26 January 2015
rules and regulations and how to worm out of them
• • •
article was first published in the newspaper
Arbeiderblad, under the title
"Barnevernet" (the child protection
service), on 5 December 2014.
It is published here with the kind consent of the author.
Marianne Haslev Skånland
• • •
time to pass new municipal budgets. At the same time we see
an expressed public interest in neglected children and the
importance of taking care of them.
is a cry for the CPS (child protection service). The CPS,
on their side, says that their budget cannot be reduced,
"because we carry out a service required by law". Ah yes,
mandatory, as so many others say in budget times. So what
does the CPS do?
They set up monitoring of families under consideration for
intervention. A family's neighbour may be the one who
reported the family (denounced them?).
CPS gives the impression of planning to help the family –
in the way they are obliged to by law – but in actual fact
nothing much comes of it. Instead, the CPS takes action in
the form of removing the child as an acute measure - and
the outcome of the case is thereby assured. The child is
gone and the County Committee on Social Matters and the
court, which are supposed to make sure that we live under
the rule of law, do nothing of the kind but practically
always accept the proposal of transfer of care of the child
to the CPS.
Then we have a certain rule which the CPS sins against very
solidly. This is §4 in the regulations concerning foster
homes. The second paragraph says "The child protection
service shall always consider whether someone in the
child's family or close network can be selected as foster
home." Of this consideration we rarely if ever see any
trace. Oh no, the CPS takes the child and places it with
temporary foster parents, after which they go looking for
foster parents who are complete strangers to the child.
Time passes, for by now there are too few who are willing
to be foster parents and permanent placement therefore is
long in coming.
In the meantime, the child could have been given a
permanent home with its family, typically with
grandparents, aunts or uncles, but the CPS is not
interested in that. We are left to figure out for ourselves
what it is that stops them.
Just for the
record: The consideration under §4 is something one is
entitled to demand. But the CPS gets around it in several
ways. The CPS is not interested in the family having
anything more to do with the child.
So I say: Is it really any wonder that people are afraid of
the child protection service?