Regional Psychosocial Sup

Working paper: Strengthening child protection system in sub-Saharan Africa

Working paper: Strengthening child protection system in sub-Saharan Africa

The inter-agency working paper consolidates current thinking, examples and lessons learned about child protection system strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa and suggest a way forward. The focus is on concrete actions that reflect country narratives and is followed by recommendations for continuing and sustaining the work.

There is a growing interest in applying the systems approach to strengthening child protection efforts. Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the systems approach shifts attention to a larger systemic framework that includes legal and policy contexts, institutional capacity, community contexts, planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation subsystems.

This approach differs from child protection efforts that focus on single thematic issues, such as HIV/AIDS, disability, child trafficking, street children, child labour, emergencies and institutionalization. These single-issue approaches often result in a fragmented and unsustainable child protection response. 

Online videos: Changing childcare in the region

REPSSI has just released two new short online online, looking at how care for vulnerable children can be improved at community level.

The first video, “Changing Child Care in Africa” (4 minutes in length) shows how graduates of a special new distance-learning course are applying what they have learned in communities across Africa. The Certificate Course in Community-Based Work with Children and Youth, developed by REPSSI and UNICEF, has changed how these community volunteers, social workers, teachers, police, community workers and community caregivers work with children. Hailed as an innovative solution to capacity-building, there are over 1000 students set to graduate this year from over 400 organisations in ten countries. Watch the video here.

The second video, “Voices from the community: Caring for our Vulnerable Children” (5 minutes in length) brings together voices of community members across Africa who feel empowered to do something to protect their vulnerable children. Teachers, village leaders, grandmothers and CBO staff explain the changes they and their communities have experienced thanks to training in psychosocial support, and demonstrate just how resourceful and dedicated ordinary people can be. Watch the video here.