Promoting effective child participation to enhance child protection
Recognising that children’s participation is a fundamental strategy for enhancing child protection, SOS Children’s Villages (SOS Aldeas Infantiles) is committed to developing the capacity of their Member Associates in Latin America to promote the voice of children in issues that affect them.
Within their Child Protection Policy, SOS Aldeas Infantiles has identified various actions including:
- Ensuring that children and adolescents are aware of their rights and the active role they can play in child protection.
- Providing regular opportunities for girls and boys to express their concerns, so that any protection issues may be heard and addressed.
- Enabling children and adolescents to play more active roles in their own development and protection.
- Promoting children and adolescents’ participation in all matters affecting their lives.
The first step in this multi-year initiative is to conduct a situation analysis to determine the level of child and youth participation in SOS Aldeas Infantiles homes, communities, and programmes and the type of participation that is taking place (consultative, collaborative, or led by children).
Based on the results of the situation analysis, Child to Child will help SOS Aldeas Infantiles develop a strategic plan to promote child participation and either provide or support them to develop appropriate methodologies and practical tools to implement that plan.
What have we achieved?
- We have developed a Spanish language situation analysis tool which is being used by SOS Aldeas Infantiles children, agency staff, “house mothers,” and families of origin.
- We have delivered two webinars on child participation and how to use the tool.
- Provided suggestions on different approaches that can be used to ensure that the voices of children and youth are captured during the situation analysis. Some ideas included taking the younger children on “A Magic Carpet Ride” so that they can express their visions and hopes, and converting a physical space into a linear scale “Space-o-gram” that can be used with older children to collectively measure their level of participation in various areas.