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This content is taken from the University of Strathclyde & CELCIS's online course, COVID-19: Adapting Child Protection Case Management. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsHello my name is Dr. Chrissie Gale and I'm delighted to be the lead educator for this course on adapting child protection case management during the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm thrilled you've joined us on the course and I really hope the information we're going to share with you will be of great interest and help. During the course we're going to be thinking of ways to reach and communicate with children with whom there are existing protection concerns as well as identifying new cases. At a time when you, children with protection risks, and their caregivers, may be facing particular challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps because of lockdown, social distancing, and lack of access to services.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsDuring the course we'll look at some of the heightened risks children might be facing during the pandemic, and we'll be thinking about the different steps of child protection case management and the way you might have to adapt processes and procedures to ensure that children for whom there may be protection concerns are still identified and referred to authorized child protection agencies. This might, for example, be through extending partnerships with those who can still reach children as, for instance, working with health outreach teams, or developing and extending child hotline services, or working with community groups.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsWe'll be thinking about the importance of reaching and communicating with children so that we can conduct assessments of their situation, and make sure we develop plans so that they will receive the protection and other support services they need. We'll also be thinking about times when it might be necessary to conduct face-to-face visits with children if it's safe to do so. Or times when it might be possible to be doing remote connections with them. We've been fortunate to talk to colleagues around the world and they've provided us with examples of how they're adapting child protection case management in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 secondsWe've made some short films so, for instance, you'll be able to hear how the child-protection working group in Lebanon have been able to develop a protocol and guidance on safely communicating with children through the phone, both for assessments and follow-up. You'll also hear how inter-sectoral partnerships have been extended so that children still receive the protection and support they need during lockdown in Rwanda, Ecuador and Uganda. We've provided additional reading materials and you might not have time to look at them while you're doing the course but you'll be able to download them and read them later.

Skip to 2 minutes and 57 secondsWe've particularly gathered technical guidance that has been developed by international interagency groups over the past few months in response to the need to adapt child protection case management during the COVID-19 pandemic. And at the bottom of every course step is a comments board. We really hope that you will post your comments, share ideas, talk about the challenges you're facing and maybe some of the ways you've overcome it. It's a great way to reach out to colleagues right across the world and share your ideas. So I do hope you will find the course interesting and it will be of help to you. And I look forward to interacting with you as we work through the course together. Thank you.

Introduction

Welcome to the course. We do hope you will find the course informative and interesting.

Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can disrupt the environments in which children grow and develop. This can have negative consequences for children’s well-being, development and protection and put them at heightened risk. In turn, it also affects the ability of those working to protect children. It can particularly impact the way we provide timely and effective child protection case management for individual children at risk.

It is important therefore, that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a collective response from child protection personnel alongside all other relevant service providers. This is an inter-sectoral response. Such a response ensures children’s needs are addressed holistically. It is also important we understand how we might need to adapt our practices through a child protection case management approach in response to the changing situation because of the pandemic.

This course aims to support all those working on child protection case management. This includes child protection caseworkers as well as other child protection staff who play a critical role in providing quality case management services - or what is know as the Best Interests Procedure (BIP), as developed by UNHCR, for refugee settings.

The course is also for those of you working in other front line services responding to COVID-19 and contributing to the protection of children. For example, you may be working in health, education, social protection, legal services, water/sanitation, law enforcement, or food distribution etc. This course should also be of interest to you if you are working as an alternative care provider, or a member of a community level group, or a volunteer playing a role in protecting children in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You might be working in a humanitarian response context including supporting asylum-seeking, refugee, migrant and internally displaced (IDP) children. You may work for a governmental or non-governmental organisation, a UN body or an international agency. You are all welcome to join us on this course.

During the course we will understand how the overall responsibility for any child protection case should be undertaken by a trained caseworker who has already received appropriate training and supervision. A child protection caseworker might be a social worker or another child protection professional. They might be working within a government child protection service or, another agency with appropriate authorisation. This could be a UN agency, or a national or international NGO, nominated by, or working in coordination with, a government child protection service. We will refer throughout the course to such organisations as an ‘authorised’ agency. We will also discuss how those of you from other relevant services, and child protection community groups, also have an important role to play, and ways of working in coordination with child protection caseworkers.

We would like to stress, that this course focuses on providing additional information for anyone already qualified as a child protection caseworker whilst broadening the knowledge and confidence of those of you working in a range of other services and responding to child protection concerns. The course does not provide a qualification to certify you as a fully qualified child protection caseworker.

What we will learn

We hope you will feel comfortable with the following topics by the end of the course:

  1. Understanding the child protection risks, vulnerabilities and challenges that may be heightened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. The implementation and adaption of child protection case management during the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Working together across sectors, and with community-based child protection groups, to address the protection needs of children through a child protection case management approach - including ways to identify children facing protection risks and how they receive support
  4. The importance of maintaining the safety and well-being of all those involved in the protection and care of children.

Introduce yourself

In the discussion area below, please introduce yourself to the Lead Educator and your fellow learners. We would love to know which country you are currently located in, about the work you do, and why you decided to take this course.

During the course, we hope you will take the opportunity to use the comments board towards the bottom of each page to tell us about promising practice in your respective countries and share your experiences and ideas with other course participants from all around the world. Please also be mindful of confidentiality and the right to privacy of other people.

We will also be interested in any topics about child protection during COVID-19 you think future webinars might cover. So that we can collect this information, you can place your ideas, and highlight some of the challenges you are facing, on this website.

Additional reading materials and terminology

We have prepared a ‘Terminology’ document that contains some of the key words and their meaning that we will use throughout the course. You can download this document in the ‘Downloads’ section at the bottom of the screen. If you can, we suggest you print this document, then you will be able to refer to it easily as you work through the course.

We have also provided suggestions for additional reading materials at the bottom of many of the course steps.

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This video is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Adapting Child Protection Case Management

University of Strathclyde