Child protection systems introduced
The first step to address child protection issues in Samoa has been taken with members of the public and various organisations attending a workshop in Apia.
The Wellbeing and Community Solutions (WCS), a local NGO that strives to protect vulnerable groups such as people with disability, children and youth from harm, convened a workshop to introduce “child protection case management” systems.
W.C.S. technical advisor, Fuimaono Gabrielle Onesemo, said main goal of the project – in collaboration with various partners – is to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect through early case management intervention work.
The case management model, which was introduced to the workshop participants, uses a person-centred and holistic approach to support people with disabilities as well as children and young people at risk of harm.
Fuimaono said the introduction of the new case management model is to enable everyone to be aware that the project offers a proper system, which comprises seven elements in documenting and creating a proper report – which can be used by agencies or a service provider or in court proceedings as well as provide the best practice in terms of dealing with issues related to not only child protection, but also people living with disabilities.
“It also aims to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families through integrated and coordinated service delivery (some applies to children and adults with disabilities).
“And also through its elements, it will collaboratively work to promote general and clinical assessment, identification of gaps and duplication in service delivery and more efficient use of resources.
“Additionally, it will provide analysis in the report which will help an individual in obtaining the right services and to effectively engage the family, local community and organisations, which includes taking into account access and equity issues,” he said.
Fuimaono emphasised the importance of everyone working together to ensure that the relevant organisations that are involved identify the needs and respond in an efficient way.
She added that it also improves collaboration across all services to effectively support persons with a child or a person at risk and people living with disabilities.