Humanitarian agencies consider remote Child Protection (CP) Case Management (CM) during infectious disease outbreak like COVID-19 pandemic. A considerable amount of preparation, planning and adaptation needed for a qualitative remote CM services to deal with various child protection issues.
Following measures and steps are suggested as a guidance when supporting children remotely, either by phone, text or through CM Volunteers. Please refer the Technical Note on CP CM during COVID-19 in CXB [link] and inter-agency Technical Guidance on child protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a reference1 .
It is important to recognize by both CP staff and the community itself that children experience increased child protection risks during emergencies like COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, measures used to prevent and control the spread of the virus can expose children to protection risks. Both CM staff and volunteers including the community need to be aware that the children and their families can negatively be impacted by isolation and quarantine measures.
The present guidance note is intended for Case Managers to effectively carry out remote case management in different scenarios of the COVID-19 context
- Scenario 1: Remote Case Management where some access is permitted by case workers but Case Management volunteers are present in the camp and undertake case management for medium to low risk cases
a) For high risk cases, these should be primarily managed by case workers with expertise in case management and who have received adequate training. Case Management volunteers may do minimal follow up as required but primary case management will be undertaken by limited presence of case workers
b) For medium and low risk cases, trained case management volunteers undertake a significant portion of the case management process with continued and systematic guidance by case workers in Cox’s Bazar:
• Case workers should initially introduce the case management volunteer to the child and family (where appropriate)
• If the child/caregiver is reachable by phone, schedule frequent calls by the case worker is advisable (at least twice a week or as per the needs).
• Verify that safety and security conditions are in place to ensure the child is not at further risk, while asking the child’s consent or assent to proceed with the phone call.
• In instances where you feel that the child sounds uncomfortable do not continue and ask the child if they are able to contact you when she/he is available through a missed-call, text message, or any other means that she/he feels comfortable.
• Case worker should call the parent/caregiver or the person your agency has been working with as part of the case management process. This should ideally be a safe adult who was already engaged in the CM process prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
• Consider women and adolescent girls may not be able to speak privately in their present environment.
• All case management principles should be followed, particularly ‘Do No Harm’, ‘Privacy’ and Confidentiality. (ensuring that child/families able to speak away from other adults if needed; as well as Volunteers communicate with Caseworkers about cases appropriately, not using speakers or speaking within the earshot of others)
• Case Management volunteer should continue follow up of the child and report details of this follow up via phone to relevant case worker for information management
• Case management volunteer should seek support and guidance from case worker via phone in case of new developments or any other questions
• Case worker should be readily available at all times to support caser management volunteer