Our group selected to think of modes of assessment. We have been asked to think of some ways that we can assess using the discussion points on protective factors, risk factors and knowing where and when to collect information. Our group felt that these would be practical ways to apply what we learned from the reading and the discussion.
Protective Factors: The presence of family – immediate family and extended family – or people from the same village or community or lack thereof could explain how much protection is available for the child. The fact that there could be other friends in the community such as peers and others who are older than or younger than children. Another protective factor is whether the child belongs to community groups, such as a church or other religious organization, a formal school and an interests club. The nature of the conflict – determines protective factor, e.g police may be well trusted and used in the community if if is not a conflict than when it is a disaster.

Risk Factors: If loss of family and friends occurs for the child, this creates a change in status. For example, child soldiers, girls, and younger children are at greatest risk. Change of status also applies to economic status, a change in which creates a situation such that when there is a health issue, it is rarely addressed, and can take a long time to resolve.

Where to collect information Sources of information in the community include the health center, food center, religious center. Of importance also is access to gatekeepers in the community for example: that Aunty that knows everyone. We have to take special care to look for unaccompanied children when we are collecting information and capture the data about them separately. Of essence, working with other international non-governmental organizations can inform us on how many people they have surveyed, and where there are pre-existing issues. Critical issues that can arise at this stage include trafficking of humans and interpersonal conflict.

During the assessment process, those who are working in the situation need to be clear that they ensure that they are culturally sensitive:As the assessment is so critical, we thought that it would be better to ensure learning about the community beforehand. To assist in this process, we thoughts that we should be doing self-awareness evaluation. Knowing the opinions, biases, and attitudes that everyone has can gives you as a child protection worker a concrete self knowledge to help cope with any differences that may emerge. We would ask someone who is familiar with this community to help on the team. This could help build local partnerships with community members, since they are the ones who will use the program and carry it forward. We can go to the local level and speak to different groups separately, such as men and women. We would then collect surveys from people who are familiar with psychosocial needs in the community, to establish baseline knowledge. Of essence is to find out what the local coping techniques are including whether they already go to visit a healer or a seer or a community leader.