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

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“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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