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Community based child protection with Palestinian refugees: Increasing safety and hope ISSWA – Stockholm - 2012 Professor Patrick O ’ Leary Griffith University.

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Presentation on theme: "Community based child protection with Palestinian refugees: Increasing safety and hope ISSWA – Stockholm - 2012 Professor Patrick O ’ Leary Griffith University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community based child protection with Palestinian refugees: Increasing safety and hope ISSWA – Stockholm Professor Patrick O ’ Leary Griffith University School of Human Services and Social Work Queensland, Australia & University of Southampton Social Sciences Faculty of Social and Human Sciences Dr Aisha Hutchinson University of Southampton Social Sciences Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

2 Palestinian refugees and child protection High level of trauma, uncertainty and expectancy of emergencies on a daily basis Promises from the international community and INGOs Discrimination within Lebanon and globally Substantial internal conflict within camps Poor living conditions and significant physical and mental health issues High level of child protection concerns including school drop out, poor health, child labour, sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, gender inequality, poverty, alcohol and drug use, and a lack of safe places to play

3 Community based child protection (CP) programme Project based in the Palestinian refugee camps and gatherings in Southern Lebanon run by Terre des hommes (Tdh) Lausanne Foundation and funded by the Spanish Government, Tdh, and the European Union Four axis: 1) CP networking and strengthening 2) Social work and case management with extremely vulnerable children 3) Youth participation 4) Community conflict transformation Based on a model of whole community engagement, transparency, accountability and trust which was relational, needs-led, child-centred and participatory

4 Evaluation and capitalisation An action-orientated methodology was used with the main objective to investigate the impact and key learning (capitalisation) of the project Completed over 20 months and included 5 field visits Quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection Use of quantitative tools to measure changes in health and well-being, and hope in cases managed by the social workers and youth project A small control group was used to measure changes over time without any intervention

5 Results: Reasons for referral Referral reasons over life time of the project for 888 cases Total numbers across camps and gatherings % School drop out51049% Truancy18918% Sexual abuse242% Child labour22521% Domestic violence747% Drug abuse91% No ID162% Total reasons (not cases) % However, school drop out referrals often led to the identification of further needs and risks by the social workers

6 Results: Health and well-being Health and well-being tool included 7 questions to identify symptoms such as headaches, anxiety or poor sleep. A paired t-test showed that the positive change in the Tdh group was statistically significant (t=8.51, p<.001), while no change was found in the control group

7 Results: Hope and strengths The HOPE instrument (Snyder, Irving and Anderson, 1991) included 6 questions to identify levels of hope and strength. A paired t-test showed that the positive change in the Tdh group was statistically significant (t=-16.9, p<.001), as well as the negative change in the control group (t=2.1, p<.05)

8 Conclusions Despite limitations in the data, the results show that social work can function in complex areas of conflict and political instability Difficult child protection issues can be addressed in these challenging contexts, even sensitive issues such as sexual abuse Developing social workers at a local level requires ongoing organisation training and established processes and models, this requires substantial ongoing training Support, supervision and acknowledgement of impact of the work is very important Relationships building is essential Fusion of hope and realism


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