interview and English text
Elisabeth Augdahl and Marianne Haslev
Norwegian Barnevernet and thick
Barnevernet og tykke
speech, English text
Norwegian Barnevernet and thick bread
Haslev Skånland interviews Elisabeth
Dyakonov on youtube, 28 May 2016
of the interview:
is a lot of criticism of Norwegian child protection. People
in other countries have shown interest for the criteria
which Barnevernet uses for depriving children of their
On the 16th April 2016 there were large
protest demonstrations in many places around the world. On
21 April, there was a tv program which had a panel
discussing Norwegian Barnevern.
The program host Ingunn Solheim opened
with a question for Mari Trommald.
Mari Trommald is the leader of The
Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family
Affairs (Bufdir), the Government's unit with top
responsibility for Barnevernet.
Program host Solheim says:
Trommald, the allegation that: "if you cut too thick bread
slices or cook the omelet wrong and not according to
nutritional guidance, then your children can be removed in
What can you answer to something
that, there is no doubt that cutting the bread slices too
thick or too narrow or frying the omelet wrong, that gives
no basis for taking into care. And I think in a way
everybody in this panel will agree with that.
There is no
doubt that the debate we see abroad now is trying for
Norway. Like you yourselves said too. It has become top
level international politics, something which people engage
in, from prime minister and all the foreign service in
Norway. It has set its stamp on a lot of the big
discussions abroad too.
And what is important to bring across
here, is that very many of the allegations which come, they
are of just the type you said: too thin bread slices, or
other - shall we say - faulty information about facts,
having no basis in Norwegian reality.
having a conversation with Elisabeth Augdahl. Hello, thank
you for coming!
Which year was it that the child protection case about your
two children started?
can tell people that in this case there was an accusation
about too thick bread slices, wasn't there?
How did it
stated in the report of the kindergarten which was used in
the child protection case, it followed the case all
A rhetorical question:
Is proficiency as housewife decisive for the care of
children? Whether parents should be allowed to keep their
children with them, do you think?
is not really correct, then, what Mari Trommald claims,
that this type of allegation is not used in Barnevern
cases, and is without any root in Norwegian reality.
possible that Trommald is without root in Norwegian
What happened in my case was that they gathered a lot of
such arguments, and made it part of the documentary basis
for a decision.
you recall whether these statements were presented in
court, or were they found in the case documents, or both?
were in the documents. They were not mentioned specifically
in the court in oral presentation, but were made part of
the case right from the start.
the family's lawyer at that time remember it still?
That statement from the kindergarten was widely known.
there is no question of it being lies or fantasies?
the children were taken by Barnevernet?
know that I knew your parents.
have a great admiration for the work they did, to support
you and their grandchildren, but also for other people who
were attacked by Barnevernet.
And I remember very well that they told
me about "bread slices".
And about other similar accusations which
may not have been from your case but from other cases. One
was about someone who could not fry an omelet, and a
psychologist who assessed the omelet as deficient. That was
certainly one episode.
I really think there is an especially serious side to this
case of yours: They concern themselves with such nonsense,
while one of your daughters obviously suffered from a
condition bearing on her development, and Barnevernet did
not see to it that that was diagnosed.
I understood that correctly?
you have understood it correctly. Right from the start we
could see that something was wrong with her. I sought help
for it. I contacted Barnevernet, but also Nic Waal's
institute, in order for something to be done regarding her
delayed development. When the child protection case came
up, Nic Waal [personnel from the institute] and I fought
together to have her examined and diagnosed. Barnevernet
refused. The child was to be left in peace. I made a long
and huge effort about it, but didn't get anywhere. At long
last she was given a sort of examination concluding that
she had a form of autism, but nothing more happened.
she turned 18 and was to be transferred to a flat with
special facilities, and Barnevernet no longer had the
charge of her, then she had to be examined properly. She
herself took the initiative to have that done! And she got
her diagnosis: Autism to a limited degree, and cerebral
cerebral palsy should have been pin-pointed when she was
It is very
serious, this, that Barnevernet in part considers itself to
be above medical diagnosis, in part sabotages proper
medical examination. They spend time on bread slices.
Yes. I will
add that in this case there was much focus on my daughter's
behaviour, but they claimed that she was under-stimulated.
And they had no opinion at all regarding my youngest
daughter, who was just included as a kind of appendix in
is very bad too.
is not the only case in which Barnevernet has carried out
its own sort of activity regarding medical diagnoses, or
have hindered examination.
don't know if you have heard or read about a recent case in
Sogn og Fjordane county: A 12 year old girl had been taken
from her parents and been placed in another district, in a
parents had begged Barnevernet to get her some medical
help, because they believed her to suffer from something
like epilepsy. They were just waved away. Then, on the
morning when she would have been 13, she was found dead in
her bed, in the foster home.
Let us say
thank you to Elisabeth. I am glad you came and helped us
with this. It is very important to get the truth out about
what Barnevernet does and says.