Expat Children and Their Role in Successful Global Mobility

Published: Friday, January 19, 2024
Sirva Communications

International moves are one of the most stressful life events one can experience, and this is especially true for children. Young people experience international moves in a more emotionally intense way than adults, and they sometimes lack the verbal skills needed to discuss their feelings and reactions. When you add the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to ensure the wellbeing of relocating children as the world opens up is more critical than ever.

As part of an ongoing series of research initiatives, Sirva co-sponsored a recent report in association with The RES Forum: Expat Children and Their Role in Successful Global Mobility.

The report explores a number of questions and concerns about Expatriate Children and Global Mobility, including:

  • Why is it a good time to focus on child friendly global mobility?
  • Why is the wellbeing of relocating children more important now than ever?
  • How do you formulate a Global mobility strategy that addresses the concerns of the whole family, including children?
    • Pre-departure decisions and activities
    • On-assignment activities for the time abroad
    • Post-assignment repatriation, re-adjustment, and international networks
  • How do you navigate the challenges of international parenting?

Wellbeing of Relocating Children

In the report, Sirva Director of Intercultural Services, Brenda Bellon, highlights the importance of focusing on the wellbeing of relocating children by providing targeted, customized intercultural training prior to, or at the beginning of, an assignment. This is a critical step in equipping children with the resources, information, and skills they need to make the transition to a new country successfully.

Providing children with robust and high-quality relocation support is important to supporting their mental health in today’s challenging environment, and for organizations, it demonstrates to their employees that they and their family members are valued, respected, and appreciated.

International Children Checklist

Children observe everything going on around them, and if their assignment experience is poorly managed, there is a high risk that their experience of being abroad will be a negative one. Rather than seeing all the great opportunities and benefits, they will focus on the downsides and struggles. Not to mention that a bad family experience will negatively affect the assignees’ performance as well.

The RES Forum International Children Checklist helps you evaluate the needs of your international assignees’ children and understand how well your organization is accommodating those needs.

Download the Report