Partnering with Government and with Nongovernmental Organizations

Governments have a responsibility to develop policies and support services that protect children. A growing number of countries around the world have instituted or enhanced their child protection systems and related policies in recent years. However, even when policies are in place, capacity and implementation at the local level can vary significantly. In many contexts, nongovernmental and community-based organizations serving children and families help to address the gaps. For these reasons, understanding both national policy as it relates to children and the reality with respect to implementation are important to an informed transition plan.

Partnering with the government ensures that a transition is in compliance with national policies and laws, and can help to strengthen implementation at the local level by involving government officials in training opportunities, making decisions, raising awareness, and sharing information. Government agencies may also offer coordinating structures (“working groups” or “forums”) where stakeholders focused on child protection issues gather for sharing information and making decisions.

A sound transition requires that there be child and family services that address and help prevent the causes of family separation. Nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations often play key roles in helping families access existing government services as well as providing a range of services to meet educational, health, economic, and other needs vital to child and family wellbeing. Partnering with these groups to ensure that families and children have access to the resources they need lays the groundwork for successful and lasting placement in families.

Due Diligence Guidelines Helps organizations make informed and thoughtful decisions before partnering with other organizations or agencies, and includes a checklist tool. (ACCI Relief)

Institute for Capacity Strengthening Includes sections on strengthening partnerships, institutions, program quality, staff skills, and proposals/positioning, and online courses on a variety of related topics. (Catholic Relief Services)

Training Manual: Finding Community-Based Protection Solutions Includes five modules to assist child-protection training facilitators in delivering and assessing key competencies in child protection, for government workers and partners. (Save the Children)

Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together Features resources for faith- and community-based organizations, targeted to American community work, yet relevant for internationally operating organizations as well. Resources include an online organizational assessment tool and one for community assessment. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Bottom-Up Approaches to Strengthening Child Protection Systems: Placing Children, Families, and Communities at the Center Highlights the importance of community organizations and mechanisms (informal) in child protection, including the importance of faith communities and leaders. (Wessells, M.)

Videos

Turning Words Into Action Story Tells the story of a project that involved young people with intellectual disabilities from Serbia, Bulgaria, and Czech republic, with parents, policy makers, and health and education professionals coming together to implement the better health, better lives declaration in their countries. (Lumos)

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