Meeting the care and treatment needs of child survivors of sexual abuse in humanitarian settings requires technical expertise and coordination across all relevant sectors. Child survivors have a profound need for care and treatment that is appropriate to their age, cultural context, psychological symptoms, and specific type of abuse.
The IRC, in partnership with UNICEF, developed the Caring for Child Survivors guidelines (CCS Guidelines), field-tested guidelines and tools for health and psychosocial staff working with child survivors of sexual abuse in humanitarian settings. They include new care guidelines for child survivors and tools to build the capacity of service providers working with children affected by sexual abuse and their families.
Working with child survivors of sexual abuse requires a case management response. It is therefore crucial that staff support girls and boy survivors are first trained in case management. given the nature of the abuse and exploitation that child survivors have experienced, their care and support require close collaboration and coordination between child protection and GBV actors. At the IRC we therefore promote a joint training on the CCS guidelines and related training materials from both our CP and WPE colleagues, once they have already received CM training. CP and WPE colleagues must also work together to appropriate respond to the needs of these children and adolescents, following both a child centered and survivor centered approach and ensuring that the best interests of the child is always the primary consideration. to support this collaboration, the IRC has developed operation guidelines for GBV and CP staff.
What are the goals of the CCS Guidelines?
The goal is to provide staff with a user-friendly tool that offers best practice guidance on caring for child survivors in humanitarian settings. The guidelines aim to improve care for child survivors (and their non-offending family members), in order to help them recover and heal from abusive experiences. The guidelines and accompanying tools will equip field staff with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide high-quality care to children and families affected by sexual abuse.
Who can benefit from the CCS Guidelines?
The primary target audience for the CCS Guidelines is staff who provide psychosocial, case management and/or health services for survivors of GBV and/or children in humanitarian settings. United Nations and NGO protection and gender-related staff can also benefit from the guidelines.