CapacityPlus’s Work Aligns with New US Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

The US Government recently launched the first-ever Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The plan coordinates efforts across seven government agencies to address the needs of children in adversity, including those made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS, natural disasters, and violence.

The launch of the plan was celebrated at two events, the first hosted at the National Press Club for civil society partners and media and the second hosted at the White House. Both events highlighted that, as stated in the action plan, “building strong beginnings, putting family care first, and protecting children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence” should be among any nation’s top priorities.

The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut brought added meaning and significance to the day’s events. President Obama commented at the December 16 vigil in Newtown, “This is our first task—caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right we don’t get anything right.” Likewise, speakers at the launch event reminded the audience that when we hear statistics about the millions of children who needlessly die each year before their fifth birthday, we should not forget that each number represents a name, a real person, and a circle of people suffering from the loss of that person, just as is the case with the names of each the 20 children killed in Newtown. 

I attended the events as the coordinator of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and on behalf of CapacityPlus. The aim of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance is to promote the knowledge and evidence, resources and tools, and political will and action needed to address key social service workforce challenges. CapacityPlus is contributing to the development of the emerging Alliance and is also carrying out numerous activities that address the needs of vulnerable children and families by supporting the development of a stronger social service workforce. The work of both groups aligns with the US Government’s Action Plan, which includes the importance of building human resources capacity for child welfare and protection.

Kent Hill of World Vision moderated the morning panel and summed up the meaning of the day by stating, “There is a tremendous amount we can do to mitigate and eliminate the suffering of millions of children. We have it within our capacity, within our resources, within our will, within our organizations if we take seriously what is in the Action Plan.” The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance and CapacityPlus look forward to continuing to contribute to this important work.

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