Measuring quality in care
“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
- 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:
- Training of competency trainers
- Role-play pre-training
- Role-play post-training
- Use of pre-training competencies for use in training
- Supervision post training with tool
- 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.
- An evaluation of feasibility and reliability of the WeACT tool was conducted in Gaza, occupied Palestinan territory, followed by pilot testing in Lebanon in 2019.
- A full-scale trial was completed in Lebanon in 2020 by adapting to a remote modality, in close collaboration with George Washington University and the World Health Organisation under the EQUIP initiative.
Our research agenda
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.