The AFRUCA Child Protection Community Volunteering Project (also known as the Children’s Champions Project) was initiated in April 2013 with funding from the Department for Education (DFE). The backdrop of the project was the need to address the over-representation of Black/African children in the child protection system. The first round of funding for the project ran from April 2013 to March 2015. Consequently, successes drawn from the first two years of the project enabled AFRUCA to gain funding for another year from April 2015-March 2016. We are currently looking for funds to continue this laudable project.
Aims of the Project;
- To enable Black/African community members to adopt more efficient and appropriate parenting practices and build their capacity to address child protection issues.
- To enable families involved in child protection system to keep their children safe from harm.
- To enable members of the African community to become change agents in the area of child protection.
Therefore, the project provides training for Children’s Champion volunteers who then lead child protection workshops for other members of the Black/African community, family support for families involved in the child protection system, and specialist training for practitioners including but not limited to social workers, the police, health and education professionals.
Since inception, we have trained 148 Children’s Champions volunteers who have gone on to train over 3,500 members of the community thereby creating a ripple effect of child protection within the Black/African community.
Success Factors and Challenges
The project has recorded high satisfaction rates by participants who have attended training sessions and an echo of the need for the project. We have exceeded most of the project outcomes, especially regarding the training for practitioners. Practitioners have lauded the culturally sensitive nature of our training courses towards meeting their needs and increasing their knowledge and skills. The major successes include;
- Increased awareness of child protection issues and UK legislation among Champions and subsequently workshop attendees.
- Adoption of more positive parenting practices by workshop attendees.
- Increased capacity of members of the Black/African community to examine and address child protection issues.
An Independent Evaluation of AFRUCA’s Children’s Champion’s Project was published by the Charities Evaluation Services (part of NCVO) in 2014. We also conducted an internal evaluation of the project from 2015-2016. Both reports detail AFRUCA’s work to combat the over-representation of Black/African children entering the child protection system and ending up in care. The full reports are available to read in the link below:
To find out more about becoming an AFRUCA Champion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org