24 March 2016

Paying out compensation
while creating the basis for more claims

By Marianne Haslev Skånland

Compensation schemes for Barnevernet's doings

The Norwegian state is pretty consistent in being illogical. For a number of years now, the various municipalities and counties around the country have offered compensation to former children in institutions and also in foster homes under the management of Barnevernet, if they have suffered under abuse, neglict, and unworthy conditions there.

The compensation schemes started by paying damages for periods rather long before the time of compensation application, typically more than 25 years before, since claims relating to the last 25 years were not time-barred and were therefore not in need of special arrangements.

Or so they thought. In practice, it turned out to be difficult to get through the ordinary court or administrative system with such claims, partly because of the difficulty of proof. Many victims also found it difficult to cope with any dialogue with the authorities about how the authorities had treated them, and especially to "start again" more than a generation after it happened, and some never came to know about the possibility of applying.

This was realised by the authorities, so that the time limit for claims under the special compensation schemes was gradually relaxed and has crept up to quite close to the present. All in all, considerable sums have been paid out, although it is of course more in the line of an acknowledgement of responsibility for a devastation of childhood at the hands of the state than adequate compensation for the sufferings the victims have been subjected to.

Erstatningene i MILLIARDKLASSEN til barnevernsofre
(Compensation in the BILLION class for CPS victims)

There are references and links in all the articles.

Some schemes which ran for a few years have recently been re-opened:
Erstatning – Møre og Romsdal, Oslo, Tysvær, osv osv
(Compensation – Møre og Romsdal county, Oslo, Tysvær municipality, and so on and so on)

At the same time

While this is going on, Barnevernet (the CPS) continue in exactly the same dictatorial style as they have done for several decades. Alt that is different, is that with ever more money in their hands, Barnevernet extends its actions to ever more families; they take more children than before from their parents. They all the time say that they and their "system" are altogether different now from what they were in "the dark ages". The dark ages, however, usually turn out to be around 1990, or 2000, or the years before 2010 or thereabouts.

Around the year 2000, people who saw what was going on, often said, "Compensation will be paid out for this in 50 or 30 years' time." More recently, we may forecast that what Barnevernet is doing now, will be eligible for compensation in 20 years, even in 10, perhaps.

comment on Forum RVB of 23 March 2016 to the new rounds of compensation said (my translation, with permission from the writer):

"Dette er store tall og det er urovekkende mange som (sikkert helt rettmessig) får tilkjent erstatning. Det er både skremmende, paradosalt og utrolig at denne oppreisningsordningen gjelder personer som har fått livene sine ødelagt av et system som ikke er endret, og som i prinsippet fungerer nøyaktig som før.
    Barnevernet fungerer nesten som en pyroman med egen brannmann på slep.
    Kanskje noen nå heller burde manne seg opp og ta fyrstikkene fra vedkommende?"
(These are large sums and there are disturbingly many who (surely with every right) receive compensation. It is both scary, paradoxical and incredible that this arrangement for compensation applies to people who have had their lives destroyed by a system which has not been changed, and which in principle functions exactly like before.
    Barnevernet functions almost like a pyromaniac trailing its own firefighter behind.
    Perhaps somebody should now man up and take the matches away from them instead?)