Social service workers in schools: Their role in addressing violence against children and other child protection concerns

This technical note draws on the available evidence to explore the optimal role and functions of the social service workforce to address violence against children and other child protection concerns in schools. The technical note highlights key elements of how child protection concerns are addressed in schools across a range of contexts, with a focus on schools that operate under the remit of ministries of education in low- and middle-income countries.

This technical note broadly defines the scope of services that the social service workforce, if sufficiently resourced and supported, could provide working in or with schools, and which school administrators and leaders would need to support. It also outlines the multi-agency child protection services in or linked to schools that governments and ministries of education should support in order to uphold children’s right to learning and protection from all forms of violence.

The technical note shows that the integration of child protection into school settings is not only a state obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Children, but can also mitigate protection risks, improve overall child well-being and lead to better educational outcomes.

The target audience for this technical note are policy makers and other stakeholders in the child protection and education sectors, including government, United Nations, donors and civil society.

As this is a global technical note, the findings and recommendations are intended as overarching and general recommendations applicable to most contexts and have not been developed for a specific context in any one region or country.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Technical Note


Published by

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


School Management
Child Protection
Child Wellbeing