Stakeholders representing 27 countries are now working together to formalise the PROMISE Barnahus Network, with the purpose of galvanizing continued and intensified support for the European Barnahus Movement, promote harmonisation and a consolidation of good Barnahus practice across Europe and build capacity to establish a competent and committed Barnahus workforce across Europe.

The network will embrace a broad and diverse membership from across Europe and its near neighbourhood, drawing on existing and emerging partnerships with stakeholders from across Europe and its near neighbourhood and across sectors. The network membership will fully embrace multi-disciplinary and interagency collaboration, promoting involvement and exchange from all relevant and interested sectors.

The key objective of the network is to facilitate activities that increase the members’ positive impact on the lives of child victims and witnesses of violence and their families at national and European level. To this end, the network’s activities will support members to:

  • Improve practice through training, mentorship and practical tools, including University certified training in forensic interviews and therapy;
  • Gain recognition, and in the longer-term accreditation, for excellence in practice by in line with the Barnahus quality standards;
  • Share expertise and learning and helping shape the European Barnahus Movement through a broad professional network;
  • Extend outreach and visibility through opportunities to meet other professionals and being present in social media;
  • Explore funding opportunities by offering access to expertise and reliant partnerships.

The network will be hosted in the CBSS Secretariat and enjoy the support of the Children at Risk Unit, which has acted as the Promise project coordinator since 2015. Network members will gather in the General Assembly, which coincides with a biannual European Barnahus Forum. The network will be governed by a Steering Group, consisting of permanent and rotating memberships. The network enjoys the strong leadership and commitment from key experts in Europe and is assisted by actors with specific technical expertise. The PROMISE Barnahus network will work actively to engage network supporters and sponsors, including Governments, private foundations, corporate foundations, private benefactors, and other donors.

Background

Since 2015, a project partnership called PROMISE has accelerated the progress made across Europe in providing multidisciplinary services to child victims of violence.

This partnership is ultimately working towards establishing Barnahus as a standard practice in Europe by promoting multidisciplinary interventions for child victims and witnesses of violence, which are organized in a child-friendly setting and under one roof, to provide rapid access to justice and care.

A critical piece of this work has been bringing stakeholders together to share experiences and knowledge, and to jointly develop and commit to the Barnahus Quality Standards.

Looking to the future, a European approach will be essential for the continuity of capacity-building, advocacy, and provision of Barnahus and similar services at the national level. Current and upcoming European Barnahus operate under the same European legislation to protect victims and combat violence against children, in particular sexual violence. And even though local contexts may differ, countries experience similar opportunities and challenges in establishing and operating multidisciplinary interventions under one roof. The harmonisation and consolidation of good Barnahus practice across Europe is therefore an essential process to remain in place, supported by a competent and committed Barnahus workforce across Europe and an established peer-to-peer network.

PROMISE has always aimed to be inclusive, and to support to all interested services and stakeholders. In the next few years, we aim to expand the possibilities to be involved and get support, especially as new countries and services become engaged.

The first step will be another project, PROMISE 3, which invites Barnahus and similar services to receive university level trainings and to take part in establishing European level support systems for Barnahus. The second step will be the formalization of the PROMISE Network, which will become a member-led platform for long-term, flexible support which is open to services and stakeholders alike.

PROMISE 3 partners will gain early access to PROMISE Network benefits. While the partnership is closed, there will be open invitations to take part in the activities of the project in exchange for moderate fees.

Membership applications for the PROMISE Network will open up at a later date. We hope that all of you will join us in some shape or form!

PROMISE network benefits:

  • University level training, mentoring, and peer support in forensic interviewing and psychotherapy from Barnafrid – the envisaged European Competence Centre for Barnahus.
  • A daily case management tool, adapted to your language and local requirements, which uses real case information and events to: capture key data for self-evaluation and reporting to authorities and donors, and collect comparable European data on violence against children, track progress towards meeting the Barnahus Quality Standards. May become the basis for an accreditation system for Barnahus.
  • Founding Membership in the PROMISE Network, with membership fees subsidized in proportion to the extra co-financing, above the required 20%, committed to the project. As a Founding Member, this is a unique opportunity to influence the establishment of what may one day be the accrediting organization for Barnahus.
  • Developing and project-paid participation for The Barnahus Forum, a conference bringing together all European Barnahus staff, envisaged to be held every 2 years, with the first Forum planned to be held in Stockholm during fall 2021.

Membership applications for the PROMISE Network will open up to non-partners at a later date. We hope that all of you will join us in some shape or form!

Membership applications for the PROMISE Network will open up to non-partners at a later date. We hope that all of you will join us in some shape or form!

PROMISE Roadmap 2020-2026

PROMISE is inclusive and will continue to involve and offer support to all interested services and stakeholders.  

  • PROMISE 2 – ends 30 November 2019, with a final partner meeting in November as a side-event of a Finnish European Presidency conference.
  • PROMISE 3 – new project application to be submitted June 2019, with ambitions to run project activities 2020-2022. See the draft concept note, which describes the key objectives and activities of the project.
  • PROMSE Network – with a view to ensuring long-term European level support for Barnahus and similar services, we plan to formalise the European Barnahus Movement into a European network. The network will be formalized in time to apply for 4 year EU operational funding which would enable PROMISE to provide consistent yet flexible support during 2022-2026, should we be granted a Framework Partnership Agreement.