In July we announced that Helping Children Worldwide received a grant from the Christian Alliance for Orphans called the CAFO Research Challenge Grant. The purpose of this grant was to allow smaller non-profits to be able to do research into their promising practices in child welfare. By connecting a university-associated researcher with a non-profit, the goal is to "learn from our practices and provide the best care possible for vulnerable children and families."
HCW submitted to the grant our work in family strengthening, which combines our training in attachment between caregivers and children with our training on microfinance. The CRC has been using this new curriculum for about a year in our Village Partnership Family Strengthening Workshops, but this research project will give us the opportunity to measure the impact of these workshops on the families who attend them.
HCW was paired with researcher Dr. Sarah Neville. Dr. Neville completed her PhD in Social Work this past August at Boston College, and is now a Post-Doctor Research Fellow at Brown University. Among her other interests in global child welfare, she is interested in studying family reintegration (reunification and foster care) and the effects of family strengthening, parenting, education, and economic assistance on family reunification.
Dr. Neville, a compassionate and enthusiastic researcher, just returned from Bo, where she trained the CRC case management team in survey collection. On day one, Dr. Neville gave an overview of the study design and purpose of the project, and then reviewed the ethical considerations and best practices in data collection. On day two and three, the team reviewed the surveys question by question. Dr. Neville said this was the most fun part of the training. The survey had been translated into Krio, as it is a language that CRC families understand better than English. Each question was reviewed by the team and then back-translated into English to ensure the translation was accurate. Well-humored arguments ensued over the use of certain words, and laughter was exchanged with a team member would say "I understand what it means but I can't explain it!" On day four and five, the team practiced delivering the survey, first with one anther, and then with a practice caregiver and child pair. Finally, each of the team received a certificate for the training.
The survey is set to deploy some time in October, with a cohort of 100 families being recruited. Fifty of these families will receive the family strengthening training sometime after the survey is conducted. The remaining families will receive this training in 2023. Stay turned to hear more about this exciting project!
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