Sep 1 2015 - Sep 3 2015

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

This forum is the third biannual Psychosocial Support Forum hosted by the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) to promote awareness and understanding of the importance of psychosocial support (PSS) and share knowledge on approaches to providing it. This year's forum is being held under the theme "Love, Care and Protection from Infancy to Adolescence" and intends to "raise awareness of the need for and approaches to providing Love, Care and Protection for girls and boys through the different stages of their development from Infancy to Adolescence and to influence policy and programming at national and regional level."

According to REPSSI, this forum is a high level partnership building platform that brings together stakeholders from regional economic blocks, national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, media, and community implementing partners. The programme will include meetings and presentations addressing different aspects of psychosocial support: the Children's Pre-forum; plenary sessions; abstract driven and non-abstract driven breakaway sessions and panel discussions; skills building sessions and poster presentations. There will be opportunities for displays and a variety discussions, such as discussions between primary and secondary caregivers.

Objectives of the Forum are to:

  • take stock of the progress that we are making in developing approaches and providing PSS that is appropriate for different developmental stages of boys and girls;
  • share relevant trends in PSS practice and enrich knowledge of new research findings and theory;
  • explore and facilitate the establishment of partnerships between practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and funding partners; and
  • provide a platform for children and youth, researchers and practitioners to influence policy formulation on the provision of age appropriate PSS and build commitment to allocation of resources for this.

As child participation is fundamental to psychosocial support, a key event leading to this Forum is the children and youth pre-forum, to ensure that the voices of children and youth are heard and acted upon. "The participants will deliberate on issues affecting them and use information gathered from their networks in country to develop key messages they would like to have shared during the forum. The messages will be presented by children’s representatives using different media. The pre-forum meeting will be facilitated by youth leaders who will use games, role plays, song and dance and other fun techniques to facilitate sharing, interaction and discussion. Some of these activities will also be filmed and shared (with the children’s consent) during the children’s presentation. Children interested in the role of spokesperson will be trained for interviews with journalists."

Click here for more information about the Forum.

Registration information:
The forum is a platform to share research, practice, and policy that impact on the provision of PSS to children from infancy to adolescence. At least 400 participants are expected to be drawn from a wide range of partners in the region and internationally, representatives from the regional economic blocks, national governments, civil society, academia, international cooperating partners, community caregivers, and youths.

Registration fees are as follows: early Bird registration is USD 230, children and youth are USD120; regular registration is USD250, and late registration USD300.

REPSSI encourages experts in the field of PSS to submit their abstracts for any of the four forum tracks namely (i) Infancy and young childhood, (ii) childhood, (iii) adolescence and youth and (iv) skills building workshops. Abstracts can only be submitted online via the forum website. Click here for more information about the tracks and submitting and abstract.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: May 15 2015

Click here to register online.