Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Multi-Sectoral Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect in Europe

Multi-Sectoral Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect in Europe (Euro-CAN) is a COST Action network project with participants from several European countries.

In Europe, millions of children experience abuse or neglect at the hands of those who should care for them. Yet, how many of these children get help, which services they receive by which agency remains largely unknown. Moreover, countries are hardly aware which maltreatment turns fatal. This constitutes a major knowledge gap that is likely due to inconsistent ways of surveying and reporting on child maltreatment services across Europe. Without this information, we cannot know how the systems work, what additional preventive efforts are required, if the interventions fit the victims’ needs or if the most vulnerable groups are properly identified.

The proposed project addresses this gap by creating a network of experts in child maltreatment and relevant stakeholders and links them in working groups, in order to promote the development of a rigorous, consistent, and comparable methodology for the collection of surveillance data on child maltreatment and maltreatment-related fatalities. Researchers, policymakers, administrators and practitioners will identify best-practice methods of surveillance and recommend efficient ways of implementing them across Europe. Importantly, this network will invite youth and adult survivors of child maltreatment to collaborate in all working group decision-making processes. The four working groups within
this network will focus on: 1) definition and operationalization of child maltreatment; 2) promoting secondary analyses; 3) participatory approaches to child maltreatment surveillance; and 4) implementation and dissemination. Final products of these projects will include guidelines for implementation of best practices in child maltreatment surveillance across Europe.


Project period

  • 2020 – 2024


  • COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology (EU Horizon 2020)


  • 34 European countries


Participants from the Centre


This project has received funding from the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (COST Action CA19106).

Disclaimer: Publications from the project reflects only the authors’ views and the funding agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.