Vulnerable Children – Building Resilience and an Interprofessional Approach

By | 27th February 2019

The recent issue (issue 2 of this year) of the journal has some fantastic papers that are worth looking at. These range from psychometric validation in the Chinese health system to an IPE approach for tobacco cessation. This really does highlight the scope and global expertise that is now being published in JIC. One paper did catch my eye and that was by Vostanis et al at the University of Leicester.

Unfortunately, as the world turns, children are still being affected by issues that us grown-ups should be dealing with. These range from poverty, increasing wealth gaps, climate change to conflict. As of this week, UNICEF’s executive director stated:

“Yemen is home to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and children are especially vulnerable. At least 11.3 million – 80 percent of all children in the country – need humanitarian assistance, while 1.8 million are acutely malnourished including nearly 360,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition….”

Keeping this in mind, the Journal’s editorial team are proud that a study by Vostanis et al, was successfully published. This paper focused on an interprofessional approach to building resilience, from a mental health perspective, amongst vulnerable children in low resource settings. The vulnerable groups looked at, were street and refugee children (Turkey), those living in slum areas and orphanages (Pakistan), favelas (Brazil), community care homes (Rwanda), and those living in slums following ethnic violence/internal displacement (Kenya).

The authors aimed to understand the perspectives of those working with these children, on the resilience training content that was interprofessional. Their findings, which were broken down into themes highlighted that there is an appreciation of sharing knowledge across professionals, an increase awareness of the need to challenge stigma and improving communication so that both professionals and policy makers understand children’s needs.

You can read more via the link above, but this paper, from a research and IPE perspective provides further evidence for policy makers. Basically, more needs to be done and collaborative approaches can, if endorsed, overcome the barriers that are commonly seen by aid workers, NGOs and health professionals on the ground. A collaborative, interprofessional approach is essential if we are to aid the most vulnerable amongst us, namely children.