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Introduction

Welcome to the course and introduce yourself

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 are also interested in any topics about child protection during COVID-19 you think it would be helpful to cover in future webinars. So that we can gather this information, please send your ideas and questions to Mia Dambach at Mia.Dambach@iss-ssi.org.

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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COVID-19: Adapting Child Protection Case Management

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