New toolkit helps programs protect children from harm

Every child has the right to be safe from harm. Still, millions of children around the world are abused, neglected and exploited every year. Because children who experience violence and abuse can become adults who are less able to contribute to their societies, protecting children from harm is a vital aspect of development programs. To that end, FHI 360 developed a three-part child protection toolkit to help our programs and local implementing partners protect the children they serve.

The first manual, Child Protection Basics, presents the fundamental aspects of child protection. It describes different types of maltreatment and factors that contribute to child maltreatment. It also describes how to create a protective environment using a systems approach. The systems approach examines and addresses all the circumstances that challenge children’s well-being as a whole, rather than addressing each of them individually or in a fragmented way.

The second manual, Guidelines and Programming Options for Protecting Vulnerable Children in Community-Based Care and Support Programs, can be used as a reference document for integrating child protection into the design of programs, strengthening existing programs and tailoring training. The manual shows the importance of conducting a child-protection analysis, which looks at risk factors, and outlines strategies and interventions that can be implemented at the child, family, community and government levels to protect children in accordance with global principles and best practices. The authors also discuss the importance of protecting children in emergencies and the need and challenges of ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities.

The third manual, Becoming a Safe Organization for Children, provides guidance to FHI 360 staff and implementing partners on how to develop and put into practice institutional child protection policies and procedures. This manual contains tools and templates that can be easily adapted or used for reference in the development of policies and procedures.

The toolkit was created because children need to be protected. It is a basic right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. By developing these tools, FHI 360 is supporting our programs, building capacity at the local country level and contributing to stronger local child protection systems.

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