March 6, 2015: Keeping Children and Families Together with Economic Strengthening

This symposium, sponsored by the CPC Network, Women’s Refugee Commission, and FHI 360, brought together leading global practitioners, researchers, policy experts and donors to explore the current best practices and evidence on the use of economic strengthening interventions to prevent child separation from and support child reintegration back into families and communities.

Poverty has proven to be a key driver in separating families and preventing the reintegration of separated children back into their families and communities. However, it is not fully understood how to best address poverty through economic strengthening interventions in this context. What are the necessary components of a “successful” intervention to prevent family separation? Reintegrate separated children? Minimize the risk of re-separation? The symposium included the presentation of new case studies from around the world that use economic strengthening as part of programs to either prevent family separation or facilitate reintegration.

Symposium Agenda

Welcome and Introduction:
The Objectives for the Symposium
– John Williamson, Senior Technical Advisor, Displaced Children and Orphans Fund of USAID

Setting the Stage: Framing the Issues and the State of the Evidence
What do we know about economic strengthening for family reintegration of separated children?
– Josh Chaffin, Senior Program Officer, Livelihoods and Child Protection, Women’s Refugee Commission

What does the evidence say about potential positive and negative impacts of key ES interventions on child wellbeing indicators for family separation, reunification and reintegration?
Keetie Roelen, Co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection, Institute of Development Studies

What are the key economic strengthening interventions? What should be considered when implementing ES interventions in various contexts?
– Bill Philbrick, Child Protection and Economic Strengthening Senior Consultant, FHI 360

Global Reintegration Guidelines
–  John Williamson, Senior Technical Advisor, Displaced Children and Orphans Fund of USAID

Case Studies
I. Prevention of Family Separation
Preventing Family Separation among Ultra-poor Families in Burkina Faso,
– Leyla Ismayilova, University of Chicago

Socio-economic Strengthening Efforts to Stabilize Vulnerable Families in Uganda,
– Massimo Lowicki-Zucca, SCORE Uganda

Cash for Care? Researching the Links Between Social Protection & Children’s Care,
– Camilla Jones, Family for Every Child

Improving Child Protection through Economic Strengthening among Highly Vulnerable, HIV/AIDS Affected Families,
– Victoria Munene, PACT Tanzania and Ethiopia

Active Family Support: An Empowered Woman Equals a Strong Family,
– Liliana Rotaru, CCF Moldova

Reunification and Reintegration

Making Economic Strengthening Work: A Holistic Approach to Prevention of Child Trafficking in Ghana,
– David Schley, Challenging Heights

Competing Perspectives on Reintegration and their implications for Economic Strengthening Interventions,
– Luke Bearup, Deakin University

Enhancing Economic Capacity for Resilience Against Bonded Servitude and Vulnerability: The Kamlahari Practice Abolition Project in Nepal,
– Hem Poudyal, PLAN International

Emotional Support for Economic Gain: Reintegration of Children on the Streets in East Africa,
– Peter Kent, Railway Children

Keeping Children off the Streets in Ethiopia: Income Generating Activities (IGA) and Self Help Groups in Reintegration and Prevention Programs,
– Joanna Wakia, Retrak

Discussion Session 1: Vulnerability and Targeting

Discussion Paper
• How do we assess vulnerability in ES activities intended to prevent family separation and support reintegration? How do we use vulnerability measures in program design and implementation?
• Under what circumstances should interventions be targeted based on vulnerability or other measures? How should they be targeted?
• What types of ES interventions are appropriate at different levels of poverty? How do we adapt intervention designs for different contexts?

Discussion Session 2: The Role of Gender

Discussion Paper
• What does sex-aggregated data say about gender relating to family separation and reunification?
• What specific vulnerability issues are connected with gender with respect to girl children and women caregivers?
• What unique obstacles confront the reintegration of girls compared to boys?
• When can ES interventions do more harm than good if gender issues are at play? How can these concerns be addressed?

Panel: The Way Forward
Moderated by Lisa Laumann, Technical Advisor, FHI 360

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