Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Love, Care and Protection from Infancy to Adolescence

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1 Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Love, Care and Protection from Infancy to Adolescence 1 3 September, 2015 Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Concept Note Main Contact - Forum Coordinator Lynette Mudekunye, Regional Advisor Other Contact People: Sibusisiwe Marunda, Country Director (Zimbabwe) Kelvin Ngoma, Country Director (Zambia) Brighton Gwezera (Advocacy Advisor)

2 Background and Rationale Psychosocial support is critical for children, families and communities to develop resilience and thus to thrive. Resilience and thriving at child, family and community level are necessary human capital conditions for all social and economic development initiatives. REPSSI hosts a biannual Psychosocial Support forum to promote awareness and understanding of the importance of psychosocial support (PSS) and share knowledge on approaches to providing it. This forum is a high level partnership building platform that brings together stakeholders from regional economic blocks, national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, media and community implementing partners. As participation is fundamental to psychosocial support, a key event leading to this Forum is the children and youth pre-forum, to ensure that the voices of children and youth are heard and acted upon. The theme of the third forum, which will take place at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 1-3 September, 2015, is Love, Care and Protection from Infancy to Adolescence Aim of the Forum: The overall aim of the forum is to raise awareness of the need for and approaches to providing Love, Care and Protection for girls and boys through the different stages of their development from Infancy to Adolescence and to influence policy and programming at national and regional level. Objectives of the Forum: To take stock of the progress that we are making in developing approaches and providing PSS that is appropriate for different developmental stages of boys and girls. To share relevant trends in PSS practice and enrich our knowledge of new research findings and theory. To explore and facilitate the establishment of partnerships between practitioners, researchers, policy makers and funding partners. To provide a platform for children and youth, researchers and practitioners to influence policy formulation on the provision of age appropriate PSS and build commitment to allocation of resources for this. Why Love Care, Protection from Infancy to Adolescence A child s development path is characterised by rapid cognitive, social, emotional and physical changes. Children develop from being completely dependent on their parents or Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 2 of 7

3 other caregivers to becoming independent and productive members of society. All children are unique and none conform completely to patterns or stages of development. Child development is a dynamic process which is constantly influenced by life events and nurturing patterns. Child care in different societies is influenced by endogenous and exogenous factors. A child is born to caregivers who are influenced by their socio-economic environment, the socio-political and religious system which prescribe values and beliefs for childrearing. While all children require social and emotional support for their wellbeing, there are situations of adversity and risk such as conflict, globalisation, poverty, gender based violence, neglect and abuse, HIV and AIDS which reduce the ability of families and households to provide psychosocial support (PSS) for children and necessitate the provision of PSS from others in the child s social ecology. The aim of psychosocial support interventions for children and their family caregivers is to enhance social connectedness, emotional wellbeing and skills to build resilience and thriving. Psychosocial support interventions recognise that children from infancy to adolescence need more than basic material and physical provisions. They also need social stimulation and support, nurturing, affection, opportunities for rest and recreation, and guidance from stable, caring adults that are appropriate to their developmental stage. PSS is best provided by the children s family caregivers. However, in most situations, they also stressed and need psychosocial support. Through appropriate psychosocial care and stimulation, children develop positive self-esteem, decision-making capabilities, skills for daily living, flexibility and adaptability, social capacities, and the ability to manage their emotions appropriately in short, they become healthy, well-functioning and productive people. Psychosocial support, therefore underpins all long-term development and stability of individuals, families, communities, ultimately enabling them to participate in programmes that contribute to achieving global goals such as the MDGs and SDGs. The form of psychosocial support that children need evolves as children grow and develop through different stages of their lives. Psychosocial support interventions must respond to the needs of boys and girls of different ages. Programmes should seek to actively involve girls and boys of different ages in ways that are appropriate to their ages and capabilities and should build on the strengths of caregivers, families and communities. Individuals and institutions that children come into contact with and who can provide psychosocial support change as children grow. These include parents, older siblings, grandparents, other relatives, child minders, social service and protection providers, health care providers, early childhood development providers, primary school and secondary school. Many others such as community groups, youth groups and faith groups also play crucial roles in providing psychosocial support to children from infancy to adolescence and to their family caregivers. Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 3 of 7

4 The Forum: The forum is a platform to share research, practice and policy that impact on the provision of PSS to children from infancy to adolescence. The focus will include: consideration of the psychosocial needs of children in infancy, middle childhood and adolescence as well as the provision of PSS for children in those age ranges within their families; PSS provision mainstreamed into social services, education and health for children at different stages of their development; capacity development for those that provide care, support and protection for children at all stages of their development from infancy to adolescence and policy and resource allocation for PSS for children through the stages of their development. The programme will have a rich array of different meetings and presentations: from the Children s Pre-forum; plenary sessions; abstract driven and non abstract driven breakaway sessions and panel discussions; skills building sessions and poster presentations. There will be opportunities for displays and a variety of meetings and discussions such as discussions between primary and secondary caregivers. The programme will allocate time and provide transport for delegates to visit the Falls. The Children s Pre-forum The children s pre-forum will bring together children and youth from East and Southern Africa, to a place where they can share their experiences, ideas and hopes for their lives. The children and youth will represent leaders of children s groups, Junior Parliament and young people leading change at community level. They will represent voices of children and youth from diverse races, religions, traditions, capabilities and geographic locations. In preparation for the forum the young people will conduct activities in their countries that will enable them to document and collect voices of children and youth who will not be able to attend the forum. During the children s pre-forum the boys, girls and youth will deliberate issues around psychosocial support from infancy to adolescence. Some of the young people will be selected from the pre-forum to attend the main forum and present their deliberations. They will make presentations or facilitate skills building workshops. Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 4 of 7

5 Other Events at the Forum REPSSI has convened a Thought Leaders Group, comprised of International experts in the field of psychosocial support to provoke new thinking in the field. The Group is spear heading the production of a flagship report on the status of mental health and PSS in Africa and will participate in the Forum. Members of the Thought Leaders Group are: Dr James Garbarino Dr Olayinka Omigbodun Dr Taasogle Daryl Rowe Mr. Lincoln Ndogoni Noreen Huni Prof Vikram Patel Dr Chiara Servili Prof. Lorraine Sherr Dr Maria Mabetoa Human development and children affected by violence Child and adolescent psychiatry African psychology Psychosocial Support Maternal child health; Social development Psychiatry and mental health Child and adolescent mental health Psychologist Social Work REPSSI has a long standing relationship with Dulwich Centre, renowned leaders in Narrative Therapy. The Dulwich Centre will be represented at the forum and we anticipate that they will co host an international training in narrative therapy before or after the Forum. Forum documents In the run up to the forum, the following documents will be shared with participants: Conference programme agenda Forum abstracts The outcome documents will include: The Conference report Conference presentations and papers Photographs and video clips Internet blogs, tweets and updates Press releases Forum participants We are planning for at least 400 participants drawn from a wide range of partners in the region and internationally, representatives from the regional economic blocks, national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, community caregivers and Youths. Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 5 of 7

6 Co-hosting REPSSI has adopted a co-hosting approach in convening this important forum that seeks to make a significant contribution to the lives of millions of children and their families who require enhanced care, support and protection through the different stages of their lives. Co hosting can be in the form of sponsoring special tracks, delegates and presenters, strategic and technical support and direct funding of conferencing expenses. Co-hosts will chair selected sessions, facilitate panel discussions, host thematic tracks, nominate key presenters and have reserved slots for preferred delegates. Marketing, Communication and Branding A joint marketing, communication and branding strategy will be agreed on among cohosting partners. All forum communication will indicate that the event is jointly hosted while logos of all partners will appear on the forum communication, programme and promotional materials. Partners will market the forum through their respective social networks, websites and strategic platforms. Abstract Submission: Abstracts will be submitted through an online system and a technical review panel, consisting of members from the partner organizations and other leading subject experts from the partners networks, will be established to review all abstracts select those for presentation. Abstract submission will open at the beginning of February. Registration: Registration will be open from February 5, Registration covers the costs of participation in all sessions, teas and lunches. Early Bird registration is USD 230, Children and Youth is USD120; regular registration is USD250, Children and Youth USD150. Late registration USD300 Accommodation: REPSSI has negotiated accommodation with the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls which will host the forum at the following rates: Single Room: US$ per room bed and breakfast Double Room: US$ per room bed and breakfast Executive Suite: US$ per room bed and breakfast Deluxe suite: US$ per room bed and breakfast Presidential Suite: USD per room bed and breakfast We will be negotiating accommodation and other services with other providers in Victoria Falls and will be sharing these details before the end of March. Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 6 of 7

7 Key Dates: KEY DATES OPEN CLOSE Call for Abstract February 5, 2015 May 15, 2015 Early Registration February 5, 2015 May 31, 2015 Regular Registration June 1, 2015 August Late Registration August 16, 2015 September 1, 2015 Scholarship Application February 5, 2015 May 15, 2015 Notice of Acceptance Abstract July 1, 2015 Announcement of Scholarship Recipient July 1, 2015 Logistics Date and venue 1 to 3 September 2015 at the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Children s Pre-conference August, Venue to be confirmed (Harare or Bulawayo in Zimbabwe) Psychosocial Support Forum 2015 Concept note Page 7 of 7

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