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This research was conducted as part of the Maria Project: Joint action to protect Central and South Eastern European migrant children from abuse, exploitation and trafficking in Europe. The main goal of this research was to assess the situation of children on the move within the context of the child protection system in Poland.
It was found that, in Poland, there is no clear definition of who “children on the move” are. Neither is there a centralized child protection system in Poland; the research for this project focused on the national foster care system, which is the most centralized system concerning children. The research points to insufficient coordination between the different institutions cooperating with the foster care system: social services, the police, prosecutors, and the judiciary. Children often feel lost in the system.
Procedures for supporting international and internal migrants were found to be only partially applied in practice and not child friendly. The biggest disadvantage of these procedures is the time they take to process, leaving the child in an ‘in between’ state with an unknown, uncertain future. The report concludes with a range of recommendations.