The Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Social Welfare Division (SWD) in partnership with UNICEF have successfully completed a Child Protection Case Management training in Honiara, early this month.
The Case Management Training is part of the Solomon Islands Government and UNICEF Pacific joint 2023-2024 Work Plan that aims to further capacitate and prepare Social Welfare officers as they work towards implementing the Child and Family Welfare Act 2017.
Social Welfare Division, Director, Linda Tupe said a similar case management training was held few years back also supported by UNICEF however highlighted that the recent training is crucial as social welfare have set up a case management systems and processes within the division therefore important for new and continuing officers.
“Under the Child and Family Welfare Act 2017, social welfare officer are mandated or empowered to case manage all the Child Protection cases that are reported to ensure that children are protected from further harm and are safe. This can be achieved effectively if officers are well equipped with the knowledge and skills of their mandates under the new processes and systems in place”, explained Linda.
Ms. Linda thanked UNICEF for the support with the training and the recruitment of the Technical Advisor Ms. Julie Peake whom she described as very supportive towards the set-up of the new systems and processes including capacity building of all social welfare officers and workers across the country.
UNICEF Adviser Julie Peak explained that the training package includes
discussions on Child Protection, Child Development and the impact of abuse; office data and file management; intake; case noting; initial assessment; comprehensive assessment; care and protection plans; case closure; working as a team; effective communication and leadership.
“The participation of Social Welfare officers in the training will contribute to enhancing the skills set of these officers to better prevent and respond to children who have been exposed to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation as mandated by the Child and Family Welfare Act 2017.
“Case management for child protection cases is complex and requires ongoing training to ensure that SWO’s have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out this work. Strong leadership and supervision is required to ensure the systems and processes set up with the support of UNICEF continue to be implemented at both the national and provincial levels”, said Ms. Peake.
Ms. Sonya Mara, UNICEF Child Protection Officer added that as part of the partnership, UNICEF will continue to provide support to the Solomon Islands Government through the Social Welfare Division, on prevention and response to Child Protection issues in Solomon Islands.
The training was followed by the social welfare department annual meeting organized for its officers across the provinces to learn from each other through sharing of experiences, good practices including challenges and concerns and how to effectively overcome and addressed these as part of team building.
Moreover, officers were introduced and refreshed on their roles and responsibilities under the Family Protection Act, which provides for the protection of families from domestic violence and promote safety, health and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and related purposes. Ends///….