Toolbox/ Glossary

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TermDescription
AssessmentAssessment may be defined “as a systematic process of gathering a range of information relating to a child, to help identify their strengths and needs, in order to decide on appropriate further action (or to confirm that no additional help is required). Assessment can provide a baseline of information against which a child or young person's future development can be measured. The information may be gathered from a wide range of sources” (Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2006, p. 2). In a broader sense – as adopted in MAPChiPP – the term assessment may be used to refer to the whole child protection proceeding that may be conceptualised by the following phases:

• Stage 1: initial recognition and referring
• Stage 2: gathering information
• Stage 3: organising the information available
• Stage 4: analysing patterns of harm and protection
• Stage 5: predicting the outlook for the child (in case of no action)
• Stage 6: developing a plan of intervention
• Stage 7: identifying and measuring outcomes as to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions

Department for Children, Schools and Families (Ed.) (2006). An introduction to assessment, to support the CAF training. A handbook for practitioners. London: Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Best interests of the child“In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration” (art. 3, 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [UNCRC]). The best interests of the child as laid down in art. 3, 1 UNCRC can be framed as a term that includes everything that thoroughly fulfils the rights and responsibilities of the UNCRC und promotes its Realisation (cf. Alston, 1994; Freeman, 2007). Therefore, the principle is to be interpreted in regard to the concrete rights and responsibilities listed in the UNCRC (cf. Meysen & González Méndez de Vigo, 2013).

Alston, P. (Ed.) (1994). The best interests of the child: Reconciling culture and human rights. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Freeman, M. (2007). A commentary on the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. Article 3: The best interests of the child. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Meysen, T. & González Méndez de Vigo, N. (2013). Kindeswohlvorrang nach Art. 3 Abs. 1 KRK und unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge. Forum Jugendhilfe, 4, 24-32.
Child developmentChild development refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. “It has long been recognised that children develop along several dimensions, often simultaneously, and that they need to reach a series of milestones along each dimension if optimal outcomes are to be achieved. It is acknowledged that there will be differential development across the dimensions for some children, for instance, those with impairments. Different aspects of development will have more or less weight at different stages of child’s life. For example, in the early years, there is an emphasis on achieving physical milestones" (Department of Health, 2000, p. 1 et seq.).

Department of Health (Ed.) (2000). Assessing children in need and their families: practice guidance. London: The Stationery Office.
Child endangermentChild endangerment may be defined as a situation of present danger, where can be foreseen with fairly high degree of certainty that the child will be severely harmed in her/his further development (e.g. German Federal Supreme Court, 1956).

German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) 14.07.1956 – IV ZB 32/56
Child maltreatmentChild maltreatment refers to “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power” (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi & Lozano, 2002, p. 59). Four types of child maltreatment may be differentiated: → emotional abuse, → neglect, → physical abuse and → sexual abuse.

Krug, E. G., Dahlberg, L. J., Mercy, J. A., Zwi, A. B. & Lozano, R. (Eds.) (2002). World report on violence and health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
Child protectionChild protection refers to the organised activity of different actors aiming at recognizing cases of child maltreatment and managing these in a way that averts dangers, respects rights to participate and facilitates the most positive development of the child and its family (Kindler, 2014, p. 5).

Kindler, H. (2014). Neue Perspektiven für den Kinder- und Jugendschutz: Ein Plädoyer für Veränderung. DJI Impulse, 2, 5-8.
Emotional abuseEmotional abuse of a child “involves both isolated incidents, as well as a pattern of failure over time on the part of a parent or caregiver to provide a developmentally appropriate and supportive environment. Acts in this category may have a high probability of damaging the child’s physical or mental health, or its physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Abuse of this type includes: the restriction of movement; patterns of belittling, blaming, threatening, frightening, discriminating against or ridiculing; and other non-physical forms of rejection or hostile treatment" (Butchart, Harvey, Mian & Fürniss, 2006, p. 10).

Butchart, E., Harvey, A. P., Mian, M. & Fürniss, T. (Eds.) (2006). Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
InterventionIntervention may be defined "drawing on its etymology: venire – to go, inter – in-between or inside. Professionals are stepping into the lives of others, which raises a set of ethical issues and dilemmas which also are linked to power: of the state, of belonging and knowing. Intervention as used here includes assessment, investigation, and legal measures alongside support, advocacy and counselling" (Kelly & Meysen, 2016, p. 2).

Kelly, L. & Meysen, T. (2016). Transnational Foundations for Ethical Practice in Interventions Against Violence Against Women and Child Abuse. London: CEINAV.
ModuleA module is a separable component of a training program, frequently one that is interchangeable with others, for assembly into seminars of differing length, complexity, or function.
Multi-disciplinarityMulti-disciplinarity involves the combining of two or more professional disciplines into one activity (e.g., in child protection proceedings). The use of the term “multi-disciplinary” recognises the necessity of involving different professional actors, institutions and expertise, both in risk assessment and in the offer of assistance.
NeglectNeglect “includes both isolated incidents, as well as a pattern of failure over time on the part of a parent or other family member to provide for the development and well-being of the child – where the parent is in a position to do so – in one or more of the following areas: health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter and safe living conditions. The parents of neglected children are not necessarily poor. They may equally be financially well-off" (Butchart, Harvey, Mian & Fürniss, 2006, p. 10).

Butchart, E., Harvey, A. P., Mian, M. & Fürniss, T. (Eds.) (2006). Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
ParticipationParticipation is about individuals and groups of individuals having the rights, the means, the space, the opportunity and, where necessary, the support to freely express their views, to be heard and to contribute to decision making in matters affecting them, their views being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity" (Council of Europe, 2013, p. 20).

Council of Europe (Ed.) (2013). Child Participation Assessment Tool. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe.
Physical abusePhysical abuse of a child is any use of physical force or violence, by a parent or person entrusted with the care or education of the child, which can be expected with high probability to cause significant physical or mental harm to the child and the → child’s development, or that carries a serious risk of such harm" (European Commission, 2010, p. 50).

European Commission (2010). Feasibility study to assess the possibilities, opportunities and needs to standardize national legislation on violence against women, violence against children and sexual orientation violence. Luxembourg, Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.
Psychological abuseSee → emotional abuse
Sexual abuseSexual abuse of a child can be defined “as the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared, or else that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Children can be sexually abused by both adults and other children who are – by virtue of their age or stage of development – in a position of responsibility, trust or power over the victim” (Butchart, Harvey, Mian & Fürniss, 2006, p. 10).

Butchart, E., Harvey, A. P., Mian, M. & Fürniss, T. (Eds.) (2006). Preventing child maltreatment: a guide to taking action and generating evidence. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
TrainingTraining is a form of education that aims at developing a person’s skills, knowledge and attitude in relation to particular competencies. Training has specific goals of improving one's capability, capacity, productivity and performance regarding the competencies targeted.