Situation analisis of children on the move published in Poland
In Poland there is no clear definition of who "children on the move" are. For the purposes of the project two groups of children were considered to be "on the move": international migrants (foreign minors) and internal migrants (those who have experienced running away).
There is neither centralized child protection system in Poland, which is why the researchers have chosen to focus on foster care: the most centralized system concerning children. The foster care system (children's institution) cooperates with other institutions, such as social services, the police, prosecutors and the judiciary.
The first two chapters set out the general framework of the research and provide an overview of the legal and institutional background that impacts or is aplicable to children on the move. The third one addresses the particular characteristics of children in foster care.
The analisis shows the foster care system in Poland is maladjusted when it comes to the specific case of children on the move. First of all, it does not cover all children on the move. The groups which are most invisible to the system are unaccompanied minors who run away very soon after having been observed by an institution - they very often just disappear and are not looked for after the fact. Also, some international migrants who run away from children's institutions can and do disappear from the system, only not as often.
One of the main problems lies in insufficient coordination between different institutions. A child on the move has contact with different institutions but these are individual contacts, lacking one organized plan or agenda for the child let alone, shared discussion or the quick transmission of information. This is why these children very often feel lost in the system. This problem may also be magnified by a lack of data about children on the move - even if some exists, it is spread out among different institutions, with no single organization receiving all data about these children.
There are standards of support for international and internal migrants which are at least partially applied in practice - as procedures. However, these procedures are not child friendly and do not always serve children. The big disadvantage of these procedures is time - they often take a long time, especially in court, which essentially puts children in the situation of being "in between", without knowing what their future will look like and lacking a sense of security.