On Thursday 1 July, The Queen took part in the digital opening of Germany's fifth child advocacy centre, in Ortenau.
Childhood's child advocacy centres are for children who are thought to have been victims of violence or sexual abuse. The relevant authorities work together on-site at the centre so that the child does not need to be passed from place to place, repeating their account of the trauma over and over again.
The centres are adapted to meet the needs of the children, and all the people the children meet there – such as police investigators, prosecutors, social services, psychiatric services, forensic medicine personnel and healthcare workers – are specially trained.
During the digital opening of Ortenau Child Advocacy Centre, The Queen said:
"It is a great honour for me to visit the latest child advocacy centre digitally, and to get an insight into your work there. I am sorry that I cannot be there in person. However, it means a lot to me that Ortenau Child Advocacy Centre will take care of children who have been victims of violence and assault in accordance with the basic idea of child advocacy centres: Whatever the outcome of a procedure, the child must be in a better and stronger position at the end of the process than when it began."
Speakers then included Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Social Affairs and Integration.
Ortenau Child Advocacy Centre is the fifth such centre in Germany, after Leipzig, Heidelberg, Berlin and Dusseldorf.
At child advocacy centres, child victims of sexual assaults can receive support and protection under a single roof. A multiprofessional team – including doctors, judges, psychologists and social workers – works together in the best interests of the child. Child advocacy centres were established in Germany with support from the World Childhood Foundation External link, opens in new window..