FRA collected data on the main components of child protection systems focusing on the following areas:
- National legislative and regulatory framework, including child protection policies
- National authorities responsible for child protection and service providers
- Human and financial resources, focusing on qualification and training of personnel
- Identification and reporting procedures for children in need of protection and procedures for placing children in alternative care
- Provisions on professionals' legal obligation to report cases of child abuse, neglect and violence
- Specific legal obligations for civilians to report cases of child abuse, neglect and violence
- Provisions on the right of the child placed in alternative care to issue complaints
- Specific legal provisions requiring the establishment of complaint mechanisms within alternative care institutions
- Provisions requiring multidisciplinary assessment of child protection cases
- Provisions introducing age requirements on the rights of the child to be heard in placement decisions
- Accountability and monitoring systems, focusing on the monitoring and development of common quality indicators
The maps and tables presented on the following web pages show the scope, structures, actors and functions of the EU Member States’ child protection systems and how they aim to meet the diverse needs of different groups of children. A summary of key findings for each area is provided under the maps and tables.
Consultation with Member States - Member State representatives in the European Commission’s informal expert group on the rights of the child were consulted on a draft mapping of child protection systems in the 28 EU Member States. Representatives of 21 Member States provided written feedback: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom)
Research and methodology - The research focuses on how national child protection systems respond to the needs of children with multiple vulnerabilities and on how institutions cooperate and coordinate work when developing and implementing the national laws and policies. It identifies legislative and policy gaps, implementation challenges but also promising practices.
FRA’s expert contractors in the EU Member States, Franet, conducted the research’s desk research. The network collected secondary sources, including legal information and policy documents, and carried out a five-year literature review. Franet contacted government officials, representatives of child protection institutions and services, civil society organisations, national human rights institutions and children’s ombudspersons offices, where available, to obtain information not publicly available or for clarifications.
Timeline - FRANET conducted the research from December 2013 to March 2014.