Do we have a problem? The 11th Child Protection Forum takes stock
"Houston, we have a problem." This formative sentence from the Apollo 13 mission was the inspiration for the title of this year’s Child Protection Forum in Essen. More than 400 participants and about 75 experts examined the question for three days: Do we have a problem in child protection?
Discussions, lectures, workshops and intermission conversations illustrated what child protection will need in future.
Child protection needs expertise – not further laws that restrict professional actions or undermine central ideas of youth welfare services to protect by help.
Child protection needs cooperation – but in the right shape and under the right conditions, e.g. between health care services and youth welfare services.
Child protection needs more reflexion – about our professional self awareness which is crucial for the outcome of a helping process.
By the way: The NASA later called the Apollo 13 a “successful failure”. Despite the biggest possible catastrophe they managed to bring the astronauts back to earth unhurt because intelligent people with improvisational skills were on duty in the right place. A similar achievement has to be made by employees in child protection in their everyday work. Much has to be done and much has been done already. Maybe we can soon – as in another Apollo mission – report on small steps and giant leaps.