News

At the International European Family Justice Center Alliance (EFJCA) conference

International conference: “How to start a Family Justice Center” was held in the Royal Library in Brussels, Belgium on 1st of December 2017. Main hosts were Bert Groen, president of European Family Justice Center Alliance, and Pascale Franck, director of Family Justice Center in Antwerp, Belgium. The specific focus of the conference was development and support of integrated multidisciplinary centers and chain approach to create pathways to hope for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

The conference addressed a wide audience in the European context and was supported by the Belgian federal government in the context of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. The conference aimed to provide insight into the functioning, opportunities and added value of the Family Justice Centers and affiliated multi-agency models from various perspectives: women’s support, health care, perpetrator programs, child abuse advocacy, justice, police and government.

Psychologist Ana Marija Španić was invited to give a presentation Multidisciplinary approach in child protection – experiences of Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, during the workshop The multidisciplinary approach and the FJC-model from the perspective of the child advocacy and Barnahus, with Laura Ceļmale from Centre Dardedze in Latvia. The worskhop was moderated by Dries Wyckmans representing FJC Limburg in Belgium.

During the sessions different tools, methodologies and trainings were presented, as basis for development of Family Justice Centers and related multi-agency approach and for implementing training and tools in the work of these centers. Target group of the conference were cooperators, stakeholders and directors of Family Justice Centers and multi-agency approach of domestic violence and child abuse, EC and EU mandates, federal, regional and local policy, women’s aid, victim services, perpetrator programs, police, justice, health sector, mental healthcare, child advocacy, youth care, training centers, universities and research centers.

Four parallel workshops were held in between plenary sessions:

• The multidisciplinary approach and the FJC-model from the perspective of the victim

• The multidisciplinary approach and the FJC-model from the perspective of the perpetrator programs

• The multidisciplinary approach and the FJC-model from the perspective of the child advocacy and Barnahus

• The multidisciplinary approach and the FJC-model from the perspective of Police and Justice

The EFJCA is a legal entity and the officially recognized network of the Family Justice Centers and affiliated multi-agency models in Europe. It promotes the FJC model and provides a central platform for its members. The EFJCA reaches out to all organisations and networks working in the field of gender based, domestic, sexual violence and child abuse. As an umbrella organization the EFJCA exchanges knowledge, experiences and good practices among its members. More information about the EFJCA can be found on the following link, as well as on the Conference website.