With 13,000 registered members and 30,000 resources available to the public, the Child Protection Hub – childhub.org celebrates six years online this month. To mark the occasion, we’ve given the site a fresh look and new features that highlight functionality. Also, to thank our members and visitors who have helped us become one of the largest online communities of child protection professionals, we’re having a giveaway contest soon! Want to join ChildHub 2.0?
For the past six years, the Child Protection Hub (ChildHub) has provided professional knowledge in ten languages – English, French, Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbo-Croat-Bosnian, Ukrainian and Russian. It has and continues to collect the latest developments in child protection – from research reports and policy papers, to guidelines and toolkits, and it serves as an educational platform with free webinars and online courses. Furthermore, in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, ChildHub developed an extensive portfolio dedicated solely to the protection of children in pandemic times, which has attracted tens of thousands of visitors from across the world.
“There is a vast amount of quality information and learning resources on different thematic areas of child protection. Together, these offer an engaging journey of continuous professional development,” says Shkendie Maxhuni, the ChildHub coordinator in Kosovo. “You can browse the news or the rich resource library, scan multimedia materials such as videos, podcasts and infographics, even participate in live discussions or take multiple courses.”
ChildHub is a “meeting place” where professionals from all over Europe connect and discuss their work, share challenges and good practices, and find support for difficult cases. They can also find job opportunities throughout South East Europe.
The new design and features of the platform aim to improve the user experience and create more opportunities for member engagement, but has the vision of ChildHub changed with its new look? Judit Nemeth-Almasi, Deputy Head of Terre des hommes Regional Office for Europe, doesn’t think so: “We still want to provide a safe virtual space for child protection professionals, a space where they can develop themselves, learn from each other, and provide and receive support. However, our ‘geography’ is expanding: We will soon be joined by a ChildHub in Palestine, a ChildHub in Myanmar, and more to come.”
Tamas Komaromi, Knowledge Manager of ChildHub, explains the changes in functionality: “There is a simplified menu structure to ease navigation and an optimized search option that will help users find their desired content among the 30,000 items. Each item (e.g. news, publication) is presented in a clearer way, and includes an option to provide a translation for any missing languages. We really think this will please those who have asked to volunteer to translate. But these are just some of the new features. You will discover the rest along the way.”
And what are the challenges for the years to come? “We are still striving to build a more cohesive online community of professionals. This is an ongoing effort. Soon we will launch renewed gamification features, which will work in this direction”, says Judit Nemeth-Almasi.
While child protection systems in countries such as Kosovo present significant gaps, initiatives like the ChildHub community play an important role in adequately equipping professionals with useful tools and resources, all free of charge and in multiple languages. Taking advantage of this opportunity to navigate the harsh realities that affect the lives of children is something that should be cherished and promoted by governments. Let us hope that in 2021, with all the “wisdom” societies have gained during the Covid-19 experience, the right conditions for change in policies can be established to ensure more space for professional exchange and learning. This is our wish for this new ChildHub era.
Sadly, our growing team cannot meet in person to celebrate the platform’s 6th birthday, but we hope that by the end of the year, professionals from all over the ChildHub community can come together for a proper launch party!
To access ChildHub and register: www.childhub.org
The Child Protection Hub is led by Terre des hommes (Regional Office in Hungary in collaboration with country offices in Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania and Greece), in partnership with Save the Children North West Balkans, Know-how Centre for Alternative Care for children in Bulgaria, Brave Phone in Croatia, and Centre for Youth Integration in Serbia.
ChildHub is funded by the Austrian Development Agency, Oak Foundation, and Terre des hommes Foundation.