Child Protection Responses and Transformative Social Protection in Kenya and South Africa: Can social grants improve the wellbeing of children affected by violence and neglect?
Nyamu, Irene Katunge
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This research critically explores how children from low income neighbourhoods in Kenya and South Africa experience formal child protection interventions couched within a child rights framework in response to violence and neglect. The study also considered the role that social assistance grants play in mediating children’s wellbeing outcomes as a means for addressing child maltreatment and vulnerabilities. The main thesis of the research is that despite a close link having been established between violence against children and poverty in the causation of complex vulnerabilities and ill-being for children in Africa, solutions addressing the twin challenges appear to be mutually exclusive. While social assistance grants in the form of cash transfers remain a popular strategy for alleviating short to medium-term poverty, their potential for addressing neglect and violence against children which is linked to poverty has remained fairly unexplored. To examine this question critically, the Wellbeing in Development framework by Gough, McGregor and Camfield (2007) was used. The framework dynamically conceptualises poverty as multi-dimensional, and wellbeing as both a process and an outcome through which individuals can self-evaluate what constitutes happiness and a good life in a given social and cultural context.