The project

Objectives

Child maltreatment affects over 55 million children in the European Union. It is the major public health problem in Europe and leads to the premature death of 852 children under 15 years in Europe every year. This is the result of an undervalued phenomenon conditioned by the lack of knowledge of professional in care disciplines.

MARTE project aims to tackle this phenomenon by improving quality of support provided by practitioners to minors suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through tailored capacity building standardized in new protocols and procedures.

In this framework, specific objectives of the project are:

  • To improve a child-sensitive approach, building specific training activities and tools for practitioners and stakeholders to enable them to recognize the child as a victims and to treat him/her in a respectful, professionals and non-discriminatory manner.
  • To create a common framework on features of ACEs (e.g. symptomatology, causes and effects of traumas) among practitioners;
  • To enhance the skills of practitioners working in selected critical areas to assist children victim of ACEs;
  • To promote cooperation, multidisciplinary and holistic approaches.

Activities

The path foreseen by the MARTE project consists in:

  • a preliminary needs assessment based on an analysis run on two levels: the first one addresses existing literature and statistics; the second more important involves professionals in a qualitative data gathering about their perceptions on the ACEs and service system.
  • Capacity building activities (based on train – the – trainer approach) to create a common theoretical and operational framework to reduce the operational gap between diverse categories of practitioners working with children victim of traumas
  • cascade training activities to disseminate the principles and tools of training
  • An online campaign to disseminate the project activities and outputs made up with multilingual website, social profiles, video and geolocated social advertising.

Methodology

The methodology of MARTE project is built around the general concepts of integrated multidisciplinary approach, and engagement. MARTE represent a model of intervention for the construction of common theoretical and practical frameworks based on innovative, evidence-based and child-sensitive practices for the detection and treatment of cases of ACEs. It is based on crucial European legislative measures, innovative methods (e.g. Behavioural insight tools, self-enquiry approaches, resiliency theory) whose dissemination at EU level represent a key incentive for better and more child-respectful practices.

In this framework, needs assessment are based on participatory research methods and RRA (Rapid Rural Appraisal) that uses a suite of visual methods and semi-structured interviews to enable non- professional researchers to collect data.

Expected result

Main project beneficiaries are minors suffering from ACEs and (to a lower extent) their families.

MARTE is based on the direct involvement of all main actors at all stages of intervention on child victim of ACEs. In particular the project is targeted to:

  • Practitioners: a) social workers and managers of social services; b) Doctors and health-care professionals (psychologists, psychomotricists, child neuropsychiatrists, speech therapists, pediatricians, pediatric nurses), c) Child educators d) lawyers;
  • Policy makers and institutions relevant for the protection of the rights of the child at local/EU level.

For each of these target we expected the following results.

Pratictiotioners

  • To improve the ability of social workers to understand specific behaviours of children as related to ACEs (eg less social skills, difficulties/inability to empathize with others, eating disorders, anxiety, etc.) and open the assistance procedures correctly;
  • To improve the ability of doctors and Health Care Professionals to carry out treatments on new, more effective and holistic methodologies (involving especially social aspects of resiliency and more suitable treatments for children);
  • To improve the ability of child educators to recognize early exposure situations in danger in the educational context
  • To make lawyer more aware of the traumas of these children, act to make trials more child-respectful (e.g. avoid stressful situation, weighted towards children) and provide more fair and speedy trial taking into account the damages suffered by the victims of ACES

Children

  • Increase empowerment and resiliency skills
  • Rely on more effective and holistic treatment services
  • Display greater trust towards authorities and feel to be protected among a set of component and coordinated experts
  • Interact with component authorities and practitioners more easily and efficiently

Assistance and Support Services and Institutions

  • Increase cooperation and understanding between institutions, lawyers, social workers, doctors and health care professionals, Child educators between them and the target of their services;
  • Daily provisions of services towards children victims of ACEs more in line with the principles contained in the EU laws
  • More effective provision of services, especially if dealing with urgencies;
  • Reduce time needed for the assignment of cases among relevant entities;
  • Clearer jurisdiction of cases;