On Monday 21 December, Princess Madeleine took part in a digital ceremony to congratulate the winner of the 2020 Childhood Prize.
The World Childhood Foundation was founded in 1999 by The Queen. Childhood works to prevent violence and sexual assaults against children.
The prize was established to mark Childhood's 20th anniversary in 2019, and is presented to a person in Sweden who works on a daily basis to protect children against violence and sexual assault. Each year there is a focus on a different professional group, and the 2020 prize recognised those who work with children and young people within social services.
During the digital prize-giving ceremony, Princess Madeleine congratulated this year's winner: Marit Gustafsson, a case manager for children's social services in Avesta Municipality.
"Marit deals with children on their own terms, with empathy, commitment and knowledge. She creates a sense of security for children in crisis, when life is at its most fragile. With her strong presence and her intelligent, playful nature, Marit helps children to understand difficult concepts. And she is always there for them, never lets them down and never gives up. Marit is an inspiration and a role model for the entire profession – and for everyone who defends children."
Marit Gustafsson and her two co-finalists – Helen Brännström, a social worker with the Attendance Team in Skellefteå, and Jenny Selenius, a regional coordinator against human trafficking and prostitution within social services in the City of Stockholm – were chosen by the jury from the many nominations received during the autumn.
The jury focused on the finalists doing what children and young people themselves feel is important in their interactions with social services: demonstrating involvement, courage and trust, and going the extra mile.
The prize of SEK 50,000 is to be used to help the winner develop in his or her role.
The Queen is the founder and Honorary Chair of the World Childhood Foundation. The work of the World Childhood Foundation is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is religiously and politically independent. Childhood has offices in Sweden, Brazil, Germany and the USA.
Since 2016, Princess Madeleine has been a member of Childhood's Swedish board and an honorary member of Childhood USA's board.
Find out more about the work of the World Childhood Foundation here.