Child protection

Circles of Care

Isibindi and Safe Parks

Ending violence against children




What UNICEF is doing

UNICEF is working with Government and partners to strategically address violence from the grass roots level in communities all the way up to national policy and systems levels. A key strategy is to build on the well-established social assistance system and strengthen it further by linking cash (child support, foster care and dependency grants) with better-tailored and more responsive care and protection services. At the same time, it is essential to work closely with communities to strengthen social cohesion and build their capacity for self-sufficiency and resilience. By leveraging religion, music, and sport to promote greater connectedness and circles of care in communities, caring and nurturing environments for children can be reinforced. In view of these objectives, UNICEF is providing support towards a range of strategies across the spectrum of prevention, early intervention and protection.


© UNICEF South Africa/Schermbrucker

  • Ensure all children are registered at birth and all eligible households access the child support grant
  • Support introduction and use of new technology for case monitoring of children to ensure real time, multi-agency data is used to prioritize care and resources across health, education and social protection sectors
  • Promote positive parenting through evidence based programmes, like Sinovuyo, proven to reduce maltreatment among adolescents; and MenCare which supports the role of men in caregiving
  • Help improve safety and care in schools and early childhood development (ECD) centres through implementation of the National Integrated ECD Policy and National School Safety
  • Framework and involves capacity development of teachers, School Governing Bodies, learners and caregivers
  • Strengthen learners’ resilience and life skills through innovative sport for development and music for development programmes
  • Promote comprehensive knowledge of sexual and reproductive health in schools and support health workers to deliver youth friendly services to prevent teenage pregnancy and unwanted births
  • Capitalize on children and young people as change agents through youth movements like Girls and Boys Movements (GBEMs) and school based programmes like iSchool Press Teams, as well as Young Reporters Network that help them to shift attitudes and norms about gender equality and violence in their schools and communities
  • Help to raise awareness about how to prevent violence in communities, and empower caregivers to foster safe and supportive environments for children through positive communication strategies and interactive engagement

Early Intervention

© UNICEF South Africa/Schermbrucker

  • Scale up access to family strengthening services, including Isibindi home visits and Safe Parks through Social Compacts that combine efforts and resources of Government, civil
    society, private sector and the community
  • Promote integrated case management to assess children holistically, ensure the right children are prioritised and that services are tailored to their needs
  • Build capacity of community care workers, teachers, health and workers to strengthen referrals and communication between them so that children who experience violence are quickly identified and cared for
  • Strengthen support programmes for pregnant teenagers and young mothers to help them take care of themselves and their babies and ensure a caring and safe environment in the home
  • Help children and young people to report on causes and consequences of violence in their communities and suggest solutions through initiatives such as U Report, the Young Reporters Network and Children’s radio


© UNICEF South Africa/Schermbrucker

  • Accelerate access to child and victim-friendly justice including for children and adults who are victims of sexual offences though the Sexual Offences Courts
  • Strengthen referrals, tracking of children and collaboration between early intervention programmes including child and youth care workers and statutory child protection services





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