Evaluation on the Bairns Hoose (Barnahus) model on its support for victims of violence

Date: 25th April 2023
Category: Policies & procedures

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The North Strathclyde Bairns Hoose Evaluation Phase 1 Report of this three-year demonstration project has now been released, revealing a strong consensus on the need for change to improve treatment and the outcomes of child victims of violence and the potential of the Barnahus model to deliver this change.

Children 1st, Victim Support Scotland, Children England and the University of Edinburgh came together to create Scotland’s first Barnahus, (formerly referred to as the ‘Child’s House for Healing’)- now known as North Strathclyde Bairns Hoose.

Barnahus (which means ‘Children’s House’ in Icelandic) is a child-friendly, interdisciplinary and multi-agency centre for the victims and witnesses of violence, underpinned by the UN Conventions of the Rights of the Child. It is an internationally recognised evidence-based model for children and families affected by violence and abuse that brings together justice, health, social work and recovery support, to best meet the needs of child victims and witnesses. This project is the first time the model has been developed and tested within Scotland and is hoped to inform the wider roll out of the Barnahus model across Scotland and make a significant international contribution to the theory and practice of working with children affected by violence and abuse.

The first phase of the evaluation has focused on two key areas: understanding the context children and families’ current experiences of services in North Strathclyde after abuse and maltreatment  (the system as is) and understanding the processes through which the Bairns Hoose is developing.  According to the report there is a strong consensus for change to improve outcomes for children affected by abuse and maltreatment, and agreement about the potential of the Barnahus model to deliver that vision.