Child Protection Case Management (CP CM) is part of the essential services that cannot be stopped suddenly, but which requires adaptation to the new emergency. This includes the Best Interest Procedure (BIP) in refugee settings. With many schools and childcare facilities closed, increased caregiver stress, and crowded living spaces where families are confined, children are at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In addition, children may experience the death of their caregiver or may be separated from their families for multiple reasons, including public health containment measures associated with COVID-19. As these risks are often hidden and out of sight within communities, it can become even more difficult to identify vulnerable children without visits or other forms of follow-up by caseworkers due to new COVID-19-related restrictions. Thus, continued support for the most urgent cases within the existing caseload must be available through adapted measures, along with appropriate responses for new child protection risks and concerns generated by the pandemic.
This document builds on existing response action from several countries and case management task force agencies. It provides considerations for adapting CP CM interventions to the COVID-19 pandemic and to better understand the important role of case management in the emergency. The table below makes suggestions for contingency plans and adapted actions for each of the eight dimensions of case management. It describes priority actions to consider in order to continue supporting the most vulnerable cases and to respond to new cases generated during the outbreak. Even if current access is not significantly impacted in your context, it is important that case management agencies plan in advance for the potential of extremely limited access to children and families as a result of COVID-19.
This guidance was developed by the Case Management Task Force of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and is an annex to the Technical note on the protection of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.