|The PROMISE partners and experts formally launched its journey 3 years ago. The top experts developed a vision for Europe and invited pilot countries to receive support for launching their own Barnahus or similar multi-disciplinary interagency services for child victims and witness of violence. Together they set the standards. The PROMISE partnership now involves more than 17 countries, formally or informally, who are committed to the Barnahus model and are generously sharing their expertise and enthusiasm to support progress both at home and across Europe.
When we started in 2015, only about 6 countries in Europe had Barnahus or a similar setup. We had a lot of questions at that time, the biggest being – are the pilot countries ready to integrate the Barnahus model into their national contexts? How far will they be able to go?
We now anticipate that 20 countries in Europe will have Barnahus or similar setups by the end of 2019, with at least 6 more actively working towards launching multi-disciplinary interagency services for child victims and witness of violence.
Moreover, most of these services have inspired, contributed to, and are now basing their work on the Barnahus Quality Standards and other valuable learnings from PROMISE.
In 2015 we did foresee that, together, we would help countries to improve services for children. We even thought that Barnahus could become a widely accepted concept.
What we did not foresee was the possibility for it to become the standard practice in Europe – for it to be European to have Barnahus in your country.
How did the PROMISE partners and experts get here so quickly? Simply: Inspiration and enthusiasm. The European Barnahus Movement benefited from the 20 years of experience in the Barnahus Iceland, and the evolution of the format as it launched in the Nordics and beyond. The many international legal frameworks laid the groundwork, a robust exchange of knowledge and expertise from professionals at all levels took it to the next level, and key actors in the centre brought it all together. And of course, without the tireless efforts of the national-level change makers there would be no new services.
This is still just the beginning of the collective work to make Barnahus the default European practice. New services are working to ensure sustainable funding, political will, and the increasing commitment of professionals to work multidisciplinarily. Experienced services are working to constantly improve their offerings and share their best practices internationally.
We are thrilled to have you on this journey with us.