Press Release: “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center officially operates the Children’s House

The International, Humanitarian and Independent Institution “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center announces the completion of the Children’s House facilities, which was marked today with the handing over of the renovated building by the Greek Women Association “ENOSIS” to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades.

“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center is entrusted with the management and operation of the Children’s House, and will staff it with six professionals and two external associates, supervising psychologists. The Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance, will be responsible for the monitoring and financing of the operation of the House. Under the same roof there will be services from the Cyprus Police, the Social Welfare Services, the Mental Health Services and the Medical Services. 

The Children’s House will handle cases involving sexual abuse or exploitation of children and will provide psychological and social support and rehabilitation services. 
More specifically, the Children’s House has been designed on the basis of the Icelandic model “Barnahus” and focuses on the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approach, ensuring cooperation between the various stakeholders (police, judicial authorities, social and medical services) in a child friendly environment, which offers holistic services for the child and its family under one roof. The main pillar of the operation of the “Barnahus” model focuses on the importance of the disclosure of the child that initiates both the identification and the investigation of possible child abuse and the taking of protective and therapeutic measures. Mr. Bragi Guðbrandsson, General Director of The Government Agency for Child Protection in Iceland has been the consultant and advisor for the design and establishment of the Children’s House in Cyprus. 

At the handing over ceremony, Mr. Anastasiades during his speech referred to the actions of the government towards the realization of this project and its importance for Cyprus. Short speeches were also given by Ms. Anastasia Papadopoulou, Special Advisor to the Ad hoc Ministerial Committee on sexual abuse against children and Ms. Stella Kyriakides, MP and President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Mr. Joseph Varughese, the Director-General of the Organisation, stated that: “This innovative project for Cyprus is of paramount importance to the Organisation as it falls, among other things, under the National Strategy and Action Plan to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation, and child pornography. We would like to thank the stakeholders and the persons who believed in this project and contributed in making it happen”.