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.

USAID ASSIST Project Semi-Annual Performance Monitoring Report FY18

University Research Co., LLC (URC) and its partners have completed 5.5 years of implementation of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project.

Our “Best 9” stories in 2017

Vicky Ramirez

Consultant, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Looking back, 2017 was a great year for us at ASSIST. In 2017, we were featured in USAID’s Exposure; we collaborated with a number of partners to publish ICHC Blog Series, which was cross-posted on The Huffington Post; and we ran a blog series in honor of Health Worker Week. After our resources page, our blog was the most visited page on our website. In case you missed some of these highlights, we’ve put together our “Best 9” stories. These posts illustrate the stories behind the great work employed by our country teams, partners, and individuals. Let us know which story you loved the most!

Improving household food security and economic status of vulnerable households in Mangochi District

With support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a multi-sectoral quality improvement (QI) team of extension workers and community members in Mangochi District, Malawi targeted a total of 587 vulnerable households to be linked to household economic strengthening activities. The QI team mobilized various stakeholders in Mpeya area to work together to reach vulnerable families in the catchment area with various services to improve their wellbeing. The CBO targeted 21 villages in four Group Village Heads in the district.

Improving education performance in primary schools in Malawi

Community QI teams worked with 20 rural primary schools from Balaka and Mangochi districts to improve termly academic performance of vulnerable children attending primary schools. The teams found that vulnerable children face many barriers to academic success, ranging from food scarcity at the household level, lack of scholastic materials, limited parenting skills, and scarcity of positive role models in the communities for children to emulate.

Improving linkages to livelihood interventions

In 2013, ASSIST began working with five community quality improvement (QI) teams in two districts, Mangochi and Balaka, to improve the quality of services delivered to orphans and vulnerable children and their families. ASSIST worked with 10 CBOs and helped form QI teams with key community volunteers from the executive committee and community extension workers from health, education, and agriculture sectors. After receiving QI training, teams assessed vulnerable children’s needs, finding food security was one of the biggest challenges they were facing.

Improving educational performance of children in Chilore Primary school using quality improvement approaches in Mangochi District, Malawi

A team of community volunteers and government extension workers, with support from USAID, from 16 villages in Namwera, Mangochi District used quality improvement (QI) methods to mobilise four primary schools and their 16 surrounding communities to improve the performance of vulnerable children in the four primary schools. In December 2013, the community QI team assessed the wellbeing of a sample of 132 vulnerable children. The Child Status Index (CSI) assessment revealed that 70% of the poor scores were on education performance, food insecurity, and shelter conditions.

National Psychosocial Support Guidelines for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Kenya

These guidelines were developed for use by front line child service providers to streamline psychosocial support services for children. The guidelines provide guidance for supporting caregivers, general guidance for children of all ages, and specific guidance by age range: 0-5, 6-13, and 14-18. An implementation framework is also included.

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