The Barnahus Model

The webinar presented by Olivia Lind Haldorsson, head of the Children at Risk Unit at the Council of the Baltic Sea State Secretariat, discussed the Barnahus model, a multidisciplinary approach to support child victims and witnesses of violence. The Barnahus model originated in Iceland and has rapidly spread across the region and beyond.

The model involves co-locating different disciplines, such as child protection, medical interventions, therapeutic interventions, and criminal investigation, in a child-friendly environment. It aims to prevent re-traumatization and ensure a coordinated response to support children’s rights and well-being. The Barnahus model is recognized and supported by various international organizations, including the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations.

The webinar discussed the Barnahus quality standards, which were developed through collaboration with professionals across Europe and draw on international law and best practices. The standards cover areas such as child protection, forensic interviews, medical interventions, and therapeutic support. They emphasize the best interests of the child, child-friendly environments, and child participation.

Challenges in establishing Barnahus include legal and procedural requirements, lack of resources, and conflicting interests. However, the webinar highlighted that many countries have made progress in adapting the model to their national contexts, and cross-country collaboration is crucial for continuous improvement.

The webinar included testimonials from children who have experienced Barnahus services, expressing gratitude for the support and child-friendly environment that made them feel safe and comfortable.

Related webinars and publications

April 29, 2022

PROMISE Hub guidance and manual

A data protection guidance and user manual for PROMISE Hub, a case management software developed by Bonigi, and provided by the Network that supports multidisciplinary case management in Barnahus....