Health

About Child Protection and Well-Being


WHAT WE DO

Catholic Relief Services promotes a holistic approach to child wellbeing and protection. Our goal is not only to save lives, but also to optimize children’s physical, emotional and cognitive development. Our interventions are evidence-based, age and stage appropriate, and operate across multiple levels with many different support relationships.

 

HOW WE DO IT

  • Early childhood development: CRS works with parents, care providers and others who influence a child’s upbringing to promote early childhood development. Our aim is for children to reach school age healthy and well nourished, intellectually curious, socially confident and equipped with a solid foundation for life-long learning and development.

  • Supporting vulnerable children: CRS supports vulnerable children by helping households increase their capacity to meet their own needs and through facilitating a supportive and protective community environment for vulnerable children. Our key intervention areas include education, food and nutrition, psychosocial support, protection, health, shelter and economic strengthening for individuals and households.

  • Child protection: CRS works to ensure that all girls and boys are protected and valued by family and community in an environment that enables them to thrive and grow. CRS trains partner staff, volunteers and community-based child protection committees, police, and teachers, among others, to better understand children’s rights, the resources available to protect and respond to incidents of violence, exploitation, abuse or neglect, and the responsibilities of each to ensure that children are protected. We also support governments to create policies and programs that support child development.

  • Social service system strengthening: CRS strengthens formal and informal social service systems that protect and promote children’s health and wellbeing. Our efforts support the key pillars of those systems: leadership and governance, workforce, finance, information and management systems, coordination and networking mechanisms, and service delivery. In countries that lack strong health and social service systems, faith-based organizations often provide services that fill gaps and support children, youth and families. CRS capitalizes on our relationships with faith-based networks, which often serve remote or underserved communities where government services may not reach. We help strengthen partnerships between community structures and public, private and faith-based providers to ensure seamless integration of all providers into sustainable national systems.