Final conference: Ensuring the rights of children in alternative care

 7-8 June 2017 - ARTIS Centrum Hotels, Vilnius, Lithuania  

The AudTrain conference brings together high-level officials and professionals from the Baltic Sea Region who are involved in alternative care and in the monitoring of childcare facilities. The conference engages the participating experts in a discussion of the relevance of monitoring for national childcare services. The agenda includes sessions on quality care, the role of national authorities and an introduction to the AudTrain method. The AudTrain method is based upon inspection and system-based audit. Through this method, AudTrain enables auditors of child welfare facilities to identify shortcomings and the underlying causes within the organisational structure and management system. This type of monitoring holds a large learning potential for the facility and the supervisory authority. The audit is carried out in consultation with the staff and management and is informed by the children. The children are central in the audit as experts on their own lives.




About the AudTrain Programme - Shawnna von Blixen

Introducing the AudTrain advocacy material - Shawnna von Blixen

The AudTrain Advocacy material: Monitoring and auditing of child welfare facilities, Advancing children’s wellbeing in alternative care 

The AudTrain Procedure and Glossary

In the Lithuanian media

Meeting summary


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Moderator: Björn Bredesen
Eivind Pedersen, National Coordinator of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Senior Adviser at County Governor Office of Troms County, Presenting how Norway monitors and audits out of home child care, and also how the Troms County Governor Office is monitoring and auditing the child welfare services in municipalities using a systemic based methodology. Also presenting “Sjumilssteget,” Norway’s model for implementing the CRC in municipalities. 
Panel: Government officials and representatives from Ombudspersons offices from Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania presenting progress and challenges for children in alternative care, including in monitoring and auditing of facilities.  

  • Rūta Pabedinskienė, Chief specialist of Children division, Ministry of Social Security and Labou, Lithuania
  • Lauris Neikens, Senior Expert of Child and Family Department, Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia
  • Lidija Petrović, Advisor of the Ombudsperson for Children, Croatia
  • Vladimir Svet, Legal Advisor of the Chancellor of Justice, Office of the Chancellor of Justice of Estonia, Estonia 

Daja Wenke, CBSS researcher and consultant, presenting the rights of children in alternative care. 

Eric Backer-Røed, consultant and co-author of the AudTrain Method, introducing a system-based audit, the AudTrain model, and internal control. 
Monitoring systems instead of individuals - Interactive discussion among professionals who have taken part in the AudTrain Programme about their learning and the opportunities to strengthen a child rights and system-based approach to monitoring. 
  • Moderated by Anniki Lai, consultant and co-author of the AudTrain Method
  • Liudovika Pakalkaite, Manager, SOS Children’s Villages, Lithuania 
  • Božidar Petrinec, Senior Inspector, and Martina Štabi, Head of service for support to institutions and other social service providers, Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, Croatia 
  • Signe Sula, Senior Specialist, Social Insurance Board, Estonia 
  • Inga Krastiņa, Director of the Children’s Rights Protection Department, and Dagne Frankoviča, Chief Inspector, The State Inspectorate for Protection of Children’s Rights, Latvia
Achieving equal standards of care for every child 
  • Julia Kovalenko, Children's Rights Adviser, SOS Children’s Villages Estonia, presenting advice and lessons learned for ensuring quality care for children of all ages, abilities, and origins – including unaccompanied and minority children. 
  • Thorbjörg Sveinsdóttir, Forensic Interviewer and Psychologist, Barnahus Iceland, presenting her experience using best practice techniques for talking to young children, children with disabilities and unaccompanied minors.

Children as experts of their own lives

AudTrain goes from gold to platinum

The AudTrain project partners are proud to reveal the logo for the AudTrain II project. 

Starting fall 2015 the AudTrain System Based Audit of Child Welfare is being revived. This new project aims to increase the capacity and skills among professionals who audit and monitor the situation for children in alternative care. It also aims to enhance children's rights to be heard, to be safe and secure and to be supported in their development while in residential care.

Courtesy of a grant from the European Commission, AudTrain II will update the training materials and use them to train new auditors. A module to educate AudTrain trainers will be developed and new trainers will be trained. The project will also develop a monitoring tool based on international standards and arrange an advocacy conference.

The Children's Unit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States is the lead partner for the project, alongside project partners SOS Children's Villages, Lithuania, SOS Children's Villages Association of Estonia, and the Ministry of Welfare of Latvia, with SOS Children's Villages of Croatia as an associate partner. Both Anniki Lai from Estonia and Eric Backer-Røed from Norway, experts from the first AudTrain project, in consultation from the project partners and others, will formulate and deliver the training modules.

For more information and to express interest in taking part in a training, please contact the Children's Unit.


System Based Audit of Child Welfare

The AudTrain Project aimed to:

ensure that the rights of the child in alternative care is respected, i.a. the right to physical and psychological integrity;

devise training in how to perform a system based audit of child residential care facilities;

publish materials to be used in the training of expert auditors;

implement trainings in the partner countries;

develop competence on how to include young people’s own experiences in the audit process;

take full account of international conventions and recommendations such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and the Council of Europe recommendation on the rights of children in residential care in all auditing practice.