Vulnerable Children & Families

School Children in Nigeria

Due to the long-term effects of HIV, AIDS and poverty, many countries are home to increasing numbers of vulnerable children requiring care and support beyond what can be provided by their families. Government, civil society, and the international donor community have attempted to fill those gaps in care and support through the provision of services to millions of at-risk children. Standardizing the delivery of child and family welfare services is a first step toward achieving a systemic and sustained response to the needs of vulnerable children and families. Improvement methods can help national coordinating bodies and implementing partners to develop and put in practice outcomes-oriented standards for vulnerable children and family services. Improvement methods can also test models to support and strengthen government capacity to protect most vulnerable children--those at risk of or living outside of family care.

Integrating “Role Play” with other training methods for more effective learning sessions

Delphina Ntangeki

Improvement Advisor, KM and Communications, Tanzania, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

In June, ASSIST Tanzania and the Department of Social Welfare of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare conducted the first Child Protection learning session with Child Protection Committees from three wards of Mkuranga district in the Coast Region. The objective of the learning session was to strengthen child protection systems in the three wards in preventing and responding to child abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation; and provision of quality services to vulnerable children.

How can caregivers and the community be engaged to support children to regularly attend school?

Harriet Komujuni

Quality Improvement Officer, Uganda, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

In July 2013, we set out to work on improving regular school attendance at one of the orphans and vulnerable children service delivery points. In the beginning, I held a pre-conceived idea that children were not in school mostly because their caregivers could not afford the school requirements. After all, the category of children we were working with are those who are vulnerable because of many factors including poverty.   Further discussions with the service providers highlight the lack of resources from parents to provide for school attendance which increased school dropout.

Behind the walls: health and psychosocial needs of incarcerated youth in Haiti

Diana Chamrad

Senior Technical Advisor, Vulnerable Child and Family Programs, USAID ASSIST Project/URC
Play Yard in Haiti Youth Prison

Play Yard in Haiti Youth Prison

When bumping along the streets of Port au Prince, Haiti, you don’t always think about who lives behind the building walls you see from your car.  But today, along with Daniel Joseph, the USAID ASSIST Resident Advisor in Haiti, I had a glimpse into life for 129 teenage boys living behind the walls of a juvenile prison, Centre de Reeducation des Mineurs en Conflit avec la Loi (CERMICOL). These boys range in age from 13 to 17 years and have been incarcerated for alleged crimes ranging from theft to rape and murder.  Pretrial detainment is a common occurrence with only 8 of the 129 boys having appeared before a judge, resulting in some boys imprisoned for one or two years without a court appearance.

Selecting Sites for Community Conversations on Child Protection Systems

Bernard Morara

ANPPCAN/Senior Program Officer, Communication, Child Protection Systems Project

The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) has begun a new four-country initiative, in partnership with the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) and the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems Project (ASSIST) to support district and community networks to improve the effectiveness and reach of child protection systems.

Community leaders at the helm of improvement

Tiwonge Tracy Moyo

Chief of Party, Malawi, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Most organisations working with communities collaborate with government line ministries at a particular time depending on the type of activity being implemented. What I value in the Blantyre story is the pivotal role the multi-sectoral QI team is performing to improve vulnerable children’s wellbeing at the community level. All the members of the team bring some knowledge, skills and experiences to support young children to thrive in their holistic development.