Barnardo’s chief: in the best interests of the children


“If not us, then who?” Anne Marie Carrie is fond of asking when talking about the decision of Barnardo’s to provide welfare and social care services at Cedars, the “pre-departure accommodation centre” (PDA) that opened a year ago. The centre holds failed asylum-seeking families before they are deported.

The decision – the charity’s most controversial since Carrie took over as chief executive in January 2011 – provoked fury from anti-child detention campaigners, who accused Barnardo’s of allowing a rebranded version of child detention to continue when the coalition government had promised to end it. Carrie is noticeably uncomfortable and increasingly defensive discussing the issue.


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