Germany

Das Nets

Organization: Das Nets e.V.
Location: Weilheim, Germany
Target group: Children who have been abused

Children who have been sexually abused are very often traumatized. In order to process the trauma and reduce feelings of anxiety, panic attacks and self-harming behavior, they need professional support. “Das Netz e.V.” (“The Network”) was founded in 1992, bringing together the expertise of educational specialists, theologians, doctors and psychotherapists. In January 2015, they started an outreach center in Weilheim, Bavaria. The children they encounter have experienced sexual violence and sexual abuse, and are often brought to the center by their parents. With support from Childhood, counseling is provided for 45 children and 60 parents every year.

Das Netz offers counseling to the children and through that support helps them regain control of their lives, after the abuse. They also provide counseling for the parents, teachers and school and pre-school staff.  Focus is also put on networking and discussing with local, media and raising awareness to the issue in their training classes courses. Another aspect of their work includes cooperating with other relevant stakeholders such as specialist staff from the authorities such as the Child Welfare Office and medical, therapeutic or legal sectors. Efficient cooperation with relevant experts is of great importance as this ensures that the children receive the help they need as quickly as possible.
More info: www.das-netz-ev.de


Contact person at Childhood:
Andrea Möhringer
andrea.moehringer@childhood.org


E-Learning Module for Young Volunteers

Organization: Evangelische Jugend in Bayern
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Target group: Children at risk of abuse

The Protestant Youth Organization in Bavaria (EJB) has been working to prevent sexual violence in the region for many years. Their manual “Bei uns nicht?!” (“Not Here?!”) was created to provide guidelines and support for the practical work. Staff and persons of trust now regularly attend training courses and events on child protection.

The project Childhood supports is digital learning module for youth volunteers and young adults who act as mentors and guides during church leisure activities, youth camps, and other events. The e-learning module is an easy way for youth leaders to gain knowledge in the field of prevention – from their own computers, tablets or smart phones – and makes them better equipped to protect children in the church from sexual assault or violence.

The e-learning module is the second part in the church´s training program on child protection.  The long-term is to make it available to all providers of youth and leisure activities.

More info: www.ejb.de


Contact person at Childhood:
Andrea Möhringer
andrea.moehringer@childhood.org

Trauma-Focused Intervention for Unaccompanied Minors

Organization: Trauma-Focused Intervention for Unaccompanied Minors
Location: Ulm, Germany
Target group: Refugee children


There has been a major increase in the number of refugees arriving in Germany over the last years, and a significant number of them are unaccompanied minors. Many of the children have been forced to leave their parents in their countries of origin or have been separated from them while on the move.

Unaccompanied minors are at increased risk of being sexually abused and need a high level of protection. As of today, the German social system do not provide any mental healthcare for these often traumatized children. Childhood therefore supports a program for trauma-focused intervention for unaccompanied minors that initiated by a working group for psychotherapeutic research and behavioral medicine at the clinic for pediatric and youth psychiatry/psychotherapy at the University of Ulm. The program is being developed and implemented in collaboration with various authorities responsible for taking care of unaccompanied minors and thus can contribute with great expertise in the this field.

The main target group are 300 unaccompanied minors who live in child welfare services facilities. The program´s activities are group based. The group format is helpful because the experienced can be shared with others and thus makes the children feel  that they are not alone with their traumas. They can also learn from each other (about dealing with challenges like living in a foreign country away from their families, or with concentration, attention and sleeping difficulties). The central objective of the program is for the children to create a trauma narrative that enables them to reflect on their life on the move and the new life in Germany.

* 441,899 people applied for asylum in Germany in 2015. More than 50 percent of them were younger than 18. 
More info: University of Ulm

Contact person at Childhood:
Andrea Möhringer
andrea.moehringer@childhood.org

Childhood-Haus

Organization: Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin Leipzig
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Target group: Children who have been abused

Child protection is an integral part of the medical services at the University Clinic of Leipzig outpatient clinic for children and young people. An interdisciplinary child protection group with staff from a range of professional backgrounds has been working there since 1999. In 2012, a child protection outpatient clinic was created within the framework of the child protection group.

Around 100 to 150 minors facing child protection and abuse issues visit and are treated at the University Clinic of Leipzig every year. The number of children and young people who visit the clinic with signs of endangerment of child welfare caused by physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect is growing constantly in Leipzig. This is due to the greater number of preschool and school-age children, the larger number of children in families receiving welfare support (Hartz IV recipients), the increased number of refugee children and the ongoing issue of drug use.

Following the Scandinavian Barnahus children’s houses (Children´s Advocacy Centers) model, The University Clinic, with Childhood´s support and funding, is currently setting up a child-friendly facility that provides support in (suspected) cases of sexual abuse. This support is based on interdisciplinary cooperation between appropriate professional groups, all under one roof. The multidisciplinary team works together to provide appropriate support for children. Interviews with children are kept to a minimum and are carried out in a child-friendly environment. Victim support and suitable care are also coordinated. An important aspect of the Barnahus is the interview room, where children under court supervision are interviewed by a specially trained psychologist. Additional professionals sit in an adjacent room and are connected to the interview room via visual acoustic technology, thus allowing them to ask questions of the child being interviewed.

More info: www.childhood-haus.de


Contact person at Childhood:
Andrea Möhringer
andrea.moehringer@childhood.org

Welcome to Soccer

Organization: Refugio Bremen e.V.
Location: Germany
Target group: Children who have been abused

The non-profit organization Refugio Bremen has operated a psychosocial treatment center for refugees and survivors of torture since 1989. Refugio set up the first project to promote therapy and advocacy for child refugees in Bremen with the support of the Childhood. Their goal is to provide professional, sustainable and financially secure treatment.

The target group consists of child and youth refugees from different backgrounds who are in need of protection. Most of the refugees fled Syria because of the civil war or came from neighboring countries, where they had initially sought refuge before having to flee to Germany.

The goal of the project “Welcome to soccer” is to sustainably improve psychosocial healthcare for child and youth refugees. Soccer training will also be part of the support work of Refugio, serving to create a connection with the refugees and facilitating the provision of therapeutic treatment. These specialized services take place within a safe therapeutic framework and are run by trained and qualified male and female staff and volunteer trainers accompanied by a therapeutic specialist. Interpreters are provided as required.

The participants will also be able to access other support services and information, making it easier for them to stabilize psychologically and socially and thus feel at home more quickly in Germany, helping them gain the strength to begin processing their traumatic experiences and facilitating the process of integration.There are three to five weekly training groups, including one for girls. The training is held at suitable sporting or training facilities, like those of the club SV Werder Bremen. The scope of spoken therapeutic work is limited during the soccer training and therefore largely takes place at their treatment center.

More info: www.refugio-bremen.de


Contact person at Childhood:
Andrea Möhringer
andrea.moehringer@childhood.org