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New EPIC policy memo on using EU funding sources to tackle child poverty
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The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) has published a policy memo on the use of EU funding mechanisms to tackle child poverty and social exclusion in the EU. This memo is the first in a series of short policy memos aimed at policymakers, researchers and practitioners and focusing on topics relevant to child welfare.

This EPIC policy memo provides an overview of the various funding mechanisms available at EU level and how they can be used by Member States and NGOs to fund initiatives to help all children reach their potential. In addition, the memo also provides examples of the use of funding streams in different Member States and links to the managing authorities.

In the Spotlight
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A core part of EPIC is the repository of Evidence-Based Practices for child wellbeing and development. The repository presents practices that have been categorised as ‘Best’, ‘Promising’ or ‘Emergent’ practices based on the quality of their evidence. Their evidence level is determined using an evaluation framework which looks at three main criteria: 1) evidence of effectiveness; 2) transferability; and, 3) enduring impact of the practice. Users can search for practices by country, recommendation pillar, age group, target group, and type of implementing organisation.

New Evidence-based practices uploaded to the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) website

FearNot!: a computer based anti-bulling programme designed to foster peer intervention
Emergent practice
United Kingdom, Germany
2007 - Unknown

The practice FearNot! (Fun with Empathic Agents to Reach Novel Outcomes in Teaching) has been developed over the past 7 years, initially within the VICTEC (Virtual ICT with Empathic Characters) project and then in the EU funded eCIRCUS (Education through Characters with emotional-Intelligence and Roleplaying Capabilities that Understand Social Interaction) project. The practice was implemented by schools, with support from implementers assigned by local authorities. The FearNot! computer application uses virtual role play and autonomous agents to enable children aged 8 to 11 years to be part of a virtual school environment. The main aim of the program is to help victims escape victimization, reduce overall bullying by reducing the number of bullies and at the same time increase the number of new defenders. In this application, the child user views one physical bullying scenario and one relational scenario.

School-based intervention for obesity prevention: the children study
Emergent practice
Greece
2004 – 2006

This obesity prevention practice builds on prior findings that school-based prevention against obesity using awareness raising can lead to significant reduction in obesity through better self-discipline in the long-run. Furthermore, the study that evaluates the effectiveness of the practice and which we discuss later, acknowledges that understanding the social and environmental factors that influence children’s behaviour is important. The study authors used the Theory of Planned Behaviour to identify such factors which may restrict or support desired dietary habits and physical activity level. The practice consists of motivational methods and strategies aiming to increase knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, self-monitoring, changing attitudes, and changing social influence.

Theraplay
Promising practice
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
1980 - Still operating

Theraplay is an interactive, directive, short-term, developmental play therapy that emphasises parental involvement through structured, attachment-based play, guided challenge, social engagement, playful regulation of affect, and high levels of nurture. Theraplay relies on four interactive principles: structure by the therapist, social engagement and regulation, nurture and safety, and regulated challenges.

Online parenting support: Positive parents (Educar en positivo)
Emergent practice
Spain
Still operating

The ‘Positive parents’ platform is an online parenting programme that provides parents with training materials to help them improve their parenting skills and their relationship with their children. The programme helps them gain knowledge about child development, alternative parenting methods and learn how to have greater autonomy, awareness and creativity in their role as parents. The programme also aims to increase their motivation for and satisfaction with parenting. Finally, ‘Positive Parents’ also offers a space where users can share experiences with other parents and receive emotional support.

Upcoming Events
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24 - 26/09/2018
9th Child in the City World Conference
The conference, a joint project of the Child in the City Foundation and the City of Vienna, will bring together stakeholders including researchers, professionals and city planners to discuss multidisciplinary perspectives on creating child-friendly cities.

29 - 31/10/2018
Eurochild Conference 2018 - Building a better Europe with children: All aboard!
The conference, organised by Eurochild and hosted by Croatian NGO Society "Our Children" Opatija, will bring together approximately 300 participants including policymakers, public sector workers, children’s rights professionals and children. The conference will result in recommendations for policymakers on strengthening child participation in public decision-making.

NEWS ITEMS
Happy child (c) Adobe stock
First results of Poland’s Family 500+ programme released
In April 2016, the Polish government launched the programme “Family 500+” (Rodzina 500+) to boost birth-rates and reduce child poverty by improving living conditions of large families. The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) presents some early indicators of the programme’s progress and impact.

New reports on the role of social services and education in fostering the integration of migrant children
Recent reports show that more inclusive solutions are required to foster the integration of migrant children in Europe.

The reports highlight the importance of diverse classrooms and teachers’ development as well as civic education in modern societies. EPIC platform also offers insights into the education of migrant children.

New policy initiatives in EU Member States aim to protect children from unhealthy foods
Two new policy initiatives in Ireland and five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have been announced to monitor and promote good practice with regard to the marketing of high fats and/or salt (HFSS) foods to children. The initiatives aim to protect children from obesity and promote healthy eating habits.

New studies explore how digital technologies affect children
With under 18 year olds making up nearly a third of all internet users around the world, childhood is increasingly affected by digital technology. Two new reports have been published which explore the opportunities created by technological developments and connectivity alongside the challenges that come from children’s use of the internet and presence online.

Updated country profiles released on EPIC
The latest country profiles available on the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) provide an up–to-date overview of current policies for children and their families in all EU countries.

YOUR FEEDBACK
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The EPIC team is interested in your feedback on how EPIC information on user experiences with EPIC (in particular the Practices that Work section). Aspects that are of interest are for example: How do people use the information posted on EPIC? Do national experts and practitioners work with the information posted on EPIC? Do practitioners and decision-makers use the collected Evidence-Based Practices? Please email us at EMPL-EPIC@ec.europa.eu.
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The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) wants to provide information about all policies that can help children and their families face up to the unprecedented challenges that exist in the current economic climate in Europe. This is an occasional electronic newsletter intended for anyone with an interest in the information provided by EPIC.