About PROMISE

Putting the child’s story at the centre.

PROMISE aims at promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services supporting child victims of violence, providing them with access to justice, avoiding re-victimization 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 Centers, embracing cooperation between social services, police, prosecutors, judges, pediatrics and child/adolescent psychiatry in one place. In the Nordics, this multi-disciplinary and interagency service model forms an integral part of the welfare and judicial system. It provides support to child victims and witnesses to violence, giving them access to justice, avoiding re-victimisation and ensuring recovery.

Barnahus puts the child’s story at the centre. In a child-friendly environment, the many sectors involved in a civil or criminal investigation work in coordination under one roof. This helps the child to be able to tell a complete story. When the story is recorded and submitted as evidence to a court proceeding, the child does not need to face the accused in court. As part of the process, victims have direct access to care and support services at the Barnahus.

Since the launch of the PROMISE project in 2015, we have seen a substantial progress in Europe. Lithuania opened a Barnahus in June. Croatia, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland have established child friendly centres inspired by Barnahus and are working to expand their services. Cyprus, England, Estonia, Germany, Latvia and Malta are soon to launch new models and operations. In Bulgaria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Scotland and Spain there is significant processes underway to gather support for establishing Barnahus or comparable models.

The long-term vision for the project is 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. For a detailed description of what we aim to achieve and how, please read our Vision Paper.

PROMISE is managed by the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat (Children at Risk Unit). Partners include the Child Circle, 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.

Linköping inspires a European movement to establish Barnahus

On 28-29 November 2016, professionals from around Europe will meet in Linköping to gather inspiration to launch multi-disciplinary inter-agency services to support child victims of violence in their own countries. In addition to a full day of presentations, the participants visited Barnahus Linköping.

At the meeting, HM Queen Silvia returned to Linköping, 11 years after inaugurating the first Barnahus in Sweden, to give her support to the European Barnahus movement.

For more information about the meeting please see the event page.

Pilot countries soak up expert knowledge in Iceland

From the 14th to the 16th of June, 42 participants from the PROMISE project discussed the implementation of the project. The meeting took place in Iceland, where the first Barnahus was developed. This Barnahus was, and continues to be, the inspiration for other Barnahus in the Nordic countries as well as for the pilot countries.

For more information and to download the presentations, please go to the event page.

The second exchange meeting started with a study visit to the Barnahus, which was followed up by a training in the Barnahus procedures led by the Barnahus staff and other professionals and agencies cooperating to ensure children’s access to justice and quality care.

Pilot countries informed about achievements and challenges in implementing the Barnahus model at the national level.

On the 3rd of June Lithuania became the first of the pilot countries to launch their Barnahus. Many of the other pilot countries are in the process.  In addition, the development of the documentation and guidance for the project continues.

For more information and to download the presentations, please go to the event page.

Exchange series launch

The series of service exchange meetings that the PROMISE project is organizing successfully launched in Zagreb 3-4 February 2016. 32 representatives from partner organisations, experts and pilot countries met at the first exchange meeting in the PROMISE project to define the elements of the multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation to protect child victims and witnesses to violence.  For two days in early February in Zagreb, the participants took part in the lessons learned from existing Barnahus and similar models and had engaged discussions about the vision of a Europe wide network of professionals promoting the Barnahus model, quality standards and legal framework.

The Pilot Countries engaged on the project are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, and the UK (England and Scotland). These countries have been identified as having the interest and potential to transform their current services for supporting child victims and witnesses of violence into a multi-disciplinary and interagency cooperation. The pilot countries will learn from existing Barnahus and similar models and also exchange experiences amongst themselves in order to support national level capacity-building and multi-disciplinary and interagency implementation strategies.

Check out the event page for more information.
 


 

The PROMISE Project launches, promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services

On 20-21 October, the CBSS Secretariat hosted the PROMISE project kick-off meeting.

PROMISE aims at promoting child-friendly multi-disciplinary and interagency services supporting child victims of violence, providing them with access to justice, avoiding re-victimization 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 Centers, 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 meeting gave an opportunity to deliberate on the implementation process. At the same time participants discussed their visions and expected results of the project.

The partners agreed to develop 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.