ChildHub and PROMISE webinar series: 20 years of Barnahus

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Many countries in Europe are now moving quickly towards establishing, developing and expanding their Barnahus or similar services. As this momentum builds, the field of knowledge and experience is growing. The PROMISE Webinar Series extends an open invitation to join the discussions and exchanges within the European Barnahus Movement. During PROMISE 1, select professionals from around Europe were invited to participate at the PROMISE project exchange meetings. These meetings featured lectures, trainings and discussions on the key principles, standards, and challenges to consider when opening and operating a multi-disciplinary and interagency collaboration for child victims and witnesses of violence. In this Webinar Series, we revisited and expanded on topics covered in PROMISE 1 for a public audience. As part of this series, we aim to discuss the Barnahus concept in general, the adaptability of the concept to local realities, and the Barnahus Quality Standards – which puts forth the underlying principles, specific activities and institutional arrangements that enable child-centred and effective, collaborative actions. The Webinar Series also dynamically responded to questions as they arose, offered scheduled chat rooms for select topics, and even shared best practices and lessons learned from the activities of the PROMISE 2 Project.

In our first webinar as part of this series scheduled for May 17th, we featured a keynote presentation from the man who needs no introduction - Bragi Guðbrandsson, head of the Icelandic Government Agency for Child Protection, is the initiator and purveyor of the Barnahus model. If you’re not sure what a Barnahus is, why your country needs one, or if the model will work in your country, then look no further. In this webinar, Mr. Guðbrandsson reflected on the why, the how, and the “what’s next?” of the establishment of the Icelandic Barnahus 20 years ago and its expansion throughout Europe and beyond – a process in which he himself has played an instrumental role.

If you are already sold on the Barnahus Model, we have a suggestion for you: invite colleagues to your office to watch the webinar with you.

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About the speaker:

Bragi Guðbrandsson is the Director General of the Government Agency for Child Protection Iceland since 1995. He is sociologist from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has been actively engaged nationally and internationally in children´s rights, child abuse and neglect issues for three decades. Prior to his present post he has been Counsellor to the Minister of Social Affairs in Iceland.

Mr. Guðbrandsson is also the founder of the Icelandic Barnahus which has been an inspiration for child- friendly and multidisciplinary response to child abuse in many European countries.

Having worked extensively within the framework of the Council of Europe (CoE) as a consultant and expert, he was elected Chair of the Lanzarote Committee from 2014 – 2016.

He has been a member of the Expert Group on “Children at Risk” within the Council of the Baltic Sea States from the onset of the cooperation, in which he served as Chair 2002-2003 and 2016 2017.

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