UNICEF Myanmar, Child Protection E-bulletin: COVID-19 (29 May 2020)

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Case Management

Child protection case management continues for communities

In Myanmar, the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and UNICEF’s implementing partners remain active responding to child protection cases in communities. Due to lockdown and semi-lockdown, inter-township and state movement restrictions and other public health measures, DSW case managers and NGO case workersface challenges in mobilizing necessary services for affected children and families, as well as keeping themselves safe from the virus.

Although logistical and operational difficulties have had some impact on the efficiency of case management response DSW case managers have followed up cases of child sexual abuse in family quarantine and in the townships under lockdown. With DSW case managers called on to coordinate support for children and women in quarantine centres in many States and Regions, DSW case managers’ capacity to respond to child protection cases was stretched.

Nevertheless, DSW case managers and NGO case workers have responded to 66 child protection cases in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine in April. A number that has increased when compared with the previous three months of the year.

Capacity building for the Government of Myanmar and civil society

After 13 online sessions over three weeks of May, UNICEF and Save the Children (SCI) have concluded the first round of training on two guidance notes for adapting case management and alternative care interventions in the context of COVID-19. A total of 243 frontline workers (188 females and 55 males) from government and non-government organizations across 10 regions and states received the training. The feedback from the trainings has been positive and frontline workers provided valuable insights on their areas of priority in responding to the pandemic. Current priority is given to raising community awareness of COVID-19 and ensuring those in need are referred to appropriate health care services. The findings also highlight gatekeeping and facilitating appropriate alternative care for children as the lowest priority. UNICEF will tailor further trainings and support accordingly to ensure the provision of high value technical assistance during the pandemic, as well as to ensure capacity building in areas where frontline workers have highlighted as being a lower priority. This initiative is supported by the Government of Canada.