Project Reduce Harm for children (REHAC)

The number of children growing up in a stressful upbringing situation in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) has increased in recent decades. These children are 3 to 13 times more likely to develop psychological problems. The urgency to break this intergenerational transmission is becoming increasingly evident in national and municipal policies.  In the EMR there are already several interventions for these children. The central question in this project is ‘what can we learn from each other within the EMR?’.

Project Frame

  • Target group: Children in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR)
  • Duration: 17. September 2018 – 30 June 2019

Focus of the project

There are already several interventions in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) for children growing up in stressful situations. Within the project, the partners will inform each other extensively about the interventions used and together create a bilingual toolkit with successful euregional interventions for professionals in the EMR. One of these interventions will also be translated and deployed across the border after the project.

Existing interventions

Partners within the EMR know that there are successful initiatives in the other regions, but do not know these sufficiently to be able to deploy them in their own region.

In Dutch South Limburg there is a regular offer of KOPP/KVO (Children of parents with Psychiatric Problems / Children of Addicted Parents). This mainly concerns do- and talk groups aimed at children only. This KOPP/KVO offer is also carried out nationally.

In Germany there are Wir2 (a training for parenting only) and other initiatives.

In Belgium – more specifically in Limburg, within the framework of the network of children and Youth Ligant – there is the Crosslink network, which coordinates offerings for KOPP (children of parents with a psychiatric problem) and KOAP (children of parents with a dependency problem).  There is also a link within Ligant with early detection and early intervention.

How many children are involved?

On an annual basis, the Netherlands has 405,000 people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and/or addiction and who also have children under the age of 18. In total, 577,000 children and adolescents under the age of 18, including 423,000 under the age of 12, grow up with a parent with a mental illness and/or addiction (De Graaf, Ten Have, & Dorsselaer, 2010). Similar figures can be found in Germany and Belgium. Children who grow up in this stressful situation are 3 to 13 times more likely to experience psychological problems or addiction than children who grow up with a mentally healthy parent.

The number of marriages ending in divorce in the euregio has also risen explosively in recent decades. In Germany, more than a third of all marriages end in divorce. The consequence of a divorce is often that children grow up in single-parent families and/or experience a stressful upbringing situation. This also results in a considerably higher chance of developing psychological problems.



Training + Mini Conference Project REHAC

June 6, 2019


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