To build capacity and offer pragmatic support, FOCUS produced a dedicated learning platform for professionals working with children in criminal proceedings. It is available in six languages (English, Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Romanian and Serbian).
The platform offers an e-learning course on multidisciplinary needs assessments, and all the tools and resources to implement and systematize the use of multidisciplinary individual assessments, starting with the FOCUS Standards.
The FOCUS Standards represent the foundational building blocks for improving the development and implementation of national individual assessment processes and practices. They provide guiding principles for undertaking individual assessments for children involved in criminal proceedings. They are designed to be flexible and adaptable to the local context, and to assist in practical progress, rather than providing abstract guidance. Their use is supported by the FOCUS Self Reflection Tool, which helps actors assess and improve their systems and practices in line with these standards.
Using the Standards as a guiding light, the FOCUS team also produced and made available on the platform:
- The FOCUS Reference Table for Progress to chart the state of play, and to identify shorter and longer-term needs for improvement.
- The FOCUS Pilot Planning Tool to identify and engage in activities to improve individual assessment processes, depending on opportunities and resources
The FOCUS Mapping Tool to help stakeholders review the state of development of individual assessment processes
An overview of international human rights standards applicable on individual assessment practices, which lists and explains the relevant human rights standards and articles
These materials were presented during the FOCUS closing conference, attended by 187 professionals from around Europe. Attendees heard from sector leaders and youth advocates from the FOCUS Child Advisory Boards, and could actively participate in a fruitful roundtable discussion.
FOCUS is a project co-funded by the Rights, Equality, Citizenship Programme of the European Commission (2020–2021). It is coordinated by Terre des hommes in Europe, and implemented in partnership with Child Circle, Child Rights Centre, Defence for Children The Netherlands, and SAPI. The project aims at building the capacities of professionals to work in a multidisciplinary way on individual assessments of the need of children involved in criminal proceedings.