Extended until Feb. 15, 2022

It is with great pleasure and honour, that we invite you to the next ISPCAN Congress to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, 13-16 June 2022. Under the theme of “Child Protection for the Most Vulnerable Children and Families” this congress will be an opportunity for researchers, professionals, students, managers and political leaders from Europe and all over the world to come together to share their research, innovations and thoughts touching upon the difficult realities that children face and explore workable strategies that reflect evidence-based responses and best practice to address these difficulties.

We aim to consider the multifaceted vulnerabilities, such as domestic violence and sexual abuse, institutional care, incarceration or mental health problems of parent(s), alongside those that have arisen more recently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as social isolation and child mental health problems all within the context of supporting children and their closest environments to become resilient beneficiaries of systems of protection in their respective societies. This congress offers a unique opportunity to discuss the work carried out by a wide range of professionals on the measures to better prevent and protect children from maltreatment.

Let us take full advantage of this event to extend our collective reflection in the beautiful Northern European city of Tallinn! Join us and your multi-disciplinary colleagues to share and learn.  We are welcoming abstracts on the themes listed below that significantly impact the region as well as child & families globally.

With sincere regards,

Franziska Meinck
Franziska Meinck Scientific Co-Chair, Estonia2022
ISPCAN Board of Directors
Professor, University of Edinburgh
Katre Luhamaa
Katre Luhamaa Scientific Co-Chair, Estonia2022
Professor, University of Tartu
School of Law


Absent parents and out of home care

    1. Children in public (institutional) care
    2. Support to care leavers
    3. Children of incarcerated parents
    4. Children left behind as a result of parental migration

A key responsibility of the child protection system is to assume the role of guardian for children in various public care settings: alternative care, residential institutions, prisons, foster care, children on the move in refugee camps and centers, and detention centers. Abstracts are welcome on research and practice, presentations and discussions on leaving care and providing aftercare to children who have been in such institutions and care environments. The central focus of this theme is on how to support children in overcoming the vulnerability of having been in care.  Children of incarcerated parents face specific vulnerabilities which often go unnoticed. Abstracts are welcome on research and practice, presentations and discussions on the needs of such children.

Mental Health for Families and Children

    1. Parental mental health
    2. Parental ill health
    3. Parents with traumatic childhood experiences
    4. Substance abuse & child neglect
    5. Child mental health and suicides

There are many ways in which child and parental mental health and related problems play a role in and have a short- and long-term effect in children’s lives, including in times of crises. It’s a challenge also for child protection and all other spheres that are in contact with these children and their families. Abstracts are welcome on research and practice, presentations and discussions on how to identify and support children whose parents have mental health problems or have experienced traumatic experiences including abuse and neglect

Lessons (un)learned in times of crisis and isolation

    1. Domestic abuse
    2. Vulnerabilities
    3. Sexual abuse
    4. COVID
    5. Natural disasters
    6. Humanitarian settings
    7. Climate change

There are many new and unsolved challenges in child protection, and these can be exacerbated by state of emergencies. We welcome abstracts on issues relating to child protection for families in crises e.g. where there is domestic abuse, sexual abuse or other vulnerabilities. We also welcome abstracts on new and emerging challenges which contribute to stress, crisis and isolation i.e. climate change, natural disasters, COVID19 and child protection in humanitarian settings

Protection, policy and legislation in country and across borders

    1. Cross-border collaboration
    2. Legal systems
    3. Policies to protect children

There is often mistrust between child protection systems and professionals of different disciplines within one country and also across different country borders. Abstracts are welcome on research and practice, presentations and discussions on existing bottlenecks of cross-border cooperation, ways of increasing trust, guaranteeing access to services and building bridges between the child protection systems of different countries with a focus on children’s rights and their best interests. We further welcome abstracts on in-country legal systems and policies which protect children

The epidemiology of violence against children

    1. Domestic violence
    2. Sexual abuse
    3. Systems of reporting and referral
    4. Risk factors
    5. Prevalence studies
    6. Data collection

Data and research are the basis of public health prevention, policy, and interventions in child protection. We welcome abstracts on incidence and prevalence studies, evaluation, data collection tools and methodology, as well as risk factor variables which can help us understand the epidemiology of violence against children in order to advance the field.

Evidence-based interventions protecting children

  1. Parenting and family interventions
  2. School-based interventions
  3. Welfare systems and social determinants of health
  4. The role of health care in preventing and acting on child abuse

Public health interventions for parents, schools, welfare systems and health care professionals can be effective in protecting children through prevention. We welcome research and practice Studies, presentations and discussions on interventions and services which are evidence-informed or currently building an evidence-base and which help to protect children in any sector.  Health care providers often are the ones to first come in contact with abused and neglected children. Often this requires quick and bold decisions, at the same time balancing the rights of the child with the rights of the parent. Abstracts are welcome on studies/research, presentations and discussions on how to identify, document, report and support such children with an emphasis on best practices for balancing protection of the child with confidentiality and strengthen cross-disciplinary cooperation in child protection.