“Most children and families in need of trauma therapy do not have the financial means to pay it. At the same time, access to free care for young children elsewhere is severely limited and the competence to treat the youngest traumatised children is under-dimensioned. The situation is serious in view of the fact that the number of young children in need of specialised trauma treatment increases. Ericastiftelsen wishes to continue to receive and treat as many children as possible. This work not only helps to reduce suffering and negative consequences for the children and loved ones who receive help. The experiences we make in the treatment work will be useful in the training we hold, which in turn helps to give more children good help. Through the research project we are involved in, we contribute to developing the knowledge and method so that traumatised toddlers receive effective and good help of the highest quality. All in all, our efforts can make a big difference for many children who risk developing mental as well as physical ill-health as a result of severe stress and trauma.”
Anna Norlén, Head master at Ericastiftelsen, teacher and child trauma therapist
Ericastiftelsen is a non-profit, politically and religiously independent foundation that, on behalf of the Swedish government, carries out university education, support efforts and research focusing on psychological treatment of children and young people. The foundation was founded in 1934.
The Foundation's employees are psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, special educators and represent a unique expertise in the treatment of children and young people. The quality of the work at the Ericastiftelsen is reviewed by the University Chancellor's Office (UKÄ), Region Stockholm and other systematic evaluations. The reviews of courses and treatments at Ericastiftelsen are high and show strong anchoring in science and proven experience.
Since the start, the objective has been to offer free, high-quality care to children and their relatives. Through agreements with Region Stockholm it has been possible ever since the start. Due to contract law, unfortunately, specialised care can no longer be offered free of charge (since January 2019). It is deeply worrying as many children in need of treatment do not have families who can pay the fee that must now be taken.
The method Child-Parent Psychotherapy
Since 2015, Ericastiftelsen has systematically worked to develop the availability of specialised therapy for traumatised children aged 0 - 6 years. It is well known and described in most reports that access to trauma-focused treatment for small children needs to be developed in Sweden. In collaboration with Professor Kjerstin Almqvist at Karlstad University, the method Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) has begun to develop at the Ericastiftelsen. CPP has been scientifically tested with good results in the US. Ericastiftelsen is currently the only institution outside the US that is licensed to independently train in the method.
During the years when the Ericastiftelsen worked with CPP, children who have suffered from child abuse, sexual abuse, experienced domestic violence, loss of parent, war and terror, or who have been subjected to failing care due to mental illness and / or abuse in the parent, received help through CPP treatment.
In the treatment, the child and the non-abusive parent get help together to improve the overall living environment for the child and create the conditions for sustainable positive results. The results of the treatments are evaluated in a research project in collaboration with Karlstad University. In parallel with the treatment work, CPP therapists are trained at Ericastiftelsen so that more children in Sweden can access good trauma treatment. So far, some 30 therapists have been trained. Unfortunately, at present there is no financial means for the Ericastiftelsen to be able to offer children and their caregivers free treatment.