On 28-29 November 2016, professionals from around Europe came in Linköping to gather inspiration to launch an innovative way to support child victims of violence in their own countries. The conference and study visit took place over one and a half days, gathering practitioners, national authorities, NGOs and regional bodies from across Europe. The objectives of the conference included to facilitate regional exchange of good practice and to build a strong European movement for multi-disciplinary and inter-agency services, which embody international and regional legal obligations. Director of Child Protection Center, Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, and Center`s psychologist Ana Marija Španić joined the conference and the study visit. The first day was dedicated to the conference, including presentations from key experts in the area. The second day was dedicated to a study visit at Barnahus Linköping.
“Psychology in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Social Justice” was the theme of the 25 Annual Conference of Croatian Psychologists in Zadar, a scientific and professional meeting held from 8 to 11 November 2017. Psychologists of the Child and Youth Protection Centre of the City of Zagreb actively participated in the Conference.
Sc.D. Bruna Profaca, Sena Puhovski and Ivana Ćosić Pregrad, psychologists, conducted an event under the title “Clinical work and the rights of the child: the Perspective of the Child and Youth Protection Centre of the City of Zagreb”. In their presentation and the following discussion, they presented 15 years of work at the Centre and some specific themes from their clinical practice regularly considered by the professionals of the Centre in the context of the right of the child and consistent with the best interests of the child: psychodiagnostics including an interview of the child after abuse necessary to prevent later possible stigmatisation by the system, treatment of children which needs to be forensically sensitive and the importance of taking into consideration the needs and rights of children experiencing high-conflict divorce, parental manipulation and parental alienation.
The next theme presented was the experience in working with children in the light of new technologies which both regarding the content and at the level of parent-child relationship represents a new challenge in clinical work, followed by the perspective on parenting in the 21 Century and the importance of focusing on the needs of parents and pressures imposed on them in the changing world. The presentation delivered by our psychologists was followed by discussion and exchange of experience with our colleagues.
Mia Roje, psychologist presented the paper “Young Children in Front of Screens” (authors: Roje, M., Buljan Flander,G., Tarabić, N.). The topic of children exposed to screens from their earliest age is of great interest to psychologists. This paper presented the results of the first study about the exposure of pre-school children to screens in Croatia. These results initiated discussion of psychologists and may be used in counselling and clinical work with parents and in the preventive work with children.
We also delivered a poster presentation: “Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Best Interests of the Child in Parental Divorce” (authors: Roje, M., Buljan Flander, G.).
Since the conference was dedicated to the role of psychology in the promotion and prevention of human rights and social justice, the psychologists of the Centre actively participated in a series of round tables and symposia, as well as in discussions related to relevant social issues having an impact on the rights of the child. Thus Ivana Ćosić Pregrad and Sena Puhovski held an event under the title “Coffee with the Zagreb Psychological Association: Psychologists, Psychology and Human Rights in the Public Space”, which was also an introduction of the newly established association of psychologists who live and work in the City of Zagreb.