In-school psychosocial support services for safeguarding children's rights: Results and implications of a Botswana study

Kayi Ntinda, Jacobus Gideon Maree, Elias Mpofu, Elizabeth Seeco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In-school psychosocial support services are intended to create safe learning environments for children, enabling the children to attain age-appropriate developmental tasks. This study investigated protections to children's right to safe learning environments through the provision of in-school psychosocial support services. Participants were 230 learners from a cross-section of Botswana schools (females = 124, males 106; age range 10.7-17.7 years; school grades 5 to 12; median age = 14.5 years, SD = 3.65 years). Data on learner access, utilization, and preferences of in-school psychosocial support services were collected using focus group discussions, individual interviews, and a semi-structured survey. The data were analysed thematically and with supplemental quantitative analysis. A social risk management analysis approach was adopted for the interpretation of findings. Learners perceived their schooling rights to be protected when they had direct input into the type, scope, and delivery of the psychosocial support services. Botswana learners are sensitive to social risks to their rights to safe learning environments. Children's rights to safe learning environments are likely to be realized with learner-oriented in-school psychosocial support services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-293
Number of pages14
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Abuse
  • Africa
  • Botswana schools
  • children's social rights
  • psychosocial
  • safe learning environments
  • support services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health


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