Today, more than ever, volunteers are on the frontlines of protecting children in their communities. Volunteers work tirelessly in complex humanitarian contexts and often face emotional and physical risks, with little recognition for their efforts.
The Toolkit for Community Child Protection Volunteers and supplementary training manual aim to promote evidence-informed best practices when engaging community volunteers in child protection responses. This toolkit is based on the Community Engagement in Case Management study, which was commissioned by the Alliance and completed in 2020. The study included a review of the evidence on the effectiveness of community volunteers, as well as a comparison of its findings with data from current practice. Methods included interviews with child protection practitioners and an examination of documents such as training materials, standard operating procedures, and guidelines. Volunteers’ perspectives were collected via narratives from a variety of contexts and through qualitative research in four humanitarian settings in Myanmar and Malawi. The toolkit and supplementary training manual were piloted in three humanitarian settings: Borno State, Nigeria; Dzaleka refugee camp, Malawi; and Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique.
The evidence showed us that when we care for community volunteers, we serve vulnerable children better. Our vision is that this toolkit will inspire child protection organizations across the globe to recognize the essential roles of volunteers and develop case management responses that will engage volunteers ethically. These changes will not happen overnight, but even small measures can lead to a significant impact.