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Cross Cultural Transferability in Child Protection: Challenges and Opportunities

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 12 Issue: 4 Dated: July-August 2003 Pages: 238-250
Victoria G. Lidchi
Date Published
July 2003
13 pages
Based on the author's experience in working in Bolivia in the field of child protection, this paper discusses the use of international contributions and cooperation in the implementation of child protection measures.
This paper emphasizes the roles of international cooperation in providing references for national policymaking, models and methodology for public health approaches in obtaining research data, and direct support for professionals in implementing local programs. The author first describes some generic impediments to program implementation in South America before profiling the situation in Bolivia. An analysis of causes of child abuse and neglect is used to identify some challenges that have been encountered and areas where preventive protection measures are required. The paper then uses systemic principles to explain how child abuse and neglect in Bolivia can be countered through international cooperation in training local professionals in the analysis and intervention in local systems. Such international assistance is required because of the limited resources available in Bolivia to address this serious problem. Such an effort can demonstrate how interagency cooperation and an integrated multidisciplinary approach can advance shared objectives relevant to protecting children against abuse and neglect. Providing the tools to undertake systemic analysis of child protection in Bolivia has given participants the opportunity to reassess how agencies that formerly competed for limited resources can use existing resources cooperatively in networks of local professionals who can enhance the protection of children from abuse and neglect. Training in a systemic approach has been accepted in Bolivia as a useful way for networks of professionals, both foreign and local, to promote changes in systems and structures important for advancing child protection. 63 references