Sep 21, 2020

Helping Children Grow up in Loving Families Report

Hi, and welcome to the September Report for Children in Families' Helping Children Grow Up In Loving Families' project.

Since our last report in May, Covid-19 cases have risen and fallen here in Cambodia. As of right now we have 1 active case. Schools are slowly reopening, as well as religious gatherings and public events. Cambodia has continued to practice self precautions to ensure the utmost safety amongst the population. 

Despite the low amount of cases, Cambodia has maintained high amounts of preventative measures to ensure safety and health for its citizens. By following government guidelines, our work has continued safely but with a few changes. Within the office we require staff to sign in/out, wash their hands, take their temperature, and socially distance. 

We continue to prioritize the children in our programs and their utmost safety. We are back visiting our clients, however now we practice more precautions - such as wearing masks, washing our hands, social distancing, etc. Our caseworkers have worked very hard on COVID-19 awareness and providing support packages with hygiene material for children and families in our programs. Staff are encouraged to apply personal hygiene at all times. We also use video calls as needed, specifically for our large staff meetings.

Thanks again for your care for our work, the children we support, and the families caring for them. We deeply appreciate it - especially during these uncertain times.

Jun 16, 2020

A Different Way of Doing Things

It is June, which means it’s time for another quarterly report from the “Therapy Services for 40 Cambodian Families” project.

A Different World

As you are well aware, the whole world is in a much different situation than we were in when we last reported a few months ago. I’m sure many of you have had to make quite few changes in the way you do things every day. It is the same for us. We have had to balance the risk of virus transmission with the potential impact of putting therapy services on hold for the vulnerable children with whom we work. So, while we are encouraging social distancing and recommending that staff work from home when possible, we have not gone into shutdown mode or complete isolation like many have had to do. We have reduced our visits and are checking in with families remotely by phone in cases where that can be done effectively. However, quite a few of our clients have continued to receive in-person visits, albeit with strict hygiene procedures and use of protective barriers. As this global pandemic continues to stretch on, we do not believe it would be in the best of interests of the children and families with whom we work to have all therapy services halted. Yet we will continue to be extremely vigilant to practice in a way that we hope will ensure their safety and the safety of our staff.

The Bigger Picture

Though, thankfully, the Covid-19 virus has, to date, not taken a hold in Cambodia the way it has in many places, the economic effects of efforts to prevent the spread, along with the local impact from the global economic decline, are tremendous. Many people have lost their livelihoods. We recognize this is true in many places, but here it means a very real risk of starvation for families who live day to day on what they earn, with no margin and no “safety net.” In addition to continuing services and our regular financial stipends to families, Children In Families is providing additional emergency financial support as well as supplying them with hand sanitiser, soap, and face-masks. Your continued support of this project helps enable us to provide for these critical needs.

Promoting Inclusion For All Children

There are currently 69 children included in the ABLE Project. We are being stretched in our capacity, because what we offer in making family based alternative care inclusive of children with disabilities is so rare. Covid-19 is causing a lot of activities to halt, but referrals of children and families to Children In Families and the ABLE Project are not slowing down. When you support this project you are not just enabling children to receive therapy services, you are helping to make it possible for them to enjoy their right to a family.

So, thank you again for your support of the work of the ABLE Project. Your giving allows essential services to continue for these vulnerable children and their families.


May 26, 2020

Helping Children in a Time of Covid-19

Hi, and welcome to the May Report for Children in Families' Helping Chidlren Grow Up In Loving Families' project.

Since our last report, of course, Covid-19 has spread around the world, and turned life upside-down for many of us. It's all over the news, it's the topic of conversation across dinner tables, and it's affected us as well.

As with everything, our main question is, how can we best keep children safe during this time? It's a complicated one. For most people, the simplest answer, where possible, is to remain in physical isolation, and try to reduce the chances of spreading infections. For vulnerable children though, greater isolation means greater risks relating to child protection, as neighbours stop dropping around, and local services shut their doors. So we can't stop services completely, but at the same time, we don't want to risk exposing our children and their families to a potentially deadly virus if we can avoid it.

For CIF, we've spent some time in the past month or so really working out details for our online case management process, from risk assessment to follow up. We've asked questions like:

  • How do we decide which children need to be followed up in person, and which can be checked up on using video calling?
  • How do we make sure that our social workers can speak effectively to their clients using digital technologies?
  • How can we keep our children and our staff safe, in cases where a family needs in-person follow up?

For now, we're prioritising children with higher levels of vulnerability, and children with any risk in terms of child abuse or neglect, for in person follow up. Our staff absolutely need to see these children in person, to ensure that they don't fall through the cracks as the world reacts to this pandemic.

For children who are being met via video conference, staff have drawn up guidelines ensuring that they speak to the children themselves, not just their families; or in the case of infants, that they can see the child on screen. While we all have Zoom-fatigue, this technology is allowing us to follow up to a higher standard than we could otherwise, so we're thankful for it.

Of course, the other thing we're trying to do right now is provide emergency relief to some our families. Like everyone, they have felt the economic impact of Covid-19, so we're providing them with extra stipend support, as well as key supplies of hand sanitiser, soap, and face-masks. Your ongoing support is really important to us in this, as this has natually created extra expenses for our organisation as well.

Thanks again for your care for our work, the children we support, and the families caring for them. We deeply appreciate it.

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