Programme and speakers

Preliminary Program




Preliminary program for download

We are happy to present you preliminary program of the conference. Our aim is to offer you high quality plenary presentations with experienced speakers and interesting topics. You can look forward to listen to representatives of CWLA (Child Welfare League of America) or people who helped the implementation of PRIDE in Europe since the early beginning such as Rob van Pagée from the Netherlands and people who have contributed to protection of children’s rights on European and world level such as Maria Herczog from Hungary and many others. Among the topics we expect to be discussed during the conference is e.g. implementation of PRIDE system in national contexts, kinship care and PRIDE, mutual assessment concept, gate keeping, involvement of biological families etc.

Significant part of the conference is also devoted to open space discussions as we want to share experiences with PRIDE implementation in different countries.



For this PRIDE Trainers conference the organizers have NOT created an inital workshop agenda. Participants at the conference will create their own agenda on the spot through the Open Space Technology (OST) approach. This allows all participants to contribute to the workshop agenda and get their (PRIDE) needs met.

In 30-45 minutes introduction session basic principles and rules of this self-organising process are explained. Then the group creates the working agenda as individuals post their issues in bulletin board style. Think ahead of a topic or issue that you want to talk about or share experiences with other participants.

Each individual „convener“ of a breakout session takes responsibility for naming the issue and then later showing up at that space and time, kicking off the conversation. Notes are taken by a participant and afterwards available to all.

Whoever comes is the right people … Whenever it starts is the right time … Wherever it is, is the right place …  Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened, be prepared to be surprised! …  When it’s over, it’s over…

Speakers and the presentations examples:

Keynote speeches:

Donna Petras, PhD, MSW, USA, Director of Models of Practice & Training Children Welfare League of America

Rob van Pageé,The Nederlands, founder Eigen Kracht Centrale and co-founder European Network of FGC, PRIDE master trainer

Maria Herczog, Hungary, Dr. Maria Herczog is visiting lecturer at  ELTE University Law Faculty post graduate courses, chair of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary. She has been doing research on child welfare, child protection and on child rights, family matters for more than 30 years. She is author of several books, book chapters and journal articles. She has been teaching child welfare and protection at different university courses since 1989. Maria is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and in the media. She has been working with UNICEF, Council of Europe as a temporary scientific expert since 1991, as a WHO national focal point on violence prevention since 2004.

Maria Herczog was eleceted as a member to the UN CRC Committee in 2007 and re-elected in 2010, and was the rapporteur of the Committee 2013-2015. She was a board member at IFSW (1994-2000) and IFCO (1996-98), member of the EU Economic and Social Committee between 2004-2010 as a representative of the Hungarian civil society, just like a member of the Advisory Board of the Hungarian Equal Opportunities Authority, She was elected  to the Management Board of  Eurochild in 2009 and was president of it between 200-2016.

Eileen Mayers Pasztor, USA, professor Pasztor is experienced as a public agency caseworker, supervisor, and administrator; as a curriculum developer and trainer working internationally; as a social work educator and field instructor; and as a foster and adoptive parent for children with special needs.  She teaches courses in administration, child welfare, social welfare policy, and thesis for both campus and distance education programs. Professor Pasztor previously worked for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) as its national program director for adoption, family foster care, kinship care, and international projects, and as a liaison between the organization and 200 child welfare agencies in the Western states.  She is a principal developer and designer of foster and adoptive parent training programs that are used across the United States and internationally.  Her publications focus on foster parent, kinship caregiver, and adoptive parent development and support, and related competency-based training for child welfare social workers.  Her volunteer work includes international and local service.  

Good practise examples will present:

Jaana Pynnönen, Finland, Development Manager, socialworker, senior PRIDE- trainer, PESÄPUU RY (a nationwide child welfare association in Finland)

The aim of Pesäpuu`s activities is to develop high-quality and well-planned work in child welfare. We emphasise child centered practises and foster childrens participation in child welfare. In child welfare services, the voice of a child is to be heard more clearly than before.

PRIDE-program has been used in Finland twenty years. The first Training for Trainers was made at spring 1995 and the first pre-service training groups was held. Pesäpuu offers developing, trainers training, service for trainers, PRIDE-inservice and PRIDE-program (14-steps). We have over 400 PRIDE-trainers in Finland and over 10 000 has participated in pre-training.

We have training for multicultural foster families, families with disabled children, short term foster care, kinship care, families with young people. We have several methods, handbook and tools. Development work is based on PRIDE-program.

Our values: The voice of a child, Permanent and safe relationships , Diversity is richness, Experiences are important, Belief in teamwork

Jozef Miklosko, Slovakia, medical doctor, chairman of the Smile as a Gift association

Nan Lisbeth Høgeli Norway, Leader of Centre of excellence – training foster care, Bufetat

Berit Hognestad Haaland, Norway, Regional Senior PRIDE advisor; Bufetat

Tomasz Polkowski, Poland, Chairperson of the Child and Family Foundation – Poland. Master trainer of PRIDE Program, the author of several Polish adaptations and editions of the program. Experienced trainer –  since 1999 has trained numerous groups of foster families, foster care specialists, PRIDE trainers, social workers, family assistants and other specialists in Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia and many other countries. Author of the „Individual Planning Method“ – the set of tools and methodologies used in the area of support to biological families, foster families and small group homes. The Polish coordinator of the „Opening Doors for Europe’s Children“ campaign managed by Eurochild and Hope and Homes for Children. In his work focus on deinstitutionalization, reunification of children placed in different forms of foster care, as well as on strengthening competencies of biological families based on internal resources of families and services provided by local communities. Author of numerous articles published in professional magazines. Used to be a foster parent.

Željka Burgund, Serbia, PRIDE master trainer