Through HCW’s partnership with 1MILLIONHOME, the CRC has been able to receive regular case management and social work training from Strengthening Families and Children (SFAC), which is based in the UK. SFAC has been providing social work training to practitioners on the ground all over the world, for more than 20 years. CEO and trainer, Dan Hope, has traveled to over 30 countries to train social work and case management teams, and HCW has long hoped to have Dan travel to the CRC to continue to build the capacity of the amazing team there, but COVID put a crimp in those plans. Dan and the CRC team met regularly via Zoom throughout 2021. Finally, in April of 2022, Dan was able to make the trip to Bo - his first to Sierra Leone, with Laura Horvath and Dr. Andrea Siegel to provide a week’s worth of training in person.
Four days of group work, interactive learning, and practical step by step instruction covered the key topics of (1) understanding the continuum of services, (2) using in-depth family needs assessments, (3) risk assessment decision-making, and (4) analytical best interest decision making. This was followed by two days of consultancy session with the CRC Director Olivia Fonnie, Case Supervisor/Child Protection Officer, George Kulanda, and the HCW team on the team’s skills, strengths, resources, capacity, and where the CRC team fits and meets the needs of the community in which it serves.
In his report back to the CRC and HCW, Dan shared that “the CRC social workers are a HUGE asset to CRC and HCW. They are highly skilled and impressive in their learning and ability to take concepts and turn them into practice.” Dan also lauded the CRC’s Transition Coaching and Mentoring Department in its role in building “clear links and relationships with other NGOS who have orphanages/children’s homes that [have the potential] to become a powerful network for change in Sierra Leone.
He further reflected that “developing and promoting family care in the region will face significant challenges in comparison to other countries due to the widespread structural and systemic issues of poverty, lack of resources, poor infrastructure, lack of electricity and corruption influences. However, the potential for change is significant, and the CRC’s very skilled workforce can provide a stimulus and example for Sierra Leone to develop family care alternatives.”
He concluded, “I just want to reiterate that the skills, knowledge and ability of the team at CRC was impressive, as was their work rate in such heat! And I would also say how impressive and heartening to see such family reintegration and respect of different faiths in the work of CRC and HCW in the communities they work in, the projects they do, and in their own staff team.”
HCW and CRC are deeply grateful to Dan, the entire SFAC team, and to 1MILLIONHOME for making this training possible.
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