Assessing the Local Context

Successfully transitioning children from residential care into families and communities requires an assessment of the community-level risks faced by children, the specific causes of family separation, and the services already in place that will help meet children’s needs, strengthen families, and support family care within the local community. A thorough assessment helps an organization develop its vision and business plan to address gaps in the provision of family-strengthening services, while building key community partnerships (e.g., with local leaders, churches, and community-based service providers) that can contribute to a successful transition.

One of the tools commonly used to assess local contexts is a participatory tool called “community resource mapping,” in which community members work together to identify local assets and strengths that can be utilized and built upon to address the issues impacting the lives of children and families.

An assessment of the local context should be accompanied by a review of international standards to guide practice and an understanding of national children protection policies.

Analysis, Design and Planning Tool (ADAPT) for Child Protection Helps with the identification, prioritization, and root cause analysis of child protection issues, and mapping of systems in place to protect children. The toolkit features national-level child protection analysis and local analysis for program staff, local partners, and other key stakeholders. Includes a section on listening to children and templates and tools to use. (World Vision International)

Guidelines and Programming Options for Protecting Vulnerable Children in Community-based Care and Support Programs: Child Protection Toolkit Manual 2 Includes a section on conducting child protection analysis to identify threats, violations, gaps, and root causes of child vulnerability such as poverty and health issues. (FHI 360)

Kinnected Orphanage Checklist Provides a checklist to determine whether an orphanage is operating legally and following best practice, including ensuring that the orphanage is legitimately a last resort option for children and is not actively recruiting children and separating families unnecessarily. (ACCI Relief)

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