Regional Psychosocial Support Forum 2013

Dates: 29-31 October 2013

Venue: Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Mark your calendars for the 2nd Regional Psychosocial Support forum

Following the success of the 2011 Regional Psychosocial Support Forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa, REPSSI is pleased to announce the 2013 edition of the Regional Psychosocial Support Forum. This time the forum will take place in the hub of East Africa in Nairobi, Kenya and is co-hosted by REPSSI and African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN).

The theme of the forum will be Mainstreaming Psychosocial Support in Child Protection: linking evidence and practice. Children across East and Southern Africa experience abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. Children need protection from this if they are to flourish and thrive. There is growing advocacy for a child protection system in which policies, financial and human resources and preventive and responsive services are delivered in a coordinated way, accountable and responsive to children and their families. Current debates on how to strengthen a national child protection system focus on some key principles:

  • Child protection must promote a positive environment and prevent risk;
  • Family and community is at the heart of a protective environment for children;
  • The first principle of any child protection intervention must ensure that children come to no harm – requiring that children’s voices are at the centre of any response;
  • Children can only be protected from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect if basic needs are being met, such as food, education and health services.


Psychosocial support interventions offer effective approaches to address some of the key components of an effective child protective framework – prevention, resilience, and child participation. Psychosocial support interventions focus on prevention of harm and promotion of wellbeing. They focus on practical ways to reduce stress and fragility and build up emotional and social resilience in both family and community as well as in the child. This enables a more secure and loving environment for children, thus reducing the risk of maltreatment. It also helps children with the skills and confidence and self-belief to recognize and seek support in the face of possible harm. Psychosocial support is therefore an integral component of child protection and for this to happen, leadership and commitment is required at global, regional, national policy and strategy levels. The forum will share research evidence and practice showing links between psychosocial support and Child Protection as well as discuss emerging issues and recommend action to be taken to in order to improve child protection services in Africa.

Calling for submission of abstracts

REPSSI encourages experts in the field of PSS to submit their abstracts for any of the tracks of the three broad themes of policy, programmes and systems, interventions, evidence and psychosocial issues and measuring psychosocial support. The tracks for the forum are listed below:

1. Mainstreaming psychosocial support in policy, programmes and systems:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Social service
  • Household Economic Strengthening
  • Community child protection systems
  • Systems strengthening

2. Interventions, evidence and psychosocial issues in:

  • Children in emergencies
  • Child trafficking
  • Migration/mobile populations
  • Gender-based violence
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children on the streets
  • Children living with HIV
  • Children in media
  • Commercial sex work
  • Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Child, youth and caregiver participation
  • Strengthening Child-Caregiver interactions
  • Community partnerships in protecting children
  • Evidence-based service standards
  • Quality improvement

3. Measurement and Strategic Use of Information:

  • Psychosocial support indicators
  • Psychosocial wellbeing indicators
  • Psychosocial support frameworks and tools
  • Child Protection and safety indicators, frameworks and tools
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Documenting and communicating program impact
  • Qualitative and quantitative research design