A Birmingham academic has teamed up with Harry Potter author JK Rowling to launch a charity improving the lives of children in care.
Professor Kevin Browne, an expert on childcare and protection at the University of Birmingham, is among a team of four working for the charity Children's High Level Group.
The others include Rowling, MEP Baroness Emma Nicholson and education expert Muir-John Potter.
The charity was launched on the back of work Prof Browne and Baroness Nicholson have done in Romania. The two have already worked closely with the Romanian Prime Minister to reduce the number of young children in care.
About 22,000 children have been put back into family-based care over the past four years, with half of them returned to their parents or relatives.
Also, due to a change in the law, it is no longer possible to institutionalise children under two years old.
Instead of working from the grass roots, the charity aims to continue its work with high-level officials and government representatives.
The charity has received funding from the EU to repeat its work in the eight EU countries with the highest number of children under the age of five in care.
These are the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Hungary.
"With the celebrity status of JK Rowling and the political talent of Baroness Nicholson, I hope we will be able to target leaders of government and solve this problem," Prof Browne said.
"There are many negative psychological and develop-mental effects from taking young children away from their families and not providing adequate foster care for them where they can receive one-to-one interaction.
"These countries have all signed the UN Convention on the right of the child, and the Children's High Level Group hopes to help them meet their targets as part of it."
The charity will also work with other countries inside and outside Europe and is already in discussions with the Prime Minister of Moldavia.
Prof Browne, based at the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, said JK Rowling "is aware of the publicity that she can attract to the charity". He added: "I am convinced that she will soon become an expert on childcare issues in her own right."