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January 2023

Welcome to our second newsletter

PREPARE is an 18-month (January 2022 - June 2023) European Commission funded project which seeks to identify the unique stigmas, vulnerabilities, and resilience factors children may develop in family environments where they are exposed to violent extremism. PREPARE has a bold aim - to support these children by working with frontline practitioners in six European countries: the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden, Germany and Kosovo.

Every six months PREPARE will release a newsletter with project activities and project related content such as blogs, reports, events, and conferences.

We are now over halfway through the project, and since our first PREPARE newsletter in June 2022, the consortium has been very busy. The PREPARE partners have finalised conducting an extensive literature review on the policies and practices concerning children of violent extremism; engaged in interviews with practitioners working with children growing up in violent extremist families; and continued developing our training and tool to assist professionals supporting these children.

Read more about the project on our website and keep scrolling down to check out our latest news below.

Latest news & Highlights

Second PREPARE workshop and consortium meeting

16-17 November, Dublin

On 16-17 November 2022, the PREPARE partners met in Dublin to hold their second workshop and in-person consortium meeting since the start of the project at the beginning of 2022.  

During the consortium meeting on 16 November, partners discussed their progress on PREPARE so far, shared insights and planned future research activities. In the afternoon session, the consortium mapped out how the different tasks and outputs from PREPARE are complementary and can feed into each other over the final seven months of the project. 

On 17 November, PREPARE hosted its second workshop, as the consortium joined a range of experts and front-line practitioners working with children exposed to and affected by violent extremism, such as psychologists, social workers and law enforcement professionals, to discuss PREPARE. The workshop was dynamic and collaborative, with practitioners participating both in-person and online. The aim of the workshop was to involve front-line practitioners in the process of creating the training and tool PREPARE is developing to support these practitioners in their work with children of violent extremism. 

In the morning session, TNO presented a prototype of the Child Vulnerability and Intervention instrument. The Child Vulnerability and Intervention instrument is an interactive tool which seeks to guide and aid practitioners' work supporting children exposed to Islamist and far-right violent extremism. Practitioners engaged in discussions to provide feedback on the instrument, its utility and design. Following this, the group summarised the main feedback to incorporate into the Child Vulnerability Intervention instrument to ensure it is useful and relevant to front-line practitioners when engaging with these children. 

In the afternoon session, Trilateral Research hosted a co-creation workshop with experts and practitioners to actively involve them in the development of Train-the-Trainer modules. Workshop participants discussed in small groups the content, format and delivery of the training. From the insights gathered, the consortium was able to understand the current needs of practitioners and incorporate these into the solutions they are developing to address the gaps identified.


Reading corner: PREPARE blogs 


Rule-of-law and human rights-based approaches towards children of violent extremist parents

By adopting a rule-of-law and human rights-based approach, the PREPARE team aims to develop tools to enhance practitioners’ ability to identify and address the vulnerabilities and needs of children exposed to violent extremism.  

Trainings for first-line practitioners working in the field of violent extremism: An overview of good practices

First-line practitioners play a key role in identifying and supporting children affected by violent extremism by providing them with support or referring them to appropriate services. This blogpost summarises good practices identified from current trainings for practitioners working with children growing up in violent extremist home environments. 


Growing up in the blind spot of society – Children of far-right violent extremist families

Current literature on children of far-right violent extremist families is limited. PREPARE is unique as it focuses on both the protective and risk factors of children from far-right violent extremist families, as well as Islamist families. Learn more about why far right extremism has not received as much attention and why PREPARE considers it important to focus on both children affected by far-right and Islamist extremism. 


Multi-disciplinary approaches to support children growing up in violent extremist environments

Children exposed to violent extremism narratives and violence may experience a range of social, emotional and developmental impacts, such as emotional distress, trauma, anxiety and grief. To best support these children, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to increase children's resilience and healing. 


Growing up in a violent extremist environment: an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) as ‘any other’?

Understanding the effect of growing up in an extremist family on a child is difficult. However, can growing up in a violent radicalised family be seen as any other Adverse Childhood Experience, and what does this mean for child development and the child's and parents' needs? 


Events & conferences

International Center of Counter-Terrorism Roundtable 

On 13 September 2022, members of the PREPARE consortium took part in a roundtable hosted by PREPARE partner, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), in Brussels. Joana Cook (Leiden University/ICCT) and Julie Coleman (ICCT) engaged with representatives from the European Commission, European External Action Service and Foreign Affairs to discuss counter-terrorism, repatriation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters and children. 

DG HOME Joint Union Actions Event 

On 26 September 2022, PREPARE attended the Joint Union Actions Event organised by the Directorate-General for Migration and Home AffairsPREPARE joined numerous other ISF-DG HOME projects awarded in 2019 and 2020 to present findings from their ongoing projects. Grant holders and external partners exchanged knowledge and experiences on violent extremism, migration and human trafficking. 

Community of European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) Workshop on Radicalisation 


On 29 November 2022, Joana Cook (Leiden University/ICCT) attended the CERIS workshop on radicalisation in Brussels organised by Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, together with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and European Research Executive Agency. PREPARE joined other EU-funded projects to shared experiences and research findings to highlight their achievements and discuss synergies and areas of collaboration. 


News from friends of PREPARE

The DRIVE project explores the role of social exclusion in understanding extremism and polarisation in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK.

In their latest blogpost, DRIVE explores the media coverage of demonstrations staged by extreme movements in Norway. 

Read DRIVE's blogpost here


PAVE examines factors contributing to the resilience and vulnerability of communities to violent extremism. Currently, the PAVE team are conducting quantitative surveys in Iraq and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From their results so far, PAVE has published a series of policy briefs that they have presented in the project countries. 

In addition, the interdisciplinary research team is developing innovative training tools and guidelines to support agents of community resilience. 

Take a look at some of PAVE's findings here


EuroWARCHILD is an interdisciplinary research project studying the experiences and needs of three generations of children born of war in Europe: children fathered by enemy soldiers during World War II, conceived in sexual violence during the Bosnian war, and born to European foreign fighters to ISIS/Daesh. The project aims to increase attention to these children in Europe and beyond.

Find out more about EuroWARCHILD here


What's next for PREPARE? 

The third PREPARE Workshop - 10 March 2023, The Hague 

The third, and final, PREPARE workshop will take place on 10 March 2023 in The Hague. During the workshop, PREPARE partners will engage in discussions with a range of stakeholders to ensure a co-design approach in the development of the Train-the-Trainer modules and the Child Vulnerability and Intervention tool. 

PREPARE final conference - Date TBC, Brussels

In the final months of the project, PREPARE will be hosting a final conference to present the key findings from the project. Throughout the PREPARE project, we have focused on promoting the preparedness and collaboration of frontline practitioners working directly with children and families of violent extremism by developing training and tools. The final conference will be an opportunity for PREPARE to showcase its rich findings and solutions to enhance the resilience and wellbeing of children growing up in violent extremism home environments. 

And lastly, we would like to wish you...


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This project was funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund — Police (ISFP) programme under grant agreement No 101035861.

The content of this newsletter represent(s) the views of the author(s) only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


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