Child Under the Umbrella of Law
The main aim of the “Child under the Umbrella of Law” project is to bring into existence and train 2-person “friendly patrols” composed of a MOPR worker and a member of the Crime Prevention Unit of the Police. Patrols will work in the afternoon and in the evening (5 pm – 1 am, at the time of intensified home-visit interventions.
It is assumed that the main principle of the interventions, in which children are participants, is to guarantee them a feeling of safety. It is also assumed that the family is the best environment to look after and raise a child. This is why, in the case of deprivation of parental rights, it is the patrol’s job to analyse every possibility to guarantee to the child some care, treating the family environment as priority (grandparents, further family – if they are capable of assuring care).
The following activities scheme is planned:
A “Friendly patrol“ is notified in case of discovering during an intervention that a child’s safety was endangered (by being left without proper care or through acts of violence). The “Friendly patrol” consists of a MOPR worker and a police officer, both dressed in civilian clothes, and they arrive by taxi – the use of marked police cars is forbidden to avoid a re-victimisation of the victim. They also have toys and equipment needed for carrying out essential activities (such as a breathalyser).
The MOPR worker conducts activities ensuring the right care for the child and the police officer secures evidence and takes care of legal matters. Both cooperate with each other, keeping in mind the child’s well-being and their feeling of safety.
After ensuring the help needed and carrying out all the necessary legal actions, the patrol writes a report which on the next day is sent to the appropriate MOPR branch and police station, local to the place where the child lives. This ensures further actions and work with the family will be undertaken.
“Friendly Patrols” react when a child is in danger. But what are those situations?
- Child left alone without a guardian (left, lost)
- Child witnessed acts of violence, incl. domestic violence
- Child was a participant in a dangerous situation (e.g. drinking bouts, arguments between parents)
- Child was left without protection as a result of a transport accident
Actions taken by the patrol:
- Identifying the child’s situation
- Assuring a feeling of safety
- Taking care of finding the right care in the family, or if it’s not possible, in the Child Care Establishment
- Ensuring that the child will pass through this difficult and traumatic situation in a possibly friendly and safe atmosphere
- Informing MOPR branch office about the situation, so they can start social work with the child’s family
st.asp. Joanna Kęcińska
Zespół Profilaktyki Społecznej
Komendy Miejskiej Policji w Poznaniu
The project started in 2008 and is still running.
Last review: November 2015.