Combating Child Abuse and Neglect in Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden and The Netherlands

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The Netherlands Youth Institute in co-operation with 4 partner country organisations in Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Sweden has been granted a two-year project (2011 - 2012) within the framework of the Daphne III programme ‘preventing and combating violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk’. The project is called ‘Prevent and Combat Child Abuse: What works? An overview of regional approaches, exchange and research’. It aims to generate relevant knowledge on current strategies for the prevention of child abuse and neglect in Europe. It focuses on interventions and strategies that are targeted at the prevention and treatment of child abuse in the five participating European countries. The project also has a research strand with the experiences of parents regarding programmes. The final output of the project is a manual with data about what works in the prevention and the treatment of child abuse. The overview report outlines the policy and practice regarding the full circle of combating child abuse, ranging from prevention to treatment in these five countries. The first chapter of this overview report outlines international obligations and the international context regarding child abuse and neglect. The second chapter describes the child welfare system of Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden and The Netherlands. Chapter three addresses the measurement and management of tackling child abuse and neglect in these five countries. This chapter addresses several topics: definitions; attitudes; research; legislation and national strategies regarding child abuse and neglect. Chapter four, five and six describe the continuum of care regarding child abuse and neglect, consisting of universal and preventive services (chapter 4), detecting, reporting and stopping child abuse and neglect (chapter 5) and care services (chapter 6). These three chapters as well as chapter 8 (that addresses the education and training of professionals) have a similar set-up. All these chapters contain the following sections: introduction; governmental strategies and actions; products and their results; good practices; bottlenecks; conclusions. In contrast, chapter 7 deals with the integration of services. The final chapter of this report summarizes the main points of the previous chapters. It also contains interesting elements of each of the five countries regarding their child welfare system; the available universal and preventive services; detecting, reporting and stopping of child abuse and neglect; care services; the integration of services; the education and training of professionals.

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