“Most children and families in need of trauma therapy do not have the financial means to pay for it. At the same time, access to free care for young children is severely limited. Ericastiftelsen aims to receive and treat as many children as possible. This work not only helps to reduce suffering and negative consequences for the children, but also for their loved ones to receive help. We are highly educated, trained and are always involved in new research. Through the research projects we are involved in, we contribute to developing the knowledge and method so that traumatized toddlers receive effective help of the highest quality. All in all, our efforts make a large 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 and supports 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 they 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 that show strong anchoring in science and proven experience.
Since the start of Ericastiftelsen, the objective has been to offer free, high-quality care to children and their relatives. Through agreements with Region Stockholm, this was always possible since the Foundation’s inception. Now unfortunately, due to changes in Swedish law in January 2019, specialized care can no longer be offered free of charge. This 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 Child-Parent Psychotherapy METHOD
Since 2015, Ericastiftelsen has systematically worked to develop the availability of specialized therapy for traumatized children aged 0 - 6 years. It is well-known, and described in most reports, that access to trauma-focused treatment for small children is critical to prevent life-long mental and physical ill-health. In collaboration with Professor Kjerstin Almqvist at Karlstad University, the Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Method has begun to be implemented at 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 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 by 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 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 research-proven trauma treatment. So far, there are approximately 30 therapists that have been trained. Unfortunately, at present time there is no financial means for the Ericastiftelsen to offer children and their caregivers free treatment.