SAVN, an NGO based in Copenhagen whose name means “missing someone” or “longing for someone” in Danish, has joined the Eurochips network. SAVN’s mission is to support children, as well as others, left behind when a relative is incarcerated by giving them useful tools as well as direct help. They achieve this by offering weekend support excursions for prisoners’ children; providing crisis guidance to children and families experiencing the imprisonment of a relative and developing methods for coping; and organizing conferences to raise awareness on the issue of children with imprisoned parents. One major impact that SAVN has had on the Danish Prison Service is that, today, every prison officer recruited must receive at least one day of specialized training with SAVN to introduce the child’s perspective and to raise awareness on how prison staff can be more child-friendly in dealing with children visiting parents in prison.
The only association in Denmark working on behalf of children with imprisoned parents, SAVN was founded over five years ago by Line Dahl Krabsen and Brian Lund Andreasen. Since its founding, SAVN has worked closely with the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR) and the Danish National Council for Children. In November of 2009, these groups came together to organize a conference, which was attended by members of the Danish Prison Service, the Danish police, social workers, and politicians, among others.
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