The Institute of Child Health (ICH) is a governmental agency supervised and funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity. Since 1977, the Department of Mental Health and Social Welfare (former, Department of Family Relations) carries out research and action research, and offers continuing education programs for professionals and specialized services to families and institutions. The Department's main aim is studying domestic violence against children, as well as the prevention of children's victimization.
Due to its specialization, the Department since 1988 functions as Centre for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Particularly, the urgent social-political demand to eliminate intra-family violence against children has led the specific Department to conduct quantitative and qualitative research, focusing on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programs.
Education and sensitization of professionals encountering child abuse and neglect in their everyday practice.
Sensitization of the public and modification of relevant social attitudes and behaviours.
Bringing together research data and social policy through cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Social Solidarity, Justice and Internal Affairs so that legislation/institutional measures are adopted.
Collaboration with European Institutions on carrying out international research projects on the violations of children’s rights.
Indicative international projects
The Department of Mental Health and Social Welfare of Institute of Child Health has coordinated or taken part as a partner to international projects funded by the EU. Indicatively:
1. 2012 - Coordinator: Project Proposal JUST/2011-2012/DAP/AG/3283 “Protecting infants and toddlers from domestic violence: Development of a diagnostic protocol for infant and toddler abuse and neglect and its implementation to public health system”. Starting Date: 1st December 2012. Coordinating Institution: Institute of Child Health.
2. 2013 - Coordinator: Project Proposal HOME/2012/ISEC7AG/4000004394 “Southeast Safe Net: Preventing child trafficking and protecting unaccompanied minors in Greek-Turkish Borders”. Starting date: End of 2013.
3. 2012 - Coordinator: “Coordinated Response to Child Abuse & Neglect (CAN) via Minimum Data Set (MDS)”, DAPHNE, JUST/2011-2012/DAP/AG/3250.
4. 2013 - Partner: “Reviewing social auditing practices to combat exploitative brokering in Southern Europe – RESAURSE”, funded by the European Union (ISEC). Starting Date: 1st June 2013. Coordinating Institution: University of Coimbra, Portugal.
5. 2009 - Coordination of DAPHNE III Programme: Raising a Child through Prison Bars [JLS/2008/DAP3/AG/1260] - http://www.mothers-in-prison.eu/
6. 2009 - Coordination of FP7-HEALTH-2007-B: Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect - http://www.becan.eu/
7. 2007 - Coordination of Health-Welfare Operational Programme 2000-2008, Lifetime Endevour, Ref. No: 112624 - Promotion of health and of the quality of future life
8. 2007 - Coordination of Daphne III Programme, Ref. No: JLS/DAP/2007-1/212-You Respond.
9. INTERREG III Program (Axis: Greece-Cyprus), Cross-country Activities of Research Trianing and Use of Technological Innovations.
Responsible for the project “Southeast Safe Net: Preventing child trafficking and protecting unaccompanied minors in Greek-Turkish Borders” are:
Project Leader: George Nikolaidis, Psychiatrist, Ph.D., Head of Department for Mental Health and Social Welfare
Scientific Coordinator: Kornilia Hatzinikolaou, Psychologist, Ph.D.