Working group Sexual abuse

FICE Netherlands has the lead of FICE International workgroup sexual abuse. Other participants are: 

Susanna Hoikkala, Finland 
Yoav Apelboim, Israel 
Lyudmila Semkiv, Ukraine 
Eugen Simion, Romania 

On this page you can read about the state of affairs, actions and results of the working group. If you have and want to share relevant information we would like you to send an email to info@fice.nl Attention William Loupatty. 

18 sept. 2015

From the Netherlands two abstract are submitted, one for a workshop and one for an oral presentation at the Inter FICE congress in Vienna Aug. 2016. Gitta will explore within the working group sexual abuse in institutions if other countries will submit an abstract as well around the theme of sexual abuse in institutions. EJT will start a study, commissioned by FICE NL, in order to make an inventory of the attention given to the theme of 'Sexual abuse' within the curriculum of Social Work programs within the colleges. When design of the study is definitively and translated in English, it will be posted in the appendix of this page.

20 may 2015

Workinggroup sexual abuse in residential Youth care - Where are we?

1. In the CF in Frankfurt 2014 we talked about the idea to make a workinggroup on the theme sexual abuse in residential care. The goals, way of working and results to be prepared by the workinggroup. Gitta Griffioen wrote a mail in july 2014 to the members of the workinggroup. See proposal below.There was no reaction to the mail, discussion planned in Barcelona.

2. In the CF of Barcelona a small group discussed about the definition and plans. There were Hanne Peereboom The Netherlands, Susanna Hoikkala, Finland and Yoav Apelboim Israel. The name of the workinggroup will be Sexual abuse in residential care.

Appointment: To do research in the own country.

history line
relevant themes
good practices
procedures and legal possibilitys to intervene
results: workshop in Vienna, list of good practices and experts
Young people involved in the process of research.

To share the results by mail and skype. This has not happened, discussion was planned in Belgrade.

3. In the CF of 7/8 May in Belgrade in the program was time for working on the workingroups. There was a very small representation of the members of the group  sexual abuse in residential care.: Yoav Appelboim (Israël) and Gitta Griffioen (The Netherlands). Missing were Ukraine and Romania and Susanna Hoikkala, Finland. Yoav Apelboim and Gitta Griffioen discussed about what to do next. With Hermann Radler we talked about the possibilities for participation in the Conference 2016 Vienna.

We decided to go on with the next steps:

In the conference 2016 in Vienna is the possibility to plan time for this theme. Hermann Radler, organiser of the conference, was very happy with this opportunity.

There are two possibilities:

A. A small part of the program, 1 ½ hour. Keynotespeaker and two or three parallel workshops are an option. No extra time and costs for participants

B. Day conference on the Saturday, 8 hours, free to make our own program. Extra time and costs for participants.

How to organise:

We have to make a descision for A or B
we have to organise the keynotespeaker(s) and workshops
The organisation will send out the request for calls on this theme. The chair (together wit the workinggroup) makes the choice for the calls in this part of the program.
The organisation will take care of program and PR.

Proposal

From The Netherlands we have experience with the theme:
@ Because of the survey by Samson, all over the country, research on cases over a period of 60 years
@ all people in The Netherlands with experience in this way were invited to tell about it to a special commission, 2011/2012
@ It was a shocking result, lost of man and woman reported about abuse in residential youth care. Most of  the cases were about abuse in between youngsters, other cases were about abuse of children and youngsters by professionals.
Reports are available, The Summary of the Samson report is in English on the website of FICE NL.

Because of this report a qualitystandard is developed and implemented in the last two years.
The main topics are:
@ be clear sexual abuse is not allowed!!
@ It has to be part of the ethic rules of the organisation
@ professionals are educated structural about sexuality and abuse, recognise and take action
@ professionals are educated to talk about the theme with children and youngsters
@ preventive every professionals is educated to talk about the normal sexual Development with children, youngsters and parents and collegues.
@ Every professional is checked about personal cases in history and need a declaration by judge
@ The experience of safety in a group of children and youngsters living toegether is checked structural with the clients by an instrument
@ If you know about sexual abuse, you have to tell about it to the management of the organisation
@ a system of reflection is implemented and checked
@ the organisation works with a system of registration of a (near) incident, analyse what happend, to show what recovery plan is made, the  results of the plan

Implementation of the policy is followed by the government and Inspection for Youth Care. They do a structural check on implementation etc.

From the Netherlands we want to bring inspiration in this very complex theme. We also want to learn together about policy, actions, experiences, and education.

We have the following interesting themes as possible input:

1. Key-note speaker, one of the persons that was very close to the research in NL
Why the research was initiated, what was the research, the experience with the research, the results, the plan, the quality standards and implementation.

2. Workshops by different countries, from the workinggroup or via the call.

From NL we can offer a workshop on the following themes:

  • How do you start the discussions about the theme, how to put it on the  agenda of government, organisations and professionals. How to talk about it knowing that shame is an important point for clients and professionals?
  • How do you use the experience of people with sexual abuse, victims and treaters in the developing of  the new methods and guidelines, and in training.
  • The method "vlaggensysteem" (working with flags to judge the situation as normal or not). The Netherlands will invest in an English translation of the method and education programme.
  • How to organise good education for social Workers on this theme?
  • What is the role of social media, How to deal with this role?

3. To give information about the theme and steps on the website of FICE Inter
To put best practise, policy and guidelines on the website of FICE inter, invitation to deliver materials etc from different countries, from all members. Moderator: the workinggroup

4.   Start up a collection of International research, together with universities for applied science.

5. Other possibility is working towards an International conference 2017, hosted by The Netherlands (proposal) about the theme, Preparation with this workinggroup, based on input conference 2016.

Questions are:

1. Do you agree with the proposal to work forward to the conference in Vienna?

2. What do you prefer:

A. part of the main conference

B. extra conference day

3. What are suggestions from your side for workshops or keynotespeakers

4. To start up a collection of information, best practices and news about the theme in a special part of FICE Inter, moderated by the workinggroup, starting in July

5. to start up a collection of research, moderated by the workinggroup, together with University.

6. to work forward to an international conference in 2017 about this theme, organised by the countries of the working group.

Please give your reactions. We can discuss about it by mail. And follow up in the CF in Sofia 14, 15, 16 th of October 2015

With warm greetings,

Gitta Griffioen

Dutch proposal for addressing the theme:

In the FICE CF in Frankfurt on the 11th and 12th of April 2014, we made a decision to work together on themes that are interesting for all members of FICE. One of the themes is sexual abuse in out-of-home-care. With 5 countries we are the working group for this theme. Your names are mentioned for this moment as contactpersons. The first step we have to do is to think about what we want to do with this theme. So we can make up a proposal to the CF in November in Barcelona. In this message I will make a first step. Please react on this, feel free to bring in everything you think and want to do in this case.

Toward an international way of sharing and learning in the prevention of sexual abuse in out-of-home-care:  research, analyses, framing, cultural diversity, quality standards, professionalization, action and law. An international overview on this theme is not available. The theme touch all countries and organizations  were out-of-home-care is practiced. How can we share and learn from experiences.

In a lot of countries there is attention and action because a lot of children in out-of-home-care are a victim of sexual abuse at home or in the institution/foster care. It is good we all recognize this big problem, give victims a voice about what happened with them, be clear to perpetrators, and take action to prevent sexual abuse. The situation of children in out-of-home care asks a special attention in this case, because there is also a professional responsibility to prevent children of sexual abuse.

In a lot of countries the government put sexual abuse in out of home care on the agenda of research and action.

For example in The Netherlands we had the commission Samson in 2012 and 2013  with the task from the government to find out how many children were victim of sexual abuse in out-of-home-care since 1945. And to give an advice to the government how to prevent.  The commission  initiated a big research traject, with shocking results. The advices from the commission leaded to a report with advices and a qualitystandard. The qualitystandard is available and know in the phase of implementation and auditing.   One of the advices was to make a policy how to deal with sexuality in out-of-home-care, also about normal sexual behavior.

Another important advice was about professionalism of social workers.  At this moment a lot of institutions are being audited. The audit commission is positive about the way the theme is on the agenda and the steps in implementation that are made. This is a very short summary of the situation in the Netherlands.

I connected to the leaders of this process and Inspection with the question if there is interest in making international connections. There is a lot of interest. I will think with them further how they can help and support us in our steps.

Beside this The Netherlands have a very active policy about remark of sexual abuse of children at home, living with their own family. It is  a policy about prevention, remark in an early stage, working together with families and professionals to stop the abuse, and treatment. We call it the Sign Code. It is in a law and all professionals working with children under 18 have to use it. It is also part of the quality standard for preventing sexual abuse in out-of-home-care.

In the CF in Frankfurt we talked about the fact that a lot of countries are worried about the situation of children and sexual abuse in out-of-home-care.

There also is a lot of research  and outcome in policy and quality standards. What can we do as FICE International to bring together this material, because we want to take our international professional and scientific responsibility:

  1.  To share
  2.  To learn from each other
  3.  To find an international standard if helpfull
  4.  To organize an international conference?

We are with five countries in this working group. It is our task to organize participation of the other FICE partners. (because of experiences in countries that are no-FICE partner, we have to think about participation of that countries?)

Our proposal is to do the process in a few steps.

Goal: international boost in learning about sexual abuse in out-of-home-care

Result: we know how different countries deal with this theme, there is a plan for how to work together, knowledge and experiences are shared en lessons learned..

To send out a short memo to all FICE partners (and other countries?) In the memo the background and goals.

Stocktaking:  the question to share available materials, so we can make an overview of the development on this theme in the different countries.

           Important questions: (please make it better)

Is the theme on the agenda of government, institutions or other,
How is the theme called/framed
Who are the actors in this theme
What are the main questions and problems
What solutions are found
How and what is communicated in the country, who is the communicator
Are Universities involved,
Is research done, analyzed and shared
Are reports and other material available, is it possible to share
What is the current situation
How is implementing of a policy organized
How is evaluation and learning organized.

We can do this stocktaking with support of FICE NL. To finish in March 2015.

To try to find possibilities to analyse the materials and bring out an advice to FICE International.  Finish in June 2015

Result:

An overview of development of this themes in different countries
An overview of lessons learned in different countries
An advice what and how we can learn together
An advice about next steps, for example see 3 and 4

If helpful the option of an international quality standard –Finish in December 2015
And a booklet and/or symposium at the end of 2015.

Timetable is also for discussion ofcourse

I can see two possibilities now to organize financial support and manpower in this process

Erasmus + gives good possibilities for subsidy. We have to be clear about partnership, ownership and results for all partners. 
Working together with students from University  from our 5 participating countries
Please more ideas??