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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

Assistance program for victims of child abuse and their families

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

Specialized Programme

TARGET GROUPS:

Children who experience abuse and their families; professionals from various fields (psychologists, social workers, child protection services, law enforcement and other disciplines) working with children.

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

Partnering with organizations, support and training for professionals working with children and families:

Children's Rights Protection Controller's Office of Lithuania;
Child Protective Services of Vilnius, Judicial Ministry of Lithuania;
Nationa

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

Lithuania

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Parents, Policy Makers, Teachers, Young People, School Directors.

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

Initiatives started in Lithuania in 1995 and so far is developed, the programme is very successful and has plans for the future.

Program Objectives:

* Provide comprehensive (psychological, social, legal) services to children and families in an apparent incident of abuse. * Assistance provided is child-oriented, taking into account the needs of the child and the situation of the family.
* Develop the skills and knowledge of professionals working with victims of child abuse, thus implementing an effective long-term system of training and consulting specialists.
* Establish and reinforce collaboration between organizations working with victims of child abuse.
* Represent child rights and defend children's welfare by participating in various coalitions/ groups involved with legal and social issues affecting children.

Children who experience abuse and their families were able to receive these services:

* Psychological assistance
* Social assistance
* Legal assistance
* Training


RESULTS:

Psychological assistance activities and results:

For children:
* Evaluation of the child's condition: during an initial session with a psychologist, the emotional and behavioral issues of the child are evaluated and a treatment plan determined. Referrals to other specialists (doctors, psychiatrists) are provided as needed.

* Counseling/ psychotherapy: through talk, play and drawing, the professional helps the child deal with difficult issues, express emotions, learn appropriate and safe self protective behaviors and increase sense of confidence.

Legal assistance

* Children's Group: Group activities for children, which help children learn to recognize their emotions and how to express them, be more confident, interact with others and solve problems.

For parents/ guardians and other family members:

* Counseling for parents/ guardians and other family members: During counseling sessions with a psychologist, parents/guardians can discuss their emotions, the difficulties associated with the situation and how they can help their child as well as how to stop the abuse, if it is ongoing. The psychologist can meet with other family members as needed.
* Counseling for the entire family.

Social assistance activities and results:

* Children participation in the „Big Brothers Big Sisters" program: The child meets with an adult volunteer on a weekly basis and receives support and help. Children ages 7 - 14 can participate.

* Children and family members consultations with a social worker: A social worker provides support, as well as social welfare information, and if needed resources for shelter, etc.

Legal assistance activities and results:

* Consultation with attorney: This professional providesabout the child's and family's rights and protection options, legal proceedings and what to expect.
* Preparing children for legal proceedings and escorts to court: A child is provided with details about what to expect in court. This can help relieve their fears, anxieties and confusion.
* Organizing the questioning of a child: Upon a judge's ruling, the questioning of a child takes place at the Children's Support Center in a room specially designed for this purpose. This relieves the stress a child experiences in this situation.

Training

For children:

Safety training: practical activities for children about children's rights, about what abuse is, how to protect oneself and friends from abuse and where to go for help if they are experiencing or experienced abuse.

For parents:

Training programs during which parents learn how to better understand their child's emotional state and behavior and appropriate effective disciplining techniques.
When needed, continuing assistance is provided and definite.




INDICATORS:

Parent training/meetings, Information for parents.

EVALUATION:

The programme is successfully developed and has plans for the future. pages

NAME OF COMPILER:

Vida Drąsutė

NAME OF INSTITUTION:

Kaunas University of Technology

ROLE:

Project manager

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