PRESENTATION OF THE ITALIAN COORDINATION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SERVICES AGAINST CHILD ABUSE (CISMAI)
The Association is a non-political and non-profit-making organisation.
The purpose of the Association is to create a centre of a cultural and educational nature for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect with special emphasis on abuse within the family.
The Association intends in particular to:
- promote the co-ordination of public and private institutes and services that work in the field of the prevention and treatment of child abuse;
- draw up operational guide-lines and protocols for the different services involved;
- promote meetings, seminaries, debates, research, publications, and training courses and to supply counselling.
Two basic founding principles guide the Cismai philosophy:
- protection and care of abused children is to be strictly linked with the work on family relationships
- Intervention is to be characterised by interdisciplinary approaches and the coherent integration of interventions notably those related to social and health services and judicial matters.
Members of CISMAI are corporations and private individuals interested in the realization of the goals of the present statute can become members.
Members can be:
- Private individuals who practice professional or voluntary activity in public or private centers or services, that are constituted in accordance with the present Statute;
- Corporations that operate in the field of the prevention and treatment of child abuse; these corporations must be represented by a maximum of four delegated people.
All members have equal rights and duties.
CISMAI came into being in 1993 as a result of the collaboration between 5 centres involved in child protection (in Milan, Rome and Cagliari, Sardinia) . It was inaugurated at the Fourth European ISPCAN Conference, held that year in Padua.
Since 1993 CISMAI has grown considerably and today consists of about 70 centres and individuals spread throughout Italy. These centres belong to both the public sector (city councils, regional health services) and the non-profit sector.
CISMAI has been recognised ad a relevant partner for two governmental commissions, it has been member of the National Committee set up in order to develop national guide lines on child maltreatment and monitoring and support the implementation of the law against child sexual exploitation (Law 269/98); today is member of the National Observatory on Childhood and Adolescence set up under the Ministry of Welfare.
Apart from the first 1993 conference, the Cismai Network runs a biennial conference in 1999 in Bergamo “Mal – treated children “, (North Italy) and in 2001 in Cosenza (South Italy) “Which protection for abused childhood?”. The third conference has been held in December 2003 in Florence “Children who assist tuo domestic violence”. The fourth conference has been held in December 2006 in Pescara “From the child trauma to adulthood”. For the 2009, Cismai will organize the “Stati Generali about Child Mal-treatment in Italy”
The research activities are organized in CISMAI Study Groups, for example:
- The Sexual Abuse Study Group, which, after numerous years of research, produced a ‘Consensus Statement’ about the child sexual abuse, in which the main intervention suggestion and criteria and guidelines for intervention are indicated.
- The Monitoring Study Group, which carried out the first research in Italy where data were collated from social and health service cases (two researchs, on 1088 cases and 702 respectively).
- The Awareness Raising and Early Detection Study Group, which produced an informative leaflet for schools.
- The Child Residential care Study group, which released a report where the characterics are described which the residential care should have when hosting abused children removed from their family following an emergency police intervention or a Court Order.
- The model of organisation Study Group which released a report on the minimum requirement that agencies against child abuse have to follow and on general guide lines and good practice. The work of this commission has been presented at the Ispcan congress in Warsaw.
- The Witnessing violence Study Group which organized the last congress and released report on the state of art in the field of research and clinical intervention on this type of child abuse.
Each ‘product’ of the Study groups, after its final approval by the assembly of members, is disseminated in the main Italian professionals journals, is presented in training courses (some of which are directly run by the CISMAI), public conferences and discussed with other professionals, managers and policy makers.
Cismai has also a newsletter and a web site (www.cismai.org). The web site connect with the specific sites of the other associates.
CISMAI is member of CRIN and National Partner of ISPCAN.
For information, please contact the Secretary.
Via del Mezzetta, 1 interno - 50135 Firenze –
Tel. 0039.055.6121306 - Telefax 0039.055.6193818