Building Local Capacity for Social Support to Children and Families in Ethiopia


This project aims at enhancing to and quality of social support in Ethiopia to 16,000 vulnerable children and youth and an equal number of family members, by building local capacity to provide social support. The project is innovative for two reasons: it leads to the development of a training model accessible to replicate and adapt by other organizations and institutions working with social support throughout rural and urban Ethiopia and it builds partnership among Danish and Ethiopian organizations and education and research institutions, which have not cooperated at this intensity before.


The project idea came from discussions among AC International Child Support and Save the Children, Denmark (SCD) in 2008, based on expressions from their Ethiopian partner organizations on needs for stronger competences within the field of social support.

Focal problems identified

   There is a gap between the existing and needed social support services to vulnerable children and families in rural and urban Ethiopia


   Disappearing traditional structures


   Low priority from government


   Social worker education at degree level


   Fragmented initiatives on para counseling


   Severe lack of services in rural areas



   Integrated Family Service Organization


   AC International Child Support


   Save the Children Denmark


    Addis Ababa University -  School of Social Work


   VIA University College Aarhus, Denmark – Social Work Department


   Organization for Child Development and Transformation (CHAD-ET)


   Forum for Sustainable Child Empowerment (FSCE)


   Sing Language Training and Social Organization (SLTSSA) 

Development Objective of the project


Access to and quality of social support services for vulnerable children and families in urban and rural areas of Ethiopia have increased


Target groups


   Children and young people


   The parents and guardians


   Para counselors


   Social workers


   Institutions and organizations providing Para counseling


    An assessment study in three parts on existing and needed social support interventions in the project areas has been conducted and documented


   A TOT program on Para counseling has been undertaken for 25 social workers, improving their skills of social support, dissemination of knowledge and supervision


    Documentation of the model, consisting of TOT training and Para counseling manuals, as well as the assessment study report and a process description of the project, has been prepared


   Information on the project and documents are distributed, and presented at a conference participated by 250 relevant actors


   The model and the manuals are available and accessible to download from the internet, including the webpage of AAU


   A pixie document on the project, with guides to manuals in English and Amharic, is produced.


   The capacity on social support is enhanced within the partner organizations


   Networking is established among the participation universities, governmental institutions and NGOs

   Building Local Capacity for Social Support to Children and Families in Ethiopia

    Plans for how Para counseling can be a part of future activities in the involved institutions and organizations have been developed


Implementation period

         1st July 2010 – 31st December 2013