Economic strengthening alone will not prevent separation or protect children, and should form part of a comprehensive support package, including psychosocial work, community mobilisation, education, health, and family support. Household economic strengthening should also complement the wider government social assistance programmes, welfare sector initiatives, and child care policies. Beneficiaries should include those families which are destitute, poor, or vulnerable to poverty, including child headed households.
Economic empowerment is not possible without the active participation of the community in ensuring that those most in need are identified and that families are willing to commit to projects. Any initiative must have sustainability at its core; there must be a market demand for products and services, and activities should build on the existing strengths and resources of the community.
Household economic strengthening includes activities which help a family restore, improve and maintain their income, and build savings and assets. Projects may consist of relief assistance, grants and loans for income generating activities, technical and skills training, registered credit and savings associations, and legal advice on inheritance and property rights. Ideally such guidance and resources should come from specialised local organisations that can facilitate market research, identify those in need and the type of assistance required, and provide sustainable long-term support to beneficiaries.
The literature contained in this section offers recommendations and examples of household economic strengthening projects which support the protection of children.