Family for Every Child (Family) and the Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) are pleased to announce the launch of their new report: Researching the linkages between social protection and children’s care in Rwanda.
The report is the first in a three-country series examining how social protection influences child wellbeing and the relationships between children and their carers. The research was carried out jointly with Family member Uyisenga Ni Imanzi (UNM) who hosted today’s launch in Kigali, Rwanda.
Author Keetie Roelen, CSP, said: “We believe that social protection may play a really important role in various aspects of child wellbeing and children’s care even though its primary objective is to reduce and mitigate poverty.
It is vital that we gain an understanding of the interactions between social protection programmes and the quality of care, loss of parental care, family separation and reunification.” Keetie Roelen, CSP
The Rwandan research focused on the national Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP). This programme aims to reduce extreme poverty and is centred on providing public works to extremely poor households with members who are able to work and cash transfers to the most vulnerable and those unable to work.
Researchers asked three questions:
What are the linkages between social protection and the quality of children’s care?
What is the link between social protection and the loss of parental care or family separation?
How does social protection influence decisions about foster or kinship care?
UNM Director, Chaste Uwihoreye (pictured), said: “We were pleased to find that the VUP can play a positive role in improving the quality of care and child wellbeing – as well as support family reunification.
“However there were concerns regarding cash transfers – including the use of transfers for the purchase of alcohol – and also the impact of the public works programme which may challenge the ability of families to provide care for their children.
“We need to strengthen the link between the VUP and child protection services to maximise its positive impacts for Rwanda’s children.”
Today’s launch was part of the wider ‘Graduation and Social Protection’ conference, taking place in Kigali from 6-8 May and is co-hosted by the Government and Rwanda and the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies, with financial support from Irish Aid, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF.