Case Study on Narrowing the Gaps for Equity

China Child Friendly Spaces in post-disaster settings and impoverished communities


Responding to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, UNICEF-China and government partners established forty Child Friendly Spaces (CFS): safe, protective, colorful environments in which earthquake-affected children could receive child welfare, protection, psychosocial and other support services. The success of the post-disaster Child Friendly Spaces prompted expansion of the programme into impoverished communities in five provinces, where vulnerable children are often unable to obtain equal access to the limited services available through China’s nascent child welfare system. Adapting to the needs of these communities, these Child Friendly Spaces augment the global UNICEF CFS model with micro-child protection systems that integrate case management, referral, early detection and other services. Child Friendly Spaces are helping to alleviate disparate access to public social services for vulnerable children in these communities.