Child participation tool

Children and young people have a right to express their opinions on things that concern them. To facilitate Barnahus and similar setups to hear about how children experience their service, PROMISE has developed a Child Participation Tool.

The tool focuses on the child’s experience of Barnahus, including the travel to Barnahus, their experience in Barnahus, coming home from Barnahus and potential follow up or mid-to-long term treatment in Barnahus or by a mobile Barnahus team.

A webinar introduces the tool.

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Olivia Lind Haldorsson, Head of the Children at Risk Unit, introduced the Child Participation Tool, an instrument designed to facilitate children’s expression of their experiences within Barnahus. The tool acknowledges children’s rights to partake in decision-making processes that impact them and is intended to enhance the services offered by these organizations.

The tool is essentially a blueprint that enables these organizations to gather children’s feedback, offering guidance and templates for questionnaires that solicit their perspectives. The feedback will shape future developments of these services, creating a child-centric model that values their insights. Importantly, the tool avoids gathering case-specific or personal data that could disrupt ongoing investigations.

Haldorsson further emphasized the tool’s adaptability for different age groups, stressing the importance of individual differences when implementing it. The tool draws inspiration from research and the experiences of professionals working in similar services across the U.S. and Europe, while also aligning with the Barnahus Quality Standards, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and various Council of Europe laws and guidance.

Successful implementation of the tool requires strategic planning, context-specific adjustments, and widespread participation. The process must adhere to ethical principles, including safeguarding, informed participation, data protection, privacy, consent, and non-discrimination. The tool features thorough questionnaires that address key aspects of a child’s experience, such as social services, child protection, forensic interviews, medical examinations, and therapeutic assessments.

Turid Heiberg emphasized the legal obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which ensures children’s rights to be heard and to receive appropriate information. Despite progress, she highlighted the ongoing challenge of effectively including children in society and family life. The Child Participation Tool is an impactful response to these challenges, enabling effective communication with children, enhancing their inclusion, and protecting their rights while gathering invaluable data to improve child-focused services.


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A word document is available for ease of translation and use in your service. Contact us to find out more.

The PROMISE Webinar Series is co-organised with Terre des Hommes, a partner of this project, as part of the ChildHub’s child protection webinar series.

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