This study sets out to answer four questions. (1) Why the response to separated children differs to that offered to Irish children in need of state care. (2) Whether equal treatment with Irish children in the care of the state would represent a significant improvement in the lives of separated children. (3) If equal treatment is an appropriate aspiration what are the barriers to achieving this in relation to policy, administration, practice or system issues? (4) How might a funder or NGO intervene effectively to improve the situation?