New book on the Nordic Barnahus model
This edited collection explores the background and implementation of the Nordic Barnahus (or 'Children's House') model – recognised as one of the most important reforms related to children who are the victims of crime in the Nordic region. The different chapters offer discussions on both its potential to affect change and the challenges facing it.
The Barnahus model was introduced as a response to a growing recognition of the need for more integrated and child-centred services for children exposed to violence and sexual abuse. In the Barnahus structure, different professions work together to ensure that victimized children receive help and treatment and that their legal rights are met. The model is found in all of the Nordic countries, and despite great similarities in child welfare systems and legal systems, the countries differ in terms of both governance and regulation of the Barnahus.
Various shifts and trends emerge in the book: for example towards larger Barnahus and satellite activities; broadened target groups, more investigative interviews and mandatory use of Barnahus.
“The implementation of the Barnahus model is a promising development when it comes to meeting the needs and rights of vulnerable children. But there are also several difficulties and challenges. Many effects and consequences are still unknown and there is a need for more research of comparative and interdisciplinary nature,” according to Susanna Johansson.
“Considering the challenges in relation to the rights of children as crime victims and the spread currently under way in which several European countries start Barnahus, the book is relevant and important both within and beyond the Nordic countries.”