The project aims to advance the development of multidisciplinary and integrated practices and to focus these practices on the child in all partner countries, as well as at the EU level. This will be done through modifying the services and catering them to the child’s best interest and stage of development. The project is expected to contribute to the overall elimination of the ‘competency to testify’ assessment, still in effect in Bulgaria and Romania, and as a result, raising the validity of testimonials of children. The educational tools and recommendations produced throughout the project will facilitate a quicker and more effective incorporation of Directive 29/2012/EU in national legislations.
The main outcome will be training in a common approach, a clear methodology and model for unifying the various psycho-social, medical, and legal research to create a holistic assessment of the child.
The specific objective of the project is to create a detailed model for a multidisciplinary needs assessment and, based on this, an integrated approach for guaranteeing children’s rights and the best interest of the child during his/her involvement in legal proceedings. This will be achieved through:
- Creating specialised child-friendly interviewing procedures.
- Training a national specialised interviewing team.
- Creating a sustainable programme for continuing education for magistrates at the National Justice Institute.
- Introducing to the curriculum a training programme for police officers.
- Proposing standards for hearing testimonies of child victims or witnesses of crime involved in legal procedures.
One of the goals is to demonstrate, through the outcomes, opportunities for basing different interventions (judicial, protection and rehabilitation) on holistic assessment and the child’s best interests.
Another important goal is to prevent secondary victimisation through a multidisciplinary approach. To achieve this goal, a group of experts will produce specific work instruments, such as an educational toolkit (guidebook and training movie). All the materials will be made available in five languages.
One of the results will be to train fifty trainers who will in turn each train a total of 400 professionals.
The project will advance the improvement of multidisciplinary and integrated practices, as well as conceptualising the practices involving children in all partner countries, as well as around the European Union.
An important goal is to contribute to the overall elimination of the “competency to testify” assessment that is present in Bulgaria and Romania.