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Case Studies | March 3, 2016

Case Study: The Role of Para-Social Workers in Creating Community-Led Approaches to Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse

Bwesembu, Uganda

This case study outlines the process undertaken by officials, para-social workers (PSWs) and community leaders in several sub-counties9 in Kasese District in Western Uganda to a) identify and address instances of child abuse in their community, b) track cases of abuse and encourage reporting by victims, and c) support a para-social workforce in the communities to act as a deterrent and reduce the incidence of abuse. With guidance and training in child protection provided by SUNRISE-OVC, a USAID-funded social welfare systems strengthening project, district officials and community leaders worked together to map vulnerable households and issues in communities, organize and fortify OVC response committees at the District and Sub-County level and train para-social workers to identify, report and respond to issues of child abuse, neglect and vulnerability. Preliminary results indicate that the combination of community involvement in issue identification combined with the training and roll-out of a team of local PSW to act as child rights advocates in their community has the potential to not only increase reporting, but actually make a notable impact in the reduction of instances of child abuse. 

Contents

  • Introduction

  • Consulting the Community

  • Selecting High-Risk sub-Counties to Train Para-Social Workers

  • Tracking and Reporting

  • Reported Incidents of Child Abuse Cases at Sub-County Level (CDO and Police)

  • Spotlight on Bwesembu Sub-County — The Role of PSW in Reporting and Deterrence

  • Songs of Child Protection, Bwesembu Sub-County