psychosocial support is urgently needed - yet there's simply not enough specialists to go around

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Measuring quality in care

Research Lead
“Mental health and psychosocial support can be a key element in children’s recovery and well-being. However, the standard of this support needs to be high enough to avoid doing more harm than good. Using WeACT, we can assess whether service providers have the relevant competencies, and if and where they need support to build these, thereby improving the overall quality of care. The evidence so far is looking very promising.”

Frederik Steen, War Child researcher

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Want to learn more or ask a question? Contact Frederik via email or LinkedIn.


Assurance tool

  • War Child has created this tool as part of an evidence-based system of care for conflict-affected children.
  • Once any intervention is shown to be effective, the focus moves to ensuring it is implemented according to a minimum set of quality indicators. The WeACT tool helps to assess the competency level of service providers to implement the tool. As such, it is an important quality assurance tool for caring for children in humanitarian settings.


The intervention has six phases:

  1. Training of competency trainers
  2. Role-play pre-training
  3. Role-play post-training
  4. Use of pre-training competencies for use in training
  5. Supervision post training with tool
  6. Competency rating

The tool covers a range of critical competencies such as:

Verbal and non-verbal communications; building rapport and relationships; facilitating group work; demonstrating behaviour management skills; ensuring meaningful participation; identifying and understanding children’s needs; detecting and observing for child abuse, exploitation, neglect, violence and self-harm; supporting the reflection and reframing of children’s thoughts and feelings; ability to be inclusive and giving and receiving feedback.



Next steps

Our research agenda

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WeACT is being further tested in Jordan in 2021. We will evaluate a foundational helping skills training, developed by the EQUIP consortium, using the WeACT and other competency assessments.

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Meet our Research and Development Team

As part of War Child's Research and Development team, Frederik Steen is engaged in developing the WEACT tool. He is committed to advance the thinking on assessing the competencies of the people War Child is reaching. Frederik is also involved in the EASE intervention's research study.