A national centre for knowledge concerning violence against children

Barnafrid is a national centre charged with gathering and disseminating knowledge about violence and other abuse in relation to children. This is a government assignment that was awarded to Linköping University in 2015 and the centre is placed under the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital Campus (US), in Linköping.

Barnafrid aims not only at professionals who, as part of their work, meet children and young people who have been subjected to violence, but also at professionals in other fields such as various government agencies. The purposes of the centre are to contribute to improved prevention work and to develop effective measures to protect and support children who are subjected to violence and other forms of abuse. It aims to fulfil these purposes by gathering and disseminating knowledge. Barnafrid is intended to be a link between research and practice and is responsible for several national vocational networks through which professionals are invited to lectures and seminars with the opportunity of exchanging experiences. The centre is also charged with the annual tasks of identifying areas in which more knowledge is needed, tailoring compiled information for relevant professional groups, and identifying and reporting on areas for development to the government.

Barnafrid is led by the Head of Department, Laura Korhonen, and employs around 25 co-workers. Its operations are reported annually to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. In addition to its fundamental commission, Barnafrid receives other government assignments relating to children who are subject to violence and other abuse.

Examples of current and previous government assignments

A question about honour

The government assignment "A question about honour" is to implement training in relation to honour-related violence and repression for the country’s children’s homes. The purpose of the task is to strengthen children’s homes’ investigative expertise in cases in which honour-related crime is suspected. Within the assignment, Barnafrid has published a handbook about honor-related violence and repression and has arranged serveral conferences with the purpose to educate.

Trauma on the map

In April 2018, the government commissioned Barnafrid, the national knowledge centre on violence against children at Linköping University, to develop and implement a programme for competence development in psychiatric trauma care for staff in first-line care for children and young people with mental illness and in specialised psychiatry for children and young people. The assignment was called Trauma on the Map.

Digital knowledge support on children and trauma

In April 2020, the government gave Barnafrid an additional assignment to the Trauma on the map with the task of digitising and making available applicable parts of the competence development programme that has been developed. The digital support is primarily target staff in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Example of current projects


Man and a women standing by a wall
David Brohede

Barnafrid offers different types of education such as single lectures, network meetings as well as university courses. 

Barnafrid offers eduction about: 

  • Child abuse and sexual assault
  • Children and youth psychiatry
  • To educate about violence against children in university education
  • Trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy
  • Children and trauma

The courses are held in Swedish.