This month the El Salvador team hosted our partners from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, whose five-day residency was a chance for the USC team, Whole Child staff, and our Salvadoran partners working on our USAID Protection & Quality of Care for Children Project to collaborate intensively on the first component of the Project, which is to develop an assessment of El Salvador’s child protection system for and with our government partners.

To date, the USC team has carried out 25 interviews of staff in the judicial systems, legislative assembly, civil society, international organizations, the CONNA and ISNA departments of the Salvadoran government, and UNICEF.  They also visited early childhood and residential care centers, and carried out four focus groups made up of 26 child protection system decision-makers, geographical regional coordinators, and technical personnel. This work builds upon the key research that Whole Child staff has done on the evolution of El Salvador’s child protection system and how it works. All of this will support Whole Child’s capacity to make recommendations to the government to help improve the child protection system.