UCL Department of Geography


Children Caring on the Move (CCoM)

CCoM is an ESRC-funded research project investigating separated child migrants’ experiences of care, and caring for others, as they navigate the immigration-welfare nexus in England

The project sits against the backdrop of rising numbers of children who have been separated from primary carers during migration and conflicting state rhetoric: protecting children on the one hand and immigration control on the other.

‘Care’ is ambiguous in this context because children may receive care because of their ‘child’ status or be excluded from provision because of their ‘migrant’ status. CCoM fills a gap in existing research, law, policy and practice which, to-date, has emphasised parent or state care to the neglect of children’s care for each other.

Our pilot studies indicate this neglect has led to a theoretical lacuna in conceptualisations of care and meant that policies and practices designed to support separated child migrants can end up harming, excluding or discriminating against them.

CCoM uses participatory methodologies, in combination with an analysis of the cultural political economy of separated children’s care, to provide new evidence about the implications of separated migrant children’s caring practices for the ways relevant stakeholders respond to the immigration control-protection tension at the heart of the UK state, and the consequences for separated migrant children.


The project is led by Sarah Crafter (OU) and Rachel Rosen (UCL), alongside academic colleagues from UCL (Elaine Chase, Veena Meetoo), University of Bedfordshire (Ravi Kohli), University of Liverpool (Helen Stalford), University of Northampton (Evangelia Prokopiou), and University of Oxford (Ellie Ott). Kamena Dorling, Head of Policy and Law at Coram’s Children’s Legal Centre, joins the team as an expert consultant. 

It is affiliated with the Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education.