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Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children Affected by HIV and Other Adversities

The Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) project is a five-year, USAID-funded project designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) affected by HIV and AIDS and other adversities.

Who is 4Children?

4Children brings together decades of experience, expertise and commitment to strengthening the capacity of key actors within a child’s system of care and support in order to improve the lives of children. 4Children is led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with partners IntraHealth, Maestral, Pact, Plan International USA, and Westat. African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Parenting Africa Network (PAN) and the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) also serve as collaborating partners.

4ChildrenParticipants in a CRS program for children in Ethiopia.
Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

The 4Children team is comprised of international and regional leaders in the field of family strengthening, community development, and child welfare and protection workforce and system strengthening. The team also has significant experience and expertise in the areas of monitoring, evaluation and research, capacity building, quality improvement, and linking community-based and clinical services to promote comprehensive care of children.

Why 4Children?

Tens of millions of children have lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses and other adversities. Most children affected by these circumstances live in lower– and middle– income countries where there remain barriers to ensuring the well-being and protection of children and families. Inconsistent quality of or barriers to access services, limited operational and technical capacity of service providers and duty bearers, and insufficient collaboration across sectors have resulted in fragile systems that do not meet the needs of the children they are mandated to serve.

Despite these challenges, children consistently demonstrate their resilience; and caregivers, communities and governments want to improve their situation.

4Children and its partners help improve the quality of life of these children by providing technical and organizational capacity building to host country governments and civil society, within all components of the social service system. With strengthened capacity, government and civil society actors can better perform their functions and scale-up those interventions with proven outcomes for affected communities, families and children.

The 4Children Approach

Capacity building and systems strengthening are at the core of 4Children. In partnership with key actors, 4Children will identify and promote appropriate, gender-aware practices in child welfare and protection, and institutional strengthening. This will inform efforts to scale up global and national interventions that strengthen the capacity of families, communities and governments, and strongly link community and clinical services to better protect and provide for children.

By defining a shared vision for capacity building, we will ensure our assistance is demand-driven, context-specific and results-oriented. 4Children will prioritize developing and promoting strong collaboration among actors across all sectors. This will support the cohesion and strengthening of national and sub- national social service systems.

4Children will also engage children, families and communities to provide input throughout the project cycle, so that programs respond to respective needs.

To improve the quality and sustainability of programming interventions, the project will identify and engage with global, regional and national bodies to increase political visibility, government commitment and stakeholder engagement in child welfare and protection issues.

Building the Evidence for Effective OVC Programming Through Research and Evaluation

4Children aims to strengthen and build the evidence base for effective child welfare, care and protection interventions through research and evaluation. Working with a team of leading experts in child protection and OVC, the project will design and implement assessments, evaluations and other special studies of new and ongoing projects and portfolios.

Evidence from our rigorously designed studies will be used to inform national policies for vulnerable children, and influence related interventions.

The project will also work toward strengthening surveillance and information management systems and improving compliance with required standards by providing best practice documentation on case management and information management systems, and on quality improvement measures.

Building Ownership Through Country Engagement

4Children will foster country ownership by actively engaging stakeholders in developing comprehensive gender sensitive activities to strengthen in-country child welfare and protection systems which address the needs of children.

The project will work with individuals, organizations and systems in governments and civil society at regional, national and community levels. The project will collaborate closely with national multi-sectoral, child-focused coordination bodies to build on existing assets and other investments in country; and strengthen organizational capacity and systems.

Our Commitment to Gender

4Children is committed to mainstreaming gender equality in all aspects of its work. Our resolute focus on gender will ensure that key gender-related evidence gaps and data needs are captured and addressed through rigorous research. In this way, we can build the evidence for and scale up sustainable and high quality programming that is sensitive to the gender issues that women, men, girls and boys face.

Working with 4Children

With a highly qualified project team, an extensive roster of technical experts, and an established presence in target countries, 4Children can provide customized, rapid and cost-effective capacity strengthening support to USAID country missions, governments and civil society to design and implement gender-aware policies and programs for children affected by HIV/AIDS and other adversities around the world.

Funding activities through 4Children requires no further competition or sole-source justification. Missions may buy into 4Children to implement small, one-time activities, such as assessments, pilot programs, or complementary initiatives alongside existing USG-funded activities. 4Children can also accommodate buy ins for medium-sized activities involving more extensive pilot programs or expansions of successful pilots, as well as larger, multi-year activities that draw on a number of 4Children core competencies.

Download the project brief

   This brief gives an overview of the Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children) project. 4Children is a five-year, USAID-funded project designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS and other adversities.

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