What is the project SafeShelter about?
SafeShelter is an EU co-funded project that aims to provide capacity building training on developing, implementing and enforcing child safeguarding policies and frameworks for shelter and multisectoral staff working with shelters.
“Shelter staff in the EU do not have full awareness or knowledge of existing child safeguarding policies, standards and frameworks and how these can help to safeguard children in the shelters and the few that do exist have not integrated the participation of children in the development of the policy”
M. Roesslhumer, Director of the Austrian Shelter Network and member of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters’
Why is SafeShelter needed?
Women’s shelters are one of the most crucial, specialised support services for women victims of violence and for their children; they not only provide safe and emergency accommodation for women and their children to seek refuge from violence, but also consistently demonstrate being effective in improving mental health, reducing re-abuse and improving social outcomes.
Research on mother and children residing in shelters shows that a problematic mother-child relationship was identified in approximately 20% of cases; inadequate parenting was present in around 35% of cases and 80-90% of the children had witnessed violence suffered by their mother, and more than 50% had been direct victims of some type of abuse. Shelter staff require guidance on how to address the needs of children, specifically separate interventions targeting the needs of children, as well as mothers.
All women’s shelters in the EU have child safeguarding policies in place to improve the protection and safety of children during their stay in the shelter
- To achieve 100% adoption of a child safeguarding policy designed by the shelter staff for their specific shelter in line with the Keeping Children Safe standards 2014 in the 5 EU implementation partner country shelter networks and in collaboration with childrens’/mothers’ voices stating for themselves their needs included in the development of the policies
- To achieve 25% change in awareness and knowledge of the importance of child safeguarding; 80% change in behaviour towards how to perform child safeguarding and 90% of training objectives shelter and multisectoral staff who receive the SafeShelter training as measured by evaluation questionnaires pre and post training
- To achieve 80% participation of mothers and their children in the Mother and Child Advisory Panels with experienced child therapists in each shelter in order to integrate their perspective and to improve acknowledgment of their needs
The project team is composed of the Austrian Women Shelter Network as project coordinator, and the partners are Psytel (France), Gesine (Germany), Conexus (Spain) and the European Family Justice Center Alliance (EFJCA). The team will deliver on the vision of improving child protection in shelters throughout Europe.
Project deliverables – pending
You will find here publicly available deliverables produced by the SafeShelter projects.
European Union’s REC-programme
This project has received funding from the The Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC).
This EU-programma contributes to the further development of an area where equality and the rights of persons, as enshrined in the Treaty, the Charter and international human rights conventions, are promoted, protected and effectively implemented. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.