the UK.
Since 2015, TRAIN has been providing free telephone advice and support to parents whose children are in need, at risk, or are in the care system, and with members of the wider family or community who are raising children unable to remain at home. TRAINs main aim has been working on capacity building to help Traveller and Romani communities to help themselves. TRAIN has always been managed by two volunteer social workers and each year the work that TRAIN has been involved in has grown. In 2017, for example, TRAIN provided help and support to 61 families. TRAIN enabled people's voices to be heard, and it has enabled the situation of child protection to reconsidered and to be taken seriously. Whilst advocating for one family a Judge made it clear that without TRAINs involvement the outcome of Care Proceedings would have been quite different.
Today a growing number of organisations are beginning to see and exploit the need to provide help and support to families in matters related to child protection. There is now money available to organisations so that they can fund advocates, online media tools, training videos and information services and all of the other things that TRAIN has been providing. What TRAIN has done for the last 3 years on a free and voluntary basis, other well meaning organisations are now receiving payment to do as well. For this reason, the work that TRAIN has been championing has come to a natural end.
The fact that more organisations are working to support Traveller and Romani families who are experiencing child protection services is fantastic. As many of these organisations are also grassroots Traveller and Romani Community groups, TRAIN's aim to work on capacity building to help Traveller and Romani communities to help themselves has seemingly been achieved, not through consultation though, but by example, innovation and leadership.
TRAIN hopes that those people who found the strength to ask for help in the past will enable others in the future to speak out about the situation that they are in and to seek support early and without delay. It hopes that other well meaning funded services are able to understand and cope with the complexity of child protection policy, and it hopes that the new organisations taking over TRAIN's role are sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled to spot and challenge procedural irregularity and to fight for natural justice, without compromise, in a way that Traveller and Romani families urgently require and deserve.
Most importantly TRAIN hopes that the unique challenges faced by Traveller and Romani families in Child Protection will not be dismissed, minimised or denied. If the significant discrimination that Traveller and Romani face in child protection is not taken seriously, all of the work that TRAIN has tried to achieve and all of the lobbying work it has done will be undone.
Traveller and Romani Advice and Information Network
TRAIN supports all Traveller and Romani families, who are experiencing social work involvement.
We provide free telephone advice and support to parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system, and with members of the wider family or community who are raising children unable to remain at home.
We work on capacity building to help Traveller and Romani families to help themselves.
meet the team
If you have any comment about TRAIN we would love to hear from you. If you think we can do things differently or better, please let us know by clicking the link below.
In addition to supporting children and families, TRAIN has enabled Care Proceedings to implement more balanced perspectives, as one social worker wrote on 8th June 2016:
“I currently complete court expert reports and I found TRAIN very informative. I also shared the research with the presiding Judge and the Irish Traveller community as I felt it was necessary to take hold of this explicit knowledge that can sometimes be hidden from social work practice”.
Social Worker and Advocate
Working in partnership with the University of Salford, TRAIN provides Continuing Professional Development to social workers, residential support workers, foster carers, Independent Reviewing Officers, Guardians, Children’s Rights Officers.
TRAIN aims to change social work policy and practice through adult, child and community involvement. It aims to help families make sense of social work involvement and enable active and empowered participation for all involved.