A sociologist and the General Director of the Government Agency for Child Protection, Iceland, Bragi Gudbrandsson, delivered a presentation under the title “Child-Friendly Social Services and Children’s House Model” at the Child Protection Center of Zagreb, on 25 March 2014. The organiser of the presentation was the Child Protection Center of Zagreb, and co organisers were the Association of Youth and Family Judges and Child and Youth Experts as well as the Center for Parenting Support “Growing Together”.

On behalf of the organisers, the meeting was welcomed by the Center’s representatives, dr Domagoj Štimac, Director Deputy and dr sc. Bruna Profaca, Head of the Diagnostics and Treatment, judge Lana Peto Kujundžić, President of the Association of Youth and Family Judges and prof. dr sc. Nina Pećnik of the Center “Growing together”.

Group “Children at Risk” within the Council of the Baltic Sea States

Bragi Gudbrandsson has been working in the field of the protection of children’s rights and child abuse issues for thirty years. He has been cooperating with the Council of Europe in the field of child-friendly justice and support to positive parenting. He was a consultant to the CoE Working Group on the Rights of Children Living in Residential Institutions and the CoE Working Group on the Child-Friendly and Family Friendly Social Services. He is also a member of the CoE Working Group on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

Bragi Gudbrandsson is a member of the Group “Children at Risk”, within the Council of the Baltic Sea States since 2002, as it’s first Chairperson. Mr Gudbrandsson has given presentations in over 20 European countries on various issues on children’s rights and is the author of the CoE publication “Children at Risk and in Care”.

Bragi Gudbrandsson is the founder of the Children’s House – Barnahus, a child-friendly, multidisciplinary center for a comprehensive approach to the sexually abused child. The Children´s House has been identified as a “best practice” by Save the Children International; received Multidisciplinary Award by ISPCAN (the International Society for Child Abuse and Neglect) and has been a role model for such centers abroad, in many European countries.

Recommendations of the Council of Europe about the Justice and the Good Child-Friendly Practice

During his presentation at the Child Protection Center of Zagreb, Bragi Gudbrandsson gave a comprehensive overview of the Council of Europe recommendations on the child-friendly justice and practice, which was the framework and introduction to the comprehensive presentation of the work of Children’s House – Barnahus.

The audience were the employees of the Child Protection Center of Zagreb, judges and professionals of the Regional court of Zagreb, and municipal courts in Zagreb and Velika Gorica, principals and employees of social care centers of Zagreb, representatives of children’s homes, UNICEF, Ombudsman for Children, associations, the Brave Phone, professionals from kindergartens, mental health professionals and others.

After the presentation, Bragi Gudbrandsson was asked many questions, and the emphasis of the discussion was on the importance of good coordination existing in Scandinavian countries which is possible to achieve through the Agency for Child Protection where Gudbrandsson has been the director. After the presentation, professionals expressed interest in some specific issues in the court practice, in protocols of interviewing children and in the issues of children’s inclusion in the recovery treatment after the abuse.

This was the first presentation delivered by Bragi Gudbrandsson in Croatia. After his visit to Zagreb and the Child Protection Center, Mr Gudbrandsson will participate in the Conference “Growing with Children’s Rights” organised by the Council of Europe in Dubrovnik 27 and 28 March 2014.

We are grateful that, thanks to the kindness of Mr Gudbrandsson, his presentation „Child friendly social services and Barnahus in Iceland“ is available here: Zagreb. Bragi Gudbrandsson. 2014 (1.1 MB).

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