Lord Tom McNally, former Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain, currently the Chair of the Justice Committee on Youth Justice, accompanied by Anamarija Pavičić, the Judge of the Zagreb Criminal Court and Ivana Trubić, Expert Advisor at the Department for bilateral cooperation, the Sector of European Affairs Office, International and Justice Cooperation of the Ministry of Justice visited the Center of Child Protection of the City of Zagreb last week.
Child protection Center of Zagreb will be a meeting point of representatives of 15 European countries committed to developing and implementing child-friendly, multidisciplinary and inter-agency services for child victims and witnesses of violence on February 3rd and 4th, 2016. This is the first of several meetings organized within the framework of the project named Promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services (PROMISE). Once more, Child Protection Center of Zagreb has been recognized as an example of good practice, and has been chosen as one of the child-friendly multi-disciplinary and inter-agency services, which will be presented to the project participants. The remaining study visits will be held at the Child and Youth Trauma Centre (Kenter Jeugdhulp) in Haarlem, Netherlands and Barnahus Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
The PROMISE project aims at promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services supporting child victims and witnesses of violence, providing them with access to justice, avoiding re-traumatization and ensuring high professional standards for recovery. The project refers to the Barnahus (Children’s House) model, and similar models such as the Children’s Advocacy Centres, embracing cooperation between social services, police, prosecutors, judges, pediatrics and child/adolescent psychiatry in one place.
PROMISE is managed by the CBSS Secretariat (Children’s Unit). Partners include the Child Circle, HAPI, Verwey-Jonker Institute, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Trauma Unit and Barnahus in Iceland, Linköping and Stockholm. It also builds on the expertise of prominent specialists in law, sociology, pediatrics, psychology and psychiatry from different European countries.
The project partners have developed a long-term vision for the project emphasizing that all children subject to abuse and violence in Europe have the right to be protected and be safe. This includes children having access to child-friendly services based upon quality standards, ongoing development of the services through the sharing of good practices and the mobilizing of national/local agencies, governmental and non-governmental, for collaboration to implement the Barnahus model. The project will also create the foundation for a future European Network of services and professionals.
Focusing on multidisciplinary approach and inter-agency collaboration
The key issue that will be addressed within the Zagreb meeting will be multidisciplinary approach and inter-agency collaboration. The two day meeting will provide a platform for the involved exchange members by:
a) stimulating dialogue and mutual learning by exchange experience and knowledge between agencies and services, and
b) providing training for services on social support, therapy, medical support, child-friendly justice and engaging with children for the purpose of protecting children and collecting forensic evidence in the context of multi-disciplinary and inter-agency collaboration
Recognized as a prominent specialist in the field of child protection, assoc.prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, will be sharing the experiences of the Center in ensuring child friendly services for children victims and witnesses of violence, placing a special emphasis on good practices and challenges in developing a multidisciplinary and inter-agency approach.