Good Child Protection Procedures

National Project Quality Development and Quality Assurance for a Child-Friendly Justice Through Interdisciplinary Training Including an Online Training Program

               

Keywords

E-Learning, Child Protection, Child friendly Justice

Project Management

  • Profilbild von Prof. Dr. med. Jörg M. Fegert

    Prof. Dr. med. Jörg M. Fegert

    Ärztlicher Direktor der Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/Psychotherapie

  • Profilbild von Dr. Ulrike Hoffmann

    Dr. Ulrike Hoffmann

Cooperation Partners

  • Profilbild von Prof. Dr. Eva Schumann

    Prof. Dr. Eva Schumann

    Juristische Fakultät, Lehrstuhl für Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte und Bürgerliches Recht, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

  • Profilbild von Dr. Heinz Kindler

    Dr. Heinz Kindler

    Deutsches Jugendinstitut, München

  • Profilbild von Dr. Thomas Meysen

    Dr. Thomas Meysen

    SOCLES International Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Heidelberg

Project Term

01.06.2019-31.05.2022

Description of the Project

Background

Child protection procedures include decisions that influence the future lives of children and their families. In deciding the verdict, family judges are reliant on the assistance and expertise of social services, Guardians Ad Litem and authorized experts. Parents are in need of an attorney. Occasionally, other specialized personnel as well as health care professionals must act as expert witnesses in child court proceedings. More recently, the critical analysis of nationally known cases of child abuse, such as the so-called Staufen case, has shown the high demands that must be met by family court proceedings and those involved. Furthermore, debates about the need for professional training and education for judges are increasing.

Aim of the project and target group

The aim of the project is to develop an interdisciplinary web-based training program concerning family court proceedings on the protection of children as well as a child-friendly justice system. Target groups are family court judges and professionals from social services in youth welfare offices. In addition, the training also addresses Guardians Ad Litem, psychologist as well as child and adolescent psychiatrists, specialized lawyers for family law and professionals working in the field of early intervention (e.g. specialized counselling centres, home visitation services).

An online training program will be developed that will train professionals involved in family court proceedings on the relevant aspects of the assessment, the procedure and decision-making process. At the same time, interdisciplinary workshops will be held in selected regions and court districts. For the participants at the on-site training there will be an additional module in the online training on the preparation of an “expert opinion on the assessment of the risk of harm to the child” as described in the current coalition agreement.

Accompanying research

The online training will be continuously assessed and adapted accordingly: A pilot sample will evaluate the basic curriculum, after which the online program will be revised. In the meantime, the specialization module will be developed. Another group of participants will complete the basic curriculum and re-evaluate it. Next to the on-site training, the participants at the selected regions and court districts will complete the basic curriculum and the specialization module and evaluate both.

The final data analysis and the final report will wrap up the project and advise policy makers and practice on future quality development and quality assurance for a child-friendly justice in family court proceedings on child protection.

Participation in the program

Participation in the online program is free of charge. The first cohort started the program on November 16th, 2020. The second cohort will most likely start the program in November, 2021.

Court districts and regions that were interested in the on-site training were able to apply during the summer months of 2020. The selected areas are:

Baden-Württemberg

LK Böblingen mit dem AG Böblingen und dem AG Leonberg

Berlin

AG Tempelhof-Kreuzberg mit den Jugendämtern Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Neukölln und Marzahn-Hellersdorf

Brandenburg

district of Oberspreewald-Lausitz with the district court Senftenberg

Niedersachsen

district and city of Osnabrück with the district court Osnabrück

Saarland

region Saarbrücken with the district court Saarbrücken

Sachsen-Anhalt

district of Wittenberg with the district court Wittenberg

Funded by

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)