The series of service exchange meetings that the PROMISE project is organizing successfully launched in Zagreb 3-4 February 2016. 32 representatives from partner organisations, experts and pilot countries met at the first exchange meeting in the PROMISE project to define the elements of the multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation to protect child victims and witnesses to violence. For two days in early February in Zagreb, the participants took part in the lessons learned from existing Barnahus and similar models and had engaged discussions about the vision of a Europe wide network of professionals promoting the Barnahus model, quality standards and legal framework.
The Pilot Countries engaged on the project are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, and the UK (England and Scotland). These countries have been identified as having the interest and potential to transform their current services for supporting child victims and witnesses of violence into a multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation. The pilot countries will learn from existing Barnahus and similar models and also exchange experiences amongst themselves in order to support national level capacity-building and multi-disciplinary and interagency implementation strategies.
On 20-21 October, the CBSS Secretariat hosted the PROMISE project kick-off meeting.
PROMISE aims at promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services supporting child victims of violence, providing them with access to justice, avoiding re-victimization and ensuring high professional standards for recovery.
The project refers to the Barnahus (Children’s House) model, and similar models such as the Children’s Advocacy Centers, embracing cooperation between social services, police, prosecutors, judges, pediatrics and child/adolescent psychiatry in one place.
PROMISE is managed by the CBSS Secretariat (Children’s Unit). Partners include the Child Circle, HAPI, Verwey-Jonker Institute, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Trauma Unit and Barnahus in Iceland, Linköping and Stockholm. It also builds on the expertise of prominent specialists in law, sociology, pediatrics, psychology and psychiatry from different European countries.
The meeting gave an opportunity to deliberate on the implementation process. At the same time participants discussed their visions and expected results of the project.
The partners agreed to develop a long-term vision for the project emphasizing that all children subject to abuse and violence in Europe have the right to be protected and be safe. This includes children having access to child-friendly services based upon quality standards, ongoing development of the services through the sharing of good practices and the mobilizing of national/local agencies, governmental and non-governmental, for collaboration to implement the Barnahus model. The project will also create the foundation for a future European Network of services and professionals.