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The event was hosted by Nathalie Griesbeck MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Children's Rights and supported by the ALDE group. The event gathered ESN members working in children’s services, alongside national government, researchers and experts.

Looking back: 3 years, 14 countries, 140 participants

ESN 3-year project ‘Investing in Children’s services, improving outcomes’ came to an end with the publication of a study, which is the outcome of 3 years of work with child welfare agencies, children's services directors and providers across 14 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Together, we have worked on assessing how the principles of the European Commission's Recommendation ‘Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage’ (are implemented in practice, specifically those on quality services. We held three peer reviews over three years with more than 140 participants.

ESN’s first peer review, 15 May 2013, Dublin

Focussing on Ireland, France, Sweden and Bulgaria, the first meeting examined the Recommendation in the light of national legal and policy frameworks. Participants identified country-specific gaps and elaborated policy proposals addressed to public authorities to inform and support them to implement EU guidance.

Second peer review, 5 June 2014, Barcelona

With the participation of Julius Op de Beke (European Commission) and Willem Adema (OECD), ESN’s second peer review looked specifically at child poverty and the access to early childhood and education and care (ECEC) services, thus working on making the case for investing in children’s services, with a focus on Spain, Scotland in the UK, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands (see our article on national perspectives).

Third peer review, 7-8 May 2015, Budapest

National delegations from Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Romania discussed key issues in child protection around the development of foster care and the evidence-base for investing in effective children’s policies and services.

ESN study

ESN study (now available to download) consists of 14 country profiles, a cross-country analysis identifying strengths and gaps, as well as recommendations for public authorities as to how services should be developed in line with the Recommendation.