From 2004-2008, the initial Child Thematic Project was implemented in five countries (Burundi, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal) and aimed to establish a pilot-tested approach for psychosocial care for children in areas of political violence. This multi-component intervention system includes preventive and curative intervention, making use of established well researched models of care and support. The modules are available on our website (Psychosocial Care Package for Children). After the collaboration with schools, communities and the health sector was established, continuing efforts are made for the inclusion of marginalised groups. In Burundi the programme is still active: many children participate in psychosocial sessions that enhance their mental being.
The programme focuses on some key points:
The combined activities mentioned are joined in a so-called care package. The care package is completely offered/implemented within each targeted community. This means the collection of activities and services are linked to each other. This is done in two ways;
(a) Individual and/or sub-groups can be referred from one service to another within the care package (e.g. a child that participates in peer group activities that demonstrates signs of severe psychosocial distress/problems may be referred to a counsellors; if parent-teacher associations identify a particular family in need of support family support by community psychosocial workers can be initiated);
(b) Some of the activities and services of the care package are partly overlapping during implementation (e.g. football matches may be organized within or between school and the break time be used for community awareness raising; peer group activities may be linked to thematic psycho-education sessions).
In short all activities are integrated within a comprehensive system of care:
Donors: UNICEF, War Child.
Aim: Development of a layered health care package for children in order to provide necessary care for this vulnerable group.
This programme has produced context-specific screening instrument to measure psychosocial distress among children (Child Psychosocial Distress Screener – CPDS). The instrument has been included in the PsychTEST data-base and the INEE Resource Tools. The programme has developed a procedure to select an intervention modality in low-income settings with effective, acceptable and feasible care components. See the "Psychosocial Care Package for Children".
A new initiative of collaboration between HealthNet TPO and War Child Holland to combine each organization’s expertise in further developing and implementing a comprehensive psychosocial care system for children in war-affected settings was started in July 2008.