We invite the professional and interested public to sign a support letter in protecting children from emotional abuse in their parents’ divorce. Together, we continue to build the path for better child protection practices.

Text retrieved from https://www.poliklinika-djeca.hr/aktualno/novosti/pozivamo-strucnjake-da-podrze-28-zakljucaka-struke-u-zastiti-djece-od-emocionalnog-zlostavljanja-u-razvodu-roditelja-uspostava-dobre-prakse-u-hrvatskoj/

In support of the establishment of good practice in Croatia, we have summarized the 28 conclusions of the lecture and, as a Google document, referred it to the expert and interested public for a signature of support. We will deliver the document with the collected signatures to all relevant institutions and competent ministries, so that we can all continue to build the path of best practice for the protection of children in Croatia. These conclusions were supported by Dr. Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall, and you can support them with your signature at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc9u_zMiZLL-C6HIf3G4ude-IVYpGVv–EMX6J9iD43U–ebg/viewform?fbzx=7370086239299229702





In July 2019, organized by the Polyclinic for the Protection of Children and Youth of the City of Zagreb and the Association of Juvenile Judges, Family Judges and Specialists for Children and Youth, the lecture “Understanding and Working with Children and Families Affected by Alienation from Parents: Listening to the Authentic Voice of Children and Intervention for recovery assistance ” was held. The lecturers were Karen and Nick Woodall, internationally recognized authorities in the field of alienation, partners at Family Separation Clinic in London, who deal with alienation issues daily in close collaboration with welfare, health and justice systems.

On the occasion of this lecture, which was delivered live by the Teaching Institute of Public Health, dr. Andrija Štampar and, via video transmission on Facebook and YouTube of the Clinic, so far looked at more than 3000 experts of different profiles and interested laymen, and on the occasion that on 27 May 2019 the World Health Organization accepted the draft of the next edition of MKB (MKB -11) containing the QE.52 alienation code (under the Caregiver-Child Relationship Problem diagnostic category), we compile this document with the main findings on alienation and proposals for the development of positive practice in Croatia. The conclusions are based on clinical practice, models of good practice in the world and in Europe and on the results of more than a thousand scientific papers.

If you have any questions or comments that you would not like to make public, please email: mia.roje@poliklinika-djeca.hr

With signatories Karen and Nick Woodall as lecturers and prof. Gordan Buljan Flander, PhDet, and Lana Peto Kujundžić, PhD as the organizer of the lecture, we invite all experts who agree with the above conclusions to support the protection of children with their signature in this field:

1. The child has a need for both parents and it is important to ensure that both parents are involved in life (unless this would be a threat to the child’s life, health and / or safety; in the following points, this condition is implied).

2.It is in the best interest of the child to provide him or her with approximately equal involvement of both parents in life and upbringing, which is not necessarily 50% of the time with each of them; Consolidation is made depending on the particular circumstances and needs of the individual child, as assessed by experts (social welfare and / or health and / or justice system)..

3. The gender of the parent does not determine parental competence.

4. One of the main parenting competences in the case of separated parenting is the capacity of the parent to actively strengthen the child’s relationship with the other parent.

5. Alienation is a public health problem and should be approached from the position of protecting the health of the child and the rights of the child.

6. Alienation may, but may not, result from a highly conflictual parental divorce. In most cases, real alienation occurs with the least possible influence of the estranged parent.

7. Exposure of a child to chronic and prolonged parental conflict with or without established parental alienating behaviors constitutes emotional neglect and sometimes emotional abuse of the child.

8. Alienating behaviors (any behaviors that impair the child’s relationship with the other parent, active or passive) and the inability to separate the parental and partner roles represent inappropriate emotional pressure on the child.

9. Inappropriate emotional pressure on the child presents a risk of emotional abuse of the child; if it is continuous and / or intense and not corrected under the influence of a specialist, it constitutes emotional abuse of the child.

10. Every citizen of the Republic of Croatia is legally obliged to report suspicion of emotional abuse of a child to the competent SWC, if necessary to the police, in a hurry and without delay, which can be done anonymously.

11. Any expert working with children is legally obliged to report suspected emotional abuse of a child to the competent SWC, as necessary, to the police, in a hurry and without delay.

12. Alienation is the emotional abuse of a child, whether it is mild, moderate or severe.

13. The main sign of alienation in the child is psychological splitting, or lack of ambivalence towards the parents.

14. All professionals working with children in all sectors are required to communicate and exchange information in the interests of child protection.

15. The right of the child to express his will, desire and opinion (Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child) should be interpreted with understanding with the General Commentary on Art. 12.

16. The direct question to a child with who wants to live is one of the most emotionally abusive behaviors, no matter who asks.

17. What the child says does not necessarily represent the child’s authentic will and desire, which can be assessed by a specially trained mental health professional when needed.

18. All legal proceedings should be carried out as quickly as possible, and the child should speak with as few different experts as possible on different occasions about the circumstances of the case.

19. During the course of court proceedings, it is imperative that there is a temporary solution or a temporary measure by the welfare system and the judiciary.

20. Intensive cooperation and communication between mental health professionals, the welfare system and the judiciary during the course of the court proceedings is necessary.

21. In cases of alienation, the judge should take away to parents the power to manipulate the child and the system, and all parties involved, including other professionals, should behave consistently and in a timely manner in accordance with the provisions of the court, otherwise they will be sanctioned.

22. In the case of alienation, especially of more severe forms, it is necessary to temporarily interrupt each contact of the child and the alienating parent and to place the child with another parent, institution or foster family (depending on the assessment of the welfare system).

23. Therapy with the child is contraindicated while in contact with the alienating parent.

24. Generic therapies are contraindicated in the case of alienation as it involves child abuse.

25. All family members in cases of alienation should be involved in therapeutic work in accordance with the guidelines of the health and social care system.

26. Depending on advances in the alienating parent and child, the health and social care system suggests restoring contact between the alienating parent and the child.

27. All professionals working with children and families are required to be educated permanently and systematically in the area of parental alienation and divorce.

28. Abuse is abuse. It is the personal and professional duty of all of us as professionals and people to protect our children. The rights of the child are above the rights of the parents.

You can support these conclusions with your signature at the link: