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Child protection professionals’ learning gaps in Italy, in Lithuania and in Poland

An assessment conducted in Italy, in Lithuania and in Poland, shows professionals need more tools to deal with children and families exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Ⓒ David Straight

From December to February 2021 PEARLS for children project’s Partners worked on data collection and analysis of needs, gaps and observations collected among Child Protection actors in Italy, Lithuania and Poland. 

The activity involved 108 different professionals from medical and education services, police and social services working with children at risk of any form of maltreatment or abuse in the three countries. 

What emerged from interviews and data analysis is that each child protection professional category involved in the interviews, reported the will to widen knowledge on the psychological functioning of children and families exposed to ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences), to acquire general guidelines and specific tools on ways to observe, to understand and to respond properly to such cases. Moreover, most professionals highlighted their need to overcome the fear of accompanying the children’ disclosure, to change their attitude from blaming to supportive, and to be active in their role and increase their motivation in supporting ACE cases.

In response to these gaps, in 2021 the PEARLS for children will train 315 professionals in Italy, Lithuania and Poland on Assisted Resilience paradigm as to assume the role of Tutor of Resilience for children. Trainees will acquire needed knowledge and tools to recognize the signals of maltreatment, to identify parental risk factors or harmful parent–child interactions, to strengthen children positive potentials, protective internal factors and self-help mechanisms. 

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