Within PROMISE 2 (2017–2019), several countries in Europe are intensifying their multi-disciplinary and interagency collaboration to ensure that child victims and witnesses of violence have access to Barnahus and benefit from a child-friendly, professional and effective response in a safe environment. Other Barnahus and child-friendly services in many more countries will also be engaged through webinars, networking and strategic communication. The rights of the child to protection, support and to be heard without being exposed to risks of re-traumatisation are central to Barnahus.

PROMISE 2 promotes progress at national level in several European countries. It aims to ensure commitment from key authorities by facilitating inter-agency dialogue in national strategic roundtables, as well as developing plans and roadmaps, inter-agency agreements and frameworks. It further aims to contribute to building a competent and committed workforce, including professionals from law enforcement, judiciary, medical and mental health staff and social workers. Tailor-made training will be provided to Barnahus staff in areas such as forensic interviews, psychotherapy, medical treatment, multi-disciplinary collaboration and data collection. A key aim of PROMISE 2 is to ensure that children are placed at the centre of the process and that their voices are heard. A methodology will be developed to help Barnahus and child-friendly services gather children’s views on their experience in Barnahus, the outcomes of the process and potential challenges that still need to be addressed. PROMISE 2 also reaches out beyond its partners. Several webinars will be organised, a newsletter will regularly be disseminated and social media will bring the latest news. Wikipedia will bring updated information about the Barnahus model.

PROMISE 2 builds on learning from the first PROMISE project (2015-2017), which supported government officials and practitioners from more than 11 countries to establish Barnahus or similar institutions. A series of exchange meetings, study visits and capacity building efforts raised the level of knowledge of the government officials and practitioners, who also contributed to the development of standards and guidelines. PROMISE produced a series of resources for government officials and practitioners who have an interest in establishing and operating Barnahus. The European Barnahus Quality Standards offer ground-breaking guidance and constitute the first attempt to define the principles and good practice standards for services that want to operate according to the Barnahus model. The PROMISE tracking tool provides a framework for services to assess their practice against the standards. The report Enabling Child-Sensitive Justice gives an overview of how the Barnahus model has emerged and gradually expanded in  Europe and the PROMISE Compendium of Law and Guidance provides a comprehensive review of international and European law and authoritative guidance concerning the rights of child victims and witnesses. Promoting Progress on Barnahus in Europe guides the development of national and regional advocacy strategies.

The European Barnahus Movement

The European Barnahus Movement was launched in June 2017 in the presence of the EU Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Rights, and the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children. The launch of the movement confirmed Barnahus as a good practice, validated the Barnahus model as a widely accepted concept and consolidated the European network of Barnahus staff and interested government officials and practitioners.

Partners

PROMISE 2 is managed by the Children at Risk Unit in the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat in close collaboration with Child Circle.

Project Partners

  • Council of Baltic Sea States Secretariat, Coordinator
  • Social Activities and Practice Institute, Bulgaria
  • Hope for Children CRC Policy Center, Cyprus
  • Social Insurance Board, Estonia
  • National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
  • World Childhood Foundation, Germany
  • Child Circle, Belgium
  • Szociális Szolgáltatók Közhasznú Egyesülete, Hungary, Region West
  • Terre des Hommes, Hungary
  • TUSLA, Ireland
  • Centre Dardedze, Latvia
  • Empowering Children
    Foundation, Poland
  • Save the Children, Romania

Experts

  • Barnahus Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Barnahus Linköping and Stockholm, Sweden
  • The National Police Directorate and 2 Barnehus, Norway
  • Børnehus Sjælland, Denmark
  • MDCK, Netherlands
  • Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, Croatia
  • The Havens, Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, England

PROMISE 2 stakeholders are committed to introducing and operating child-friendly, multi-disciplinary and rights-based services for child victims and witnesses of violence. With the formal support from national authorities, PROMISE 2 provides partner countries with opportunities to translate their commitment into action and engage with others in the process.

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