Making the Save the Children Barnahus Center fully operational, in partnership with the General Child Welfare and Protection Directorate of district 6.

As part of A6 – Creation of the pilot Barnahus center and making it fully operational, as part of the Inter-agency cooperation and advocacy for the protection of children, victims of sexual abuse and violence project, in July 2022, the Barnahus Center created by the Save the Children Organization has become fully operational, thus providing, in partnership with the General Child Welfare and Protection Directorate of district 6, psychological and medical examination, hearing services and protection of children victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. The purpose of these services is to allow magistrates to conduct hearings of children, in a manner that takes into consideration their fundamental rights and, essentially, avoids retraumatizing them.

Barnahus Centers are the best solution to prevent any risks of contact between the child and the person suspected of committing abuse against him/her.

The Barnahus model provides a child-friendly environment and brings together all relevant services, under the same roof.

  1. Judicial interviews are carried out based on a protocol concluded with the institutions involved across all judicial proceedings (Police, Prosecutor, Courts, institutions in charge with training experts and social services);
  2. The evidentiary validity of the child’s statement is ensured by applying rules on how to conduct hearings and how to record information, in accordance with the law. The key purpose is to prevent situations when a child is forced to repeat his/her statement throughout judicial proceedings, if there is sufficient evidence for a formal accusation.
  3. The Barnahus Center may provide certain medical examinations necessary for the criminal investigation and to ensure the wellbeing of the child and his/her recovery;
  4. Psychological counselling and short and long-term therapy are also available to address the trauma experienced by the child and non-abusive family members and caretakers;
  5. The needs for protection of both the victim and potential siblings are assessed and followed up.


Barnahus (“house for children”) is a response model set out for the first time in Iceland, in 1998, currently accounting for the main response to address the needs of children who are going through judicial proceedings in 25 European states (
The staff of the Barnahus Center in Bucharest has been trained to handled cases of children victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence by Emma Harewood – coordinator of the Barnahus Center in London. The training was focused on: techniques to conduct a friendly interview and avoid retraumatizing the sexually abused child, improving aspects related to the organization of multidisciplinary and inter-agency collaboration within the Barnahus model, for the benefit and in the best interest of the child, raising awareness on the importance of a multidisciplinary response in such cases, based on good practices and protocols (N.I.C.H.D.- National Institute for Child Health and Development and US Protocol).

The Barnahus Center is the only comprehensive service in Romania where the child benefits from protection and support, throughout all judicial phases during which he/she is considered a victim, in an individualized multidisciplinary manner, while observing his/her privacy.

For the period when the child is registered as program beneficiary, his/her case will be monitored by a social worker.


When the child is brought to the Center, he/she is invited in the “Waiting room” from where he/she is taken over by the center’s staff depending on the reason of coming here, along with his/her legal representative or accompanying social worker.

Professionals from various disciplines work together to provide a thorough and balanced response, that addresses the individual needs of every child.

When it comes to child protection, Barnahus contributes to assessing the needs for protection and supports the follow-up of the child victim.

THE ROOM OF CHILD ASSESSMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELLING is set out so as to enable all the experts involved to determine the emotional state and the support required by the child and his/her family, as well as to assess the need for short- or long-term therapy. This is when they address the trauma of the child and of his/her family members, as well as of other persons in the family or outside of the family responsible with the child’s care.

THE HEARING ROOM is the space where experts conduct the hearing concerning the abuse experienced and the circumstances thereof. The conversation carried out here is led by a specialized interviewer, as per a specific protocol, focusing on identifying evidence while also protecting the child against potentially reliving of the trauma. The child is prepared and protected during the discussion, as the professional first tries to build a relationship on trust and prepares the child to recollect the abusive experiences.

This room is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-video recording devices.

The judicial interview is recorded and presented as admissible evidence in court.

Experts who attend the hearing may watch the interview live, on the screen in the OBSERVATION ROOM, a secured and soundproof room, to make sure that conversations are carried out privately, which is also equipped with high quality equipment.

If needed, the child may also be assessed medically at the Barnahus center, by highly competent specialized staff who will conduct a friendly medical examination in the MEDICAL ROOM specifically designed as such. The medical examination may be conducted either to assist in the criminal investigation, or to ensure the physical wellbeing of the child and his/her recovery.