UNICEF's Global Annual Results Report 2022: Goal Area 3, summarizes UNICEF's work in 2022 under goal three of their strategic plan: Every child is protected from violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect and harmful practices. In 2022, UNICEF scaled up child protection prevention and response programming to address the most significant risk and protective factors across the humanitarian–development–peace nexus. This included strengthening family and parenting support to prevent violence in the home; expanding our work to address online child sexual exploitation and abuse; tackling gender-based violence; working towards universal access to birth registration; improving access to justice for children; preventing family separation; and ending grave violations in armed conflicts. UNICEF invested significantly in strengthening child protection systems to ensure no child is left behind.
The report specifically notes that while some countries strengthened their social service workforces in 2022 – a 7 per cent increase in the number of countries reporting advancements from 2021 (from 142 to 152 countries) – social service workforce strengthening continues to face significant hurdles at the national level. Many countries have focused on putting in place normative frameworks related to workforce strengthening; however, financial allocations to implement such frameworks remain a major challenge due to the lack of prioritization of social services within national budgets. In 2022, UNICEF introduced important guidance to address these bottlenecks, with a focus on helping policymakers identify minimum workforce-to-population ratios and project the costs required to build a professional cadre of social service workers.