Strengthening Nigeria’s Social Welfare Workforce to Aid Orphans and Vulnerable Children

CapacityPlus’s Paul Marsden and Laura Guyer-Miller recently began working with the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, government agencies, and implementing partners on approaches for strengthening the social welfare workforce needed for orphans’ and vulnerable children’s care, support, and protection.

With an estimated 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Nigeria, the national response requires a skilled workforce targeting children who are:

  • Affected by HIV/AIDS, chronic illness, and disability
  • In need of alternative family care, legal protection, and shelter
  • In need of protection from abuse, neglect, and conflict.

National Association of Social WorkersThe existing OVC workforce in Nigeria is spread across a wide range of areas and sectors—embracing education, health, nutrition, psychosocial support, economic assistance, shelter, and protection services—through a range of formal and voluntary service networks and providers, including nongovernmental, faith-based, and community-based agencies.

However, the current National Plan of Action for OVC does not include a workforce strategy to plan, coordinate, and implement these combined efforts.

In the upcoming months, CapacityPlus will facilitate and support a dedicated Technical Task Team to lead the OVC workforce strengthening activities under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the National OVC Technical Coordination Group.

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Photo by Noriko Izumi. (National Association of Social Workers—Lagos Chapter)