The Child Safety Program (CSP) was launched by HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah in 1997. The key objectives of CSP are: securing child protection and the safety of children, and enhancing positive child-rearing practices. The Program adopts a culturally appropriate model, integrates international best practices and incorporates results of evidence-based research. Most importantly, the Program serves as a reference point, at the national level, on capacity building activities in the fields of child safety and child abuse.
The Program is built on the active participation and engagement of all stakeholders who work with children and tackles the issue of child safety through activities that address both prevention and intervention measures. In terms of prevention, the Program works with all the relevant stakeholders, at the national level, on raising awareness on child safety and protection. Activities carried out under the prevention measures include conducting trainings and sharing knowledge on all aspects of child protection. Intervention measures cover direct services for vulnerable children and families and is delivered through the award winning helpline 110 and the intensive psychosocial support provided for severely abused children and Dar Al Aman which is the only national and regional therapeutic temporary safe house for abused children that operates under the CSP. CSP’s strategic partners include the Ministry of Social Development, the Family and Protection Unit, and the National Council for Family Affairs. JRF is also an active member in the National Task Force for the National Council for Family Affairs.
Queen Rania Family and Child Centre (QRFCC) – A Hub for Child Safety Activities
QRFCC is a community center, operating under the CSP, located in an under-privileged area (Jabal El Nasser) in Eastern Amman. The center delivers child safety and protection activities in an area with a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants from Jordanian, Palestinian and Syrian origins (it also has minorities from Iraq, Sudan and Egypt); approximately 50% of which are under the age of eighteen. Today, QRFCC has evolved into a comprehensive community based model, offering holistic services that aim to combat child abuse and to strengthen the family unit. The Centre’s main objectives are:
– Spreading awareness and enhancing knowledge on child safety and protection;
– Strengthening positive family dynamics and relations, to secure a more positively stimulating environment for children; and
– Empowering children to becoming the agents of change by promoting an understanding of child safety and protection.
Realizing the changing local landscape, the emergence of new best practices worldwide and the need to profoundly translate activities into concrete impact, a review of the approach adopted at CSP took place in 2016. Through this internal evaluation, an important finding identified was the need to spread activities for child protection and safety beyond QRFCC. JRF has extensive partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) around the Kingdom that can be leveraged to spread awareness on child abuse and host similar activities as those currently taking place at QRFCC. Hence, this support through this grant has been very timely and relevant to CSP’s new evolved approach as they can be replicated and scaled up in various other locations to reach a higher number of beneficiaries.
QRFCC Core Prevention Functional Corners
“My Little Home”, the Green House corner and the Art Therapy room.
My Little Home (LH)
“My Little Home” is named after the literal translation from Arabic of Beit Segheer and refers to a creative platform that is interlinked with psychosocial services and parenting programs provided at QRFCC. Hence, LH constitutes an important prevention activity that connects with the remaining available prevention tools adopted at the Centre. The main objective of LH is to act as a simulator that;
– Supports the overall objectives of the QRFCC, being a community center that raises awareness, addresses and tackles child abuse; and
– Strengthens the emotional wellbeing of children and provides their parents with the content and awareness to apply positive child rearing practices.
There are two main target groups for LH;
Not only has LH helped raise awareness on child abuse to much higher levels amongst children but through its innovative interactive model, it has worked around the taboos on this issue and has helped identify abuse cases within families and schools and worked closely with them to address them. Staff at LH comprise of the facilitators and staff at QRFCC.
There are 6 corners within LH-children and families experience LH’s interactive features in the following order (each picture corresponds to each corner explained below);
The Green House Corner (GH)
JRF invests in supporting the father-son/mother-daughter quality time activities. Hence, the GH is a venue where children learn and build their self-esteem through gardening and planting seeds and spend quality time with their families. Typically, there are limited alternatives of tools and educational games in the local market for this type of engagement. There is also a shortage of spaces created where fathers feel welcomed which was apparent from family interactions and findings at LH. The main target groups of the GH project are children aged 6-12 years old. Launched in November 2016. Children learn financial skills, social skills and gardening. They also become socially active through carrying out their own initiatives.
The Art Therapy Room
Art supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional and multisensory skills especially in young children. It is also a strong tool used to identify child abuse. Children express their emotions through arts, which is insightful for their parents to learn more about the manner by which to act and empower their children. Therefore, QRFCC has adopted art therapy as a method for the children to release pressure and express themselves specifically through clay making, drawing and puppetry making. Children aged 6-15 years old are targeted. The three proposed arts packages, launched in November 2016, have been created and launched to fulfill the demands of both mother-daughter and father-son relationships.
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