Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies

44 | Social Work with Children and Youth

15 Jun 2008 - 21 Jun 2008
Course directors:
Jean Gervais, University of Hull, United Kingdom
Sonia Jackson, Thomas Coram RU / University of London, United Kingdom
Torill Tjelflaat, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
Course description:
Inter-University Center for Postgraduate Studies Dubrovnik
The IUC School of Social Work Theory & Practice
Course Social Work with Children and Youth

2008 Symposium Children/Youth and the World of Violence

The IUC Dubrovnik, Don Frana Bulica 4. June 15 21, 2008

Course Directors (alphabetically): Organizing Director:

Dr. Jean Gervais, Quebec, Canada Dr. Dada M. Maglajlic
Dr. Sonia Jackson, England Professor of SRS, BSU
Dr. Dada M. Maglajlic, Cro/USA Voice-mail: 218 755 2837
Dr. Torill Tjelflaat, Norway E-mail:

Course Description

Participants examine implementation of the UN convention of the rights of children
(specifically articles 19, and 34 38), and related documents. Equal attention is given
to all age subgroups, with special reference to policy and planning, as well as to
different facets of SW theory and practice. Growing violence all over the world calls
for our exploration and action. Children experience violence before they are born and
right after it. It is omnipresent: we find it in the family, school, in the streets, media,
in the most intimate relationships. Through a set of lectures and small group dialogues
we plan to explore violence and self-violence at child/young person, family, peer
group, and society level/s looking at its etiology and phenomena, possible prevention,
and different interventions.

Accommodation: &
Phone: 385 20 410 817 or 385 20 313 321

Proposed Daily Schedule

Monday, June 16, 2008

8: 30 9:30 AM Registration

9:30 10:30 AM WELCOME, INTRODCTIONS & Defining schedule for the week

10:30 11 AM Coffee/tea Break

11 AM Noon: Paul de Heer: Youth Care in the Netherlands

Noon 1 PM Lunch Break

1 2:30 PM Small Group/s Dialogue (SGD)

2:30 3:30 PM Group reports and dialogue

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

8:30 10 AM Torill Tjelflaat: Violence and Sexual Abuse of
Children in Norwegian Institutions from 1935 to
1986 - Report from an investigating committee

10 10:30 AM Coffee/tea Break

10:30 Noon Trish Quitgaard: Bullying in Schools Understanding
Bullying and How to Intervene within Schools

Noon 1 PM: Lunch Break


3 4 PM Group Session

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

8:30 10 Mirna Gajski & Josipa Mihic: Review of Prevention and Treatment
Programs for Violent Behavior among Children and Youth

9:30 10: 30 AM Laura Pavicic: Family Violence
A Psychosocial Treatment of Victims

10:30 11 AM Coffee/tea Break

11 Noon Odilia van Manen-Rojnic: Care Providers & Secondary Trauma

Noon 1 PM Lunch Break

1 3 PM SGD

3 4 PM Group Session

Thursday, June 19, 2008

8:30 9:30 AM Stefan Matula, Lubomir Palenik, Alena Kopanyiova:
Slovak National Project on Childrens Aggressive Behavior

9:30 10:30 AM Viktorija Pecnikar Oblak: Endangered Children Crisis Center

10:30 - 11 AM Coffee/tea Break

11 Noon: Akiko Kosaka: Technology and Youth Violence

Noon 1 PM Lunch Break

1 3 PM SGD

3 4 PM Group Session

Friday, June 20, 2008

8 AM 2+ PM Snezana Repac: Orphan Childrens Life in Transition
Dada M. Maglajlic: Boys Adrift Culture, Identity, Violence

Course Evaluation, Plan for the year 2009 and 2010

Lecture Abstracts with Resource Persons (alphabetically)

Paul deHeer, Program Director
Masterpleiding Pedagogiek, Holland

Youth Care in the Netherlans: Policy Developments and Training

In my lecture for the IUC Course SW with Children and Youth I paint a picture
of 2008 Youth Care in the Netherlands. I show in which way and along which
themes the policy developments take shape. Besides, I describe in which way study
programs have reacted to the changed focus of Youth Care.

Attention for the broad field of Youth Care in the Netherlands has become more
and more prominent in the last years. It may be stated that the formation of ideas
on the establishment of a Program Ministry for Youth and Family in 2007 was
an important incentive for this. It may also be stated that the establishment of this
Ministry is the result of a development direction that has set the focus of Youth
Care on parenting (education), increasingly so over the past ten years. Educational
task/s of family, relatives, schools, municipalities, provinces and national authorities
is prominent and finds its way to the front pages of the media every day. Parenting
(educating) and growing up are subjects of discussion on a municipal, national and
scientific level. Of course, the discussion about parenting (educating) and growing
up is not new, but an important shifting did take place in the direction of the policy
that has brought this discussion closer to all parties involved.

The emphasis on residential youth care in the tackling of educational problems has
shifted to close attention for ambulant youth care.

Parenting support in a maltitude of forms is a very important item in Youth Care.
Content-wise the focus is shifting from a curative approach to a preventive ap-
proach. An important development that has also added much attention in the
debate on Youth Care is the directive function that it has.

The effect of the public debate on educational issues in the broadest sense of the
word on the study programs is significant. The increase in the number of students
that each year enroll for study programs in the educational domain was in the past
6 to 7 years between 50% and 100%, in some parts of the country even more than
a 100%! Content-wise a shift is noticeable from focusing on remedial-educational
questions (special needs) to educational questions regarding parenting support and
development stimulation, as well as prevention and information issues. This tendency
holds for both the bachelors and the masters degree programs.

Mirna Gajski, V. Gorica & Josipa Mihic, University of Zagreb

Review of Prevention and Treatment Programs for Violent Behavior
Among Children and Youth

Lecture will focus on the main prevention and treatment strategies aimed at reducing
violent behavior among children and youth. Violence is often seen as intractable
because its prevention is rarely approached with the level of commitment and attention
required for long-term success, generation after generation. Violence is in fact
preventable, but its prevention requires an investment of resources, people, leadership,
and commitment. Keeping that in mind, prevention strategies that we implement can
be classified as the ones which focus on children and youth who express violent
behavior, victims of violence and social context within which violence occurs. This
lecture will provide an overview of promising initiatives and specific programs that
have been identified as successful in reducing violent behavior with special emphasis
on model and evidence-based programs such as Olweus Bullying Prevention Program,
Second Step , Life Skills Training, Anger Coping Program etc. After presenting
prevention programs, our lecture will introduce several treatment programs which we
find interesting and useful. At its beginnings, treatment of behavior disorders was mostly
institutional and till today it has been varied between punishment and therapy. However,
now days various treatment programs are trying to include not only child or a young
person, but also his/her parents, community, school and neighborhood in the solving of
violent behavior. Therefore, we can define treatment of behavior disorders among children
and youth as system of various activities that are focused on achieving positive changes
among children and their community. Working with children and youth who behave
violently represents a great challenge for professionals and for children and youth as well.
Lately, our society has recognized importance of implementing childrens rights in their
everyday life. In spite of that we are facing difficulty in finding most appropriate approach
to solve problems of violent behavior among children and youth. Since we cant possibly
present all treatment programs which exist in the world, our lecture is directed towards
cognitive-behavioral treatment programs, social skill training programs in institution/s and
treatment program of using martial arts in working with children and youth.

Kosaka Akiko, MSW - Japan
(BSU and UMD graduate)

Technology and Youth Violence

Keitai (mobile phone) use become explosively popular among young Japanese
people in the latter half of 1990s. Nearly 100% of high school students in Japan
own keitai. The latest mobile phone is equipped with so many technologies such
as wireless internet service, global positioning system, camera, video camera,
music player, and so on. The Japanese youth fully utilize the technologies,
particularly internet terminal function as a mode of communication. Through
Keitai they send e-mail to their friends, post messages on the bulletin board on
The net, and upload their blog. According to recent government poll high school
girls spend on average two hours a day on their keitai, and their male counterparts
clock in at 90 minutes, while many youngsters feel that they can not possibly
live without mobile phone. Because of the mobility of keitai, children can access
internet sites including harmful ones without presence of parents or responsible
adults. Children can be easily lured to harmful sites that contain sexually explicit
materials, violent motion pictures, and sales of illegal drugs. Although a few
parents try to protect their children by subscribing to filtering system against
harmful sites others simply confiscate their childrens keitai. Majority of the
parents are grouping around laying down rules about keitais use. Most Japanese
schools ban keitai on campus but fail to acknowledge that students do use it. Both,
schools and parents, need to point to the risks of keitai usage and have an open
discussion of safe keitai use.

Dada M. Maglajlic
Professor of SRS BSU (Cro/US)

Boys Adrift Culture, Identity, Violence

The particular human chain were part of is
central to our individual identity.
Elizabeth Stone

This lecture builds on Dr. Bempah 2007 lecture and his book on socio-genealogical
connectedness: large number of 21st century children and youth grow up separated
from their genetic parents and consequently their genealogical, social and cultural
roots. Culture influences every facet of our identity (Samovar at all, 2007). Identity
is important to all of us. Culture provides a blueprint, its the road map we live by.
Most important facet is valuing oneself in order to value him/herself, young person
must first know who s/he is (Oliver & Baugh, 2006). Klopf (2007) distinguishes eight
facets of personal cultural profile, one of which is gender.

Enduring cultures of the world provide rootedness, provide a blueprint for growth
and development. Unfortunately every week one of the world languages dies and
with it the unique beauty of the culture. Children and youth in USA, Canada, all
over Europe and good many other regions of the world grow exposed to virtual
world of media and video-games. According to Dr. Leonard Sax (2007) there are
five factors that drive decline of boys. One of the five factors are video-games, the
most detrimental being violent games.

External pressures have colonized modern time family. As mentioned in the 2007
lecture many kids have lost faith in the ability of adults to protect them from culture
running of the tracks. In a vicious circle, the less comfort and trust children feel at
home, the more they gravitate to so called second family of the peer-group and pop
culture to meet their needs for a sense of self worth and a feeling of connection. But
the second family carries its own freight, its own pressures, and its own terrors.

Matula Stefan, Palenik Lubomir, Kopanyiova Alena
Slovak Research Institute Bratislava, Slovakia

National Program Prevention of Aggressive Behavior in Schools

This lecture will present a comprehensive report on national program dealing with
aggressive behavior in schools, its prevention and different solution. Lecture has three
independent sections:

Matula Stefan, Ph.D.: Slovak national project on management of aggresivity and
aggressive conflicts among children and youth in the schools

Palenik Lubomir, Ph.D.: The concept of prosocial behavior as a methodological basis
for national project dealing with cultivation of aggressivity among children and youth

Kopanyiova Alena, Ph.D.: Depistage as a tool of effectivity measuring of program
oriented on increasing incidence in children population

Laura Pavicic
St. Anne Shelter Rijeka - Croatia

Family Violence: A Psychosocial Treatment of Victims

Recent researches show that between 10 to 40% of women have experienced some
form of violent behavior from their parents. By violence we mean: physical,
psychological, emotional, economical and sexual violence that is mostly directed
against women and children by their close family members.

Republic of Croatia has adopted several important law regulations that are supposed
to protect the victims and there are some important measures pronounced and
implemented by the Government. National Policy for Gender Equality, National
Strategy for Protection from Family Violence and Protocol of Proceedings in Case
of Family Violence. Also, there are many actions taken to raise the family violence
awareness with strong support from the media. Counselors in Family Centers,
expert teams in Social Welfare Centers and NGO activists are working hard to
spread the idea that violence is unacceptable in any form.

But once violence had happened something has to be done to protect the victims,
mostly women and children. St. Ana shelter is good example how we can help.
St. Ana is one of the largest homes for women and children victims of family
violence established in 1993 by Caritas. Today it is financed both by the Ministry
of Health and Social Welfare and donations. Our mission is to provide accom-
modation to the victims as well as material, psychological and spiritual support.
The main goal is emancipation and independence of women. Expert team (social
worker, pedagogue and psychologist) is implementing the demanding program of
victims rehabilitation, recovery and empowerment having in mind the basic idea:
help the victims to create conditions for independent and fulfilled life that they

Trish Quistgaard, Psychologist
Bemidji Area Schools, MN, USA

Bullying in Schools
Understanding Bullying and How to Intervene within Schools

Bullying once was regarded as an ordinary part of growing up. However, in recent
years as schools have focused on providing safe and secure environment to
maximize childrens ability to learn and develop, there have been increasing
concerns about recognizing, intervening and preventing bullying within schools.

What do we know about bullying?
To assist us in recognizing bullying, my lecture will review types of bullying and
how bullying develops. The types of victims and the impact of victimization will
be discussed.

How can we intervene?
To improve the lives of our children, strategies and interventions addressing bullies
and victims have been researched. One level of interventions involves individual
interventions with the victims of bullying. The second level of interventions involves
training small groups in prosocial and anger control skills. The third level of intervent-
ions is a system of school wide approach aimed at the prevention of bullying. Programs
aimed at preventing bullying are becoming more prevalent among elementary and
middle schools. An overview of these programs and how social workers can take a
lead role in organizing prevention and interventions will be discussed.

Viktorija Pecnikar Oblak, Social Worker
Crisis Center for Children Ljubljana, Slovenia

Endangered Children Crisis Center

Endangered Children Crisis Center (ECCC) called Shelter House Thumbelina is the first
such institution in Slovenia, financed by public resources through Ministry of Labor,
Family and Social Affairs. Shelter operates as an independent unit of the Social Work
Center (SWC) Grosuplje. Realization of this project is an answer to increasing number
of endangered children in Slovenia. It is also an answer to increasing need for systematic
regulation to offer shelter to youngest children that are less than 6 years old. ECCC also
accepts older children and juveniles under age eighteen.

Because ECCC functions as a pilot project till the end of May 2008, its tasks, rules and
activities are still forming. Endangered children come to ECCC due to different reasons:
unsuitable treatment, endangering of their behalf, lack of danger distraction and the like
all produced by parents or third person. ECCC always cooperates with competent SWC
which takes further steps related to child protection in accordance with Slovenian
legislation and related international documents pertaining to child protection.

Before ECCC was established, children in crisis situation were placed in foster families or
with their relatives, in hospitals or safe houses and the like, without preliminary solid
professional arguments. As long as child lives in ECCC, SWC gets more time to find the
most suitable solution. In the meantime professionals working at the ECCC are learning
more about the childs true feelings, for they are the first specialists in a chain of help in
position to observe a child for 24 hours. Its been observed that a certain process happens,
which contains different phases of childs internal dynamic like getting to know staff and
the house, accepting their own circumstances, establishing trust with one of the employees,
regretting their situation, feeling as a child again, being fearful about his/her future not
necessarily in this sequence. So far these professional observations have been evaluated as
very relevant for SWC decision regarding childs future.

From September 2007, when the project started, till the end of April 2008, 17 children were
admitted to ECCC and lived at the shelter from one day forty-three days, even though the
predefined length of stay is three weeks.

Keywords: endangered child, shelter, crisis, ECCC, SWC

Snezana Repac, MA Psychologist, Belgrade Serbia
Center for protection of infants, children and youth
Serbia ( )

Orphan Childrens Life in Transition: From the
Institutionalized to Reinstitutionalized Chidren

Although there appears to exist a widespread awareness of the phenomenon of child
development in residential care, particularly following extensive coverage in the
media, actual surveys point to the fact that many very different socio-cultural factors
play a role in the origin of difficulties we encounter among children in residential care.
Spiritual nature of the problem calls for action to abolish and/or avoid existing
institutions or at least create more appropriate system of residential care within
given social care system within the finally new family for an orphaned child.

We face a multitude of question/s: it sometimes takes a long time to find adequate
foster family, in particular educated specialized family; while waiting for placement
children are not willing to live in the present, to learn accepting the reality of collective
family called home, living with staff who provide high professional standard of care,
often much higher than within foster care family. Problem is further complicated by the
lack of foster care families, specially quality families with desirable motivation to foster.
Placement often does not work out and children have to return to institution. Although
there are many burning issues, primary question relates to creation of most favorable
developmental circumstance that would meet the needs of the children in transition,
children living on the waiting list. Life can not wait

This issue has a childrens right component as well. Children demonstrate behaviors
which resemble abandonment phenomenon pointing to additional responsibilities of
the professional staff. Several examples from the recent study regarding child/ren
abandonment phenomenon will be shared with the Symposium participants as well as
explorations of the modes of helping children as defined by social care and medical

Torill Tjelflaat, Director
The Regional Children Protection Research Unit
NTNU Social Research, Norway

Violence and Sexual Abuse of Children in Norwegian Institutions
from 1935 to 1986 Report from an investigating Committee

In Norway, many children placed in institutions in the previous century experienced
abuse and neglect while under the care of public authorities. The Norwegian govern-
ment issued a white paper in 2004 discussing the living conditions of these children.
The government also decided that children exposed to abuse and severe neglect while
under care were entitled to compensation as adults. Investigation committees were
established around the country. I was appointed to the committee for children who
had been placed in care by the city of Trondheim.

In my paper, I will present some data from interviews with previously institutionalized
children. In the committee, we interviewed 77 people who were under care of the child
care authorities of Trondheim from 1935 to 1986, and placed in institutions, childrens
homes and foster homes. I will concentrate on those placed in institutions (65 interviews
including multiple placements).

Data shows that there was a difference between boys and girls as to the kind and the
seriousness of the abuse. All the boys were exposed to severe physical abuse, and many
of them reported serious sexual abuse including sexual violence and rape, mostly from
other residents. Most of the girls also experienced physical abuse, but not as severe as
the boys. They also reported sexual harassment. The physical abuse/violence was
conducted either by staff or other residents. Staff members hit the boys and girls with
an open hand, a fist and/or kicked them in different parts of the body. As punishment,
the children were locked in small rooms, usually in the basement. The children also
reported a lack of emotional care and psychological victimization, being called Idiot,
Stupid Boy/Girl and Fool.

In the presentation I will discuss the findings from the investigation using the concept
of Goffmans total institution, and will ask the question How could this happen, and
can it ever happen again?

Odilia van Manen-Rojnic
Nadomak SUNCA Oprtalj, Croatia

Care Providers and Secondary Trauma

Those of us who live and/or work with traumatized children, try to offer them under-
standing, patience and a listening ear. By showing empathy, we try to help them find
ways to overcome the traumatic events of their past.

Very often, we are not aware that through our empathy we might internalize the
Problems of the children we care for. When this happens, we literally take on the
trauma together with its stress and the disorder symptoms. This is called secondary
traumatic stress.

Much has been spoken about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms
Of those who have been directly exposed to traumatic events. Until recently, not
much evidence existed on the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a
traumatized or suffering person. However, we know now that the symptoms of
primary and secondary trauma can be the same.

In this presentation, I will give some examples from foster care practice of how
secondary trauma can be developed, how its symptoms can be recognized and
what can be done to avoid secondary traumatic stress to develop.