04 December 2023

How can Sweden support the recovery and development of health care systems in Ukraine? This was the theme of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Swecare Foundation's joint conference on 1 December, which brought together Ukrainian representatives and Swedish organisations in the health and care sector, including Barnafrid.

Girl standing by a fence in front of railroad tracks. She carries a backpack that has a yellow balloon tied with blue and yellow ribbons.
Caption Halfpoint Images

Two new analysts at Barnafrid, Lena Grafl and Olga Granlöf, attended the conference in Stockholm. Since mid-November, they have just started to work on a feasibility study that will map the need for skills development and training in violence against children, trauma-informed care and support for traumatised children and young people in Ukraine - an assignment that the government awarded Barnafrid in June 2023.

Lena grafl and Olga Granlöf, BarnafridDuring the autumn Barnafrid has recruited two new analysts, Lena Grafl (left) and Olga Granlöf (right). They will initially focus on the needs for knowledge and skills development regarding violence against children and young people in Ukraine.Lena Grafl comes most recently from a role as project manager for the Care Support Centre at Östergötland City Mission, where her mission was to increase the employability of Ukrainian refugees and strengthen their establishment in Sweden. 

Olga Granlöf is a social worker with extensive experience of working with children, young people and their families. Since the war of aggression against Ukraine started, she has worked with Ukrainian refugees at Studiefrämjandet Uppsala Västmanland.

At Barnafrid, Lena and Olga will collaborate with various actors in Sweden and Ukraine. The assignment also includes describing skills development and training needs to protect children's rights in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and sub-goal 16.2 of Agenda 2030. The mapping will also ensure that the protection developed is sustainable in the long term. The emphasis will be on digital, scalable and cost-effective solutions. Finally, the assignment includes a pilot where a skills enhancement programme will be tested in Ukraine. 

Laura Korhonen, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.Laura Korhonen, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Head of Department for the National Knowledge Center Barnafrid. Photo credit Ulrik Svedin - LiU — Many children on the move or in war have a high risk of difficult life experiences, often with elements of various types of violence. Based on knowledge and experiences in both Sweden and Ukraine, we will together create an accessible and sustainable structure that is beneficial to the children and young people affected by the war, says Laura Korhonen, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and centre director of Barnafrid.  

Barnafrid has long experience of using digital solutions to reach out with knowledge about trauma and violence against children to large target groups. Today, several courses on violence against children in Swedish are gathered in a digital knowledge portal on Barnafrid's website. There are also publications and methodological support based on research and proven experience.

— Barnafrid will contribute with practical solutions for children who need support to deal with the consequences of violence. We see that the need for support exists both in Ukraine and in countries where Ukrainian children and families are located, including Sweden, says Laura Korhonen.

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