Development of the SAFE Checklist Tool for Assessing Site-Level Threats to Child Protection: Use of Delphi Methods and Application to Two Sites in India

Betancourt TS, Zuilkowski SS, Ravichandran A, Einhorn H, Arora N, Bhattacharya Chakravarty A, et al.

Although tools for measurement of individual child health status or household functioning in low-resource settings have greatly improved, little attention has been paid to the measurement of site-level threats to child protection. As opposed to a tool that assesses an index child or a single household, a site-based tool is helpful in understanding “interconnected domains of child protection and offers a more comprehensive, holistic assessment of the conditions facing many children in a particular setting.” Thus, this study in India sought to develop the SAFE Checklist in order to assess site-level threats to child protection among children and families living in settings of adversity. The SAFE Checklist was developed based on the SAFE Model, a rights-based holistic model for child security that examines four core domains of children’s basic security needs and rights: Safety/freedom from harm; access to basic physiological needs and healthcare; family and connection to others; and education and economic security. The tool was field tested in two diverse sites in India (a construction site and a railway station) and the results demonstrated that the SAFE Checklist is a sensitive tool that captured the differences between the two sites from the standpoint of core child protection issues.