The convergence of poverty and the AIDS epidemic has been particularly devastating for children in Swaziland: the government estimates that 30-45% of Swazi children are orphans and/or living in highly vulnerable conditions. These children either live in child-headed households, with over-burdened elderly grandparents or extended families, or with chronically ill parents and struggle to have their basic needs met. These statistics underscore the extraordinary need for effective social welfare (SW) service delivery in the country, particularly for children, as well as the need to get vulnerable children and families into the HIV continuum of care.
From 2014 – 2015, WEI/B, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), designed and piloted the Strengthening Social Welfare Delivery System, a community-based case management model to leverage and strengthen community structures and offer an integrated local referral system to ensure children and families access critically-needed child protection and health services.
Currently, in collaboration with 4Children and with PEPFAR, World Education/Bantwana Initiative is building on the pilot to develop a harmonized HIV-sensitive National Case Management System for Swaziland in close partnership with the DSW. As a part of this work, the Bantwana Initiative has developed the national framework, standard operating procedures, and tools for case management in alignment with national policies and statutory regulations. World Education/Bantwana Initiative is developing a handbook for trained community workers in support of their role within the case management system and a training of trainers for DSW/social workers to support and roll out the national case management system. Throughout the program, Bantwana is supporting the DSW to pilot the new system in two tinkundla.