PROCHILD is a transnational inter-agency project involving the following six countries from the European Union: 1) Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita Di Bologna (UNIBO), Italy; 2) Terveyden Ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos (THL), Finland; 3) La Voix De L’enfant (LVDE), France; 4) Independent Academic Research Studies International Institute (IARS), United Kingdom; 5) Katholische Fachhochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen (KatHO NRW), Germany; and 6) Institouton Ygeias Tou Paidiou (ICH), Greece. PROCHILD is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of victims of child abuse.
With PROCHILD, a child’s emotional well-being and physical health are paramount. PROCHILD is currently creating a theory of change model that includes the voices of children in finding answers. Specialised scholars and professionals are necessary to address problem areas and create solutions towards violence against children in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This multi-professional and academic collaboration requires approaches that analyze problems within Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework for human development, while also promoting UN Convention principles on: 1) non-discrimination; 2) devotion to best interests; 3) right to life; 4) survival and development; and 5) respect for views of the child (UNCRC).
Additional types of central command communication networks, such as Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASHs) can be established between social, health, educational, legal, and law enforcement specialists to recognise and provide early reporting of child abuse. This integrated multi-disciplinary system can assist in preventing and ending abuse. Development areas include underreporting, fragmentation and obstruction of support services, issues of justice, avoiding further victimization, and the prevention of iatrogenic damage.
PROCHILD delivers a set of outlines of what constitutes abuse and which cases need to be prioritized for reporting. Advocates call for a more thorough and specialised training for professionals and caregivers working with children, including knowledge of PROCHILD’s model. The incorporation of child victims’ perspectives into this process lends to greater comprehension on children’s cognitive processes and needs. PROCHILD highlights the often overlooked psychological trauma effects in connection to long-term physical consequences and the quality of life in abused children in adulthood, utilizing the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
PROCHILD implements measures to recognise signs of abuse, alert authorities early, and provide checks for support service cases involving children, so they will not be mishandled. Reform that addresses these gaps in multi-agency reporting of child abuse can save lives: “There are tragic consequences which can result when information indicating risk is held by one agency and not appropriately shared with others,” resulting in the death of a child (Gov.UK, 2014).
PROCHILD is working towards a more global perspective in identifying child abuse, because abuse does not only occur in families, but by members in the larger community, especially against females. Politicization of when cultural norms violate a child’s human rights has gravely hurt the cause towards improving the rights of young females, specifically involving sexual and physical violence towards women.
Written by Research and Project Intern D. Riley
Gov.UK. (July, 2014). UK Home office: Working together to safeguard children: Multi-Agency
Safeguarding Hubs. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/working-together-to-safeguard-children-multi-agency-safeguarding-hubs
IARS. (2019). The IARS International Institute. PROCHILD – PROTECTION AND SUPPORT
OF ABUSED CHILDREN THROUGH MULTIDISCIPLINARY INTERVENTION. Web. 1 May 2019. Retrieved from: PROCHILD – PROTECTION AND SUPPORT OF ABUSED CHILDREN THROUGH MULTIDISCIPLINARY INTERVENTION.
PROCHILD. (2019). PROCHILD: Protection and Support of Abused Children Through
Multidisciplinary Intervention. Web. 1 May 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.prochildproject.org/aims-and-objectives/