Will the government succeed in rebranding child detention?

In response to the recent decision of the children’s charity Barnardo’s to collaborate with government in the new immigration centres for children and families awaiting deportation, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, former Children’s Commissioner, has urged in a commentary piece on Open Democracy UK children’s advocates to stand up to government.
 Barnardo’s claim that by being there it will be able to hold government to account has been used by other organisations involved in the running of detention/immigration centres in the past and has proved false in several circumstances. I can’t really see how by working in the ‘new’ centres for children and families awaiting deportation Barnardo’s will be able to question the current rebranding of child detention. However, as the OpenDemocracy article validly shows, this episode is symptomatic of a broader crisis of the mainstream children’s advocacy sector which seems to have lost focus and motivation, too close to the policy makers to be able to question and challenge government’s agenda, as for example in relation to the situation and treatment of undocumented migrant children and children to undocumented migrant parents (see my piece in OpenDemocracy).
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