This project intends to address children hosted by alternative care communities (or socio-educational communities) as a consequence of penal measures. In particular, this proposal will focus on children with psychological, psychiatric or personality disorders. Managing children with psychological, psychiatric or personality disorders requires a multidisciplinary and multiagency approach; an integrated approach – both therapeutic and socio-educational. In many European countries, the therapeutic care and the socio-educational care of these children are in charge to different institutions or agencies, and there is a lack of common procedures, tools, terminology used to make a diagnoses which makes it difficult to formulate judgements that can guide the actions of social workers, teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists.
The project purpose is to test a new holistic, multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach with an emphasis on the effective co-operation within the treatment network of each individual child.
– Reinforce the capacity of alternative care communities in five EU countries to adequately support and respond to the “special” needs of the children with psychological, psychiatric or personality disorders.
– Complement the efforts of the EU in the area of the rights of the child by boosting child protection system changes in the 5 partner countries (PC)
– Improve efficiency of the child protection system in 5 Partner countries so as to improve outcomes for children and in particular children with mental health disorders in alternative care communities
– Ensure that children with psychiatric/personality disorders in alternative care are guaranteed full access to their rights, including educational, social, and therapeutic, in a child-appropriate manner and context
– Reinforce the capacity of professionals working for or with children in alternative care to respond adequately to the particular needs of children with psychiatric/personality disorders
– Strengthen interagency and multidisciplinary cooperation in the area of the rights of children in alternative care so as to improve the system’s response capacity to some children’s special needs
– Raise awareness in the area of the rights of the child, and particularly in regards to children in alternative care, at national and EU level.
These objectives will be pursued by the following activities:
– Capacity building with professionals working with or for children in alternative care in 5 PC and at European level through an e-learning platform
– Identification, adaptation and testing of successful intervention methods to address the needs of children with mental health disorders in alternative care
– Reinforcing of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary cooperation in the area of child protection in the 5 Partner Countries also through finalization of formal commitments
– Development of outputs aimed at ensuring maximum impact, visibility and sustainability of the project results and in particular of the capacity building methodology developed
– Communication and dissemination events to present project results and raise awareness on the rights of children in alternative care
The project is expected to lead to the following results:
– Alternative care professionals better equipped to address the needs of children with mental health disorders
– National institutions and public bodies of the PC committed to enhancing the child protection system
– Child protection system changes boosted in the 5 PC
– Children in alternative care under penal measures and with psychiatric or personality disorders guaranteed timely and effective responses to their educational, social and therapeutic needs
The project Consortium consists of 9 Project Partners, coming from 6 European Member States (IT, DE, PT, FI, ES, and BE):
- CNCA, National confederation of socio-educational communities, Italy (APPLICANT);
- Psychoanalytic Institute for Social Research (IPRS), Italy;
- Istituto Don Calabria, Italy;
- Juvenile Justice Ministry, Dept of Community studies, (JJD) Italy;
- Christliches Jugenddorf Deutschland (CJD), Germany;
- Catholic University of Porto (CUP), Portugal;
- Finnish Youth Research Network , Finland;
- Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu (PSSJD),Spain;
- International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO), Belgium
Additionally, the project is formally supported by four Public Agencies in Germany (BASFI), Portugal (Justice Ministry), Finalnd (National Ombudsman), and Spain (Justice Ministry Catalunya)