Norway Know Child welfare act Child Welfare Services important facts
What is the purpose and scope of the Child Welfare Services (Child Welfare Act?)
1. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that children and young persons who live in conditions that may be detrimental to their health and development receive the necessary assistance and care at the right time, to help ensure that children and young persons grow up in a secure environment.
2. The provisions of the Act regarding services and measures apply to all persons who are present in the realm. The King may make regulations concerning the application of the Act in Svalbard.
3. When the child consents thereto, measures implemented before the child has reached the age of 18 may be maintained or replaced by other measures dealt with in this Act until the child has reached the age of 23.
4. The municipal council may decide that functions following from this Act shall be
5. assigned to an elected body. This body, which may not be the municipal council itself, shall have five members when dealing with client cases.
6. In each municipality there shall be a child welfare administration headed by a person who is responsible for functions pursuant to this Act.
7. The administration shall perform the day-to-day child welfare work, including
8. (a) providing advice and guidance, (b) making administrative decisions in accordance with the Act, if appropriate recommending such decisions; cf. third paragraph, (c) preparing cases for consideration by the county social welfare board, (d) implementing and following up child welfare measures
9. The central government child welfare authorities are divided into four levels: central, regional, county and local. The central government child welfare authorities are headed by the Ministry.
10. The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision is responsible for the overall supervision of child welfare services in individual municipalities, and of institutions, centres for parents and children and care centres for minors
11. The municipality shall closely monitor the conditions in which children live, and is responsible for framing measures to prevent neglect and behavioral problems.
12. The child welfare service has particular responsibility for bringing to light neglect and behavioral, social and emotional problems at a sufficiently early stage to avoid lasting problems, and for instituting measures to this end.
13. The child welfare service shall contribute to ensure that children's interests are also safeguarded by other public agencies.
14. The child welfare service shall prepare an individual plan for children who require long-term, coordinated measures or services if this is deemed necessary in order to provide comprehensive assistance for the child, and consent has been obtained.
15. In connection with the settlement of unaccompanied minors who have submitted an application for asylum or who have been granted residence on the basis of such an application, the municipality shall carry out an assessment of individual needs and provide suitable housing measures on this basis.provide suitable housing measures on this basis.
16. The child welfare service shall at the earliest opportunity, and within one week at the latest, examine reports it receives and assess whether the individual report shall be followed up by investigations
17. The investigation shall be carried out in such a way as to minimise the harm it causes to anyone affected, and it shall not have a wider scope than that justified by its purpose. Importance shall be attached to preventing the unnecessary spreading of information about the investigation.
18. The parents or the person with whom the child is living may not oppose an investigation as mentioned in the first paragraph being carried out in the form of a visit paid to the home.
19. The child welfare service, and experts whom it has appointed, may demand to speak with the child alone in a separate room. If there is suspicion that the child is being mistreated or subjected to other serious abuse at home the child welfare service may order that the child shall be taken to a hospital or elsewhere for examination.
20. The child welfare service shall contribute to provide the individual child with sound circumstances and opportunities for development by providing advice, guidance and assistance.
21. The child welfare service shall, when the child due to conditions at home or for other reasons is in particular need of assistance, initiate measures to assist the child and the family, e.g. by appointing a personal support contact, by ensuring that the child is given a place at a kindergarten, or by providing a respite home or respite measures at home or a stay in a centre for parents and children or other parental support measures.
22. The child welfare service shall similarly seek to initiate measures designed to encourage the child to take part in leisure activities, or contribute to ensuring that the child is offered training or employment, or an opportunity to live away from home. Furthermore, the child welfare service may place the home under supervision by appointing a supervisor for the child.
23. The child welfare service may also provide assistance for the child in the form of financial support.
24. The county social welfare board may if necessary decide that measures such as a place at a kindergarten or other suitable day-care facilities shall be implemented by issuing the parents with an order to this effect.
25. The county social welfare board may issue a supervision order the county social welfare board may decide that parental support measures aimed at reducing the child’s behavioural problems may be implemented without the child’s consent. Such parental support measures may also be implemented without the child’s consent when the measures are carried out as part of the final stage of a stay in an institution
26. provided the needs cannot be met by other assistance measures, the child welfare service may also arrange for a place in a foster home, an institution or a care centre for minors. However, if it must be assumed that the parents will be unable to take proper care of the child for an extended period, consideration should be given to deciding immediately that the child welfare service shall take the child into care
27. The child welfare service shall closely monitor the progress of the child and the parents, and assess whether the assistance provided is appropriate, and if relevant whether new measures are necessary, or whether there are grounds for taking the child into care. The plan of measures shall be evaluated on a regular basis.
28. If the parents fail to ensure that a child who is disabled or in special need of help receives the treatment and training required, the county social welfare board may decide that the child shall receive treatment or training with the assistance of the child welfare service.
29. A care order may be made (a) if there are serious deficiencies in the everyday care received by the child, or serious deficiencies in terms of the personal contact and security needed by a child of his or her age and development, (b) if the parents fail to ensure that a child who is ill, disabled or in special need of assistance receives the treatment and training required, (c) if the child is mistreated or subjected to other serious abuses at home, or (d) if it is highly probable that the child's health or development may be seriously harmed because the parents are unable to take adequate responsibility for the child
30. When an order is made pursuant to section 4-12 or section 4-8, second and third paragraphs, the child shall be placed (a) in a foster home, cf. section 4-22, (b) in an institution, cf. section 5-1 and section 5-8, or (c) in a training or treatment institution when this is necessary because the child is disabled, or (d) in a care centre for minors
31. Well before the child reaches 18 years of age, the child welfare service and the child shall jointly assess whether the placement shall be maintained or whether the child shall receive other assistance measures after reaching the age of 18. If the child consents thereto, the child welfare service shall draw up a plan for future measures. This plan may be amended.
32. The child welfare service shall closely follow the development of those children in respect of whom a care order has been made, and also the development of their parents. Shortly after a child has been placed in care, the child welfare service shall contact the parents to offer guidance and follow-up. If the parents so desire, the child welfare service shall, as part of such follow-up, put them in contact with other assistance agencies.
33. Foster parents or the institution in which the child is living shall have the child in their daily care on behalf of the child welfare service. The child welfare service may decide that the foster parents or the institution in which the child is living shall also decide matters other than those pertaining to daily care.
34. When a care order has been made, the county social welfare board shall determine the extent of access, but may in the interests of the child also decide that there hall be no access. The county social welfare board may also decide that the parents hall not be entitled to know the child's whereabouts.
35. If the county social welfare board has made a care order for a child, the county social welfare board may also decide that the parents shall be deprived of all parental responsibility. If, as a result of the parents being deprived of parental responsibility, the child is left without a guardian, the county social welfare board shall as soon as possible take steps to have a new guardian appointed for the child.
36. When an order has been made depriving the parents of parental responsibility, the county social welfare board may give its consent for a child to be adopted by persons other than the parents. Consent may be given if a) it must be regarded as probable that the parents will be permanently unable to provide the child with proper care or the child has become so attached to persons and the environment where he or she is living that, on the basis of an overall assessment, removing the child may lead to serious problems for him or her and b) adoption would be in the child's best interests and c) the adoption applicants have been the child's foster parents and have shown themselves fit to bring up the child as their own and d) the conditions for granting an adoption pursuant to the Adoption Act are fulfilled.
37. When the county social welfare board consents to adoption, the Ministry shall issue the adoption order The county social welfare board shall revoke a care order when it is highly probable that the parents will be able to provide the child with proper care. The decision shall nonetheless not be revoked if the child has become so attached to persons and the environment where he or she is living that, on the basis of an overall assessment, removing the child may lead to serious problems for him or her. Before a care order is revoked, the child's foster parents shall be entitled to state their opinion.
38. Persons selected as foster parents shall have a special aptitude for giving children a secure and good home, and be capable of discharging their responsibilities as foster parents in accordance with the conditions on which the duration of the placement etc., is based.
39. "foster home" means (a) a private home that accepts children for fostering on the basis of a decision of the child welfare service regarding assistance or in connection with a care order (b) a private home that is subject to approval
40. The Ministry may make regulations regarding the criteria that shall be applied when selecting foster homes, regarding the foster parents' rights and duties, regarding the child welfare service's duty to provide guidance and to follow up foster homes, and regarding supervision of children in foster homes.
41. The child welfare service shall appoint a supervisor for children in foster homes. The municipality in which the foster home is located is responsible for approval and supervision of the home.
42. It is prohibited for private individuals to act as agents for the placement of children without a view to adoption. Nor may organisations engage in such activity without a licence from the Ministry, which in such case supervises the activity.
43. Anyone who wilfully contravenes the prohibition of the first paragraph or aids and abets thereto is liable to fines or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. Attempts are subject to the same penalty as a completed contravention.
44. When a child is admitted to an institution on the basis of consent, the institution may impose the condition that the child may be retained in the institution for up to three weeks as from the date of admission.
45. If the child absconds, but is returned within three weeks, the period of retention is reckoned from the date on which the child is returned to the institution.
46. Private and municipal institutions and private and municipal centres for parents and children may only be used for children to whom the Act applies
47. Institutions shall be run in such a way that the children themselves may decide personal matters and have such access to other persons as they wish, to the extent this is compatible with the child's age and maturity, with the object of the stay, and with the institution's responsibility for its day-to-day operation, including its responsibility for security and well-being.
48. The children shall have the right to move around both on and off the institution's premises, subject to the constraints established out of consideration for the children's need for security and well-being
49. It is not permitted to (a) punish a child physically, (b) to lock the child in a room alone or employ similar coercive means unless this is authorised by regulations (c) keep a check on a child's correspondence unless this is authorised by regulations
50. The central government child welfare authorities at regional level shall offer children who have come to the realm and applied for asylum without parents or any other person with parental responsibility accommodation in a care centre for minors.
51. This offer shall apply from the time the child is transferred from the immigration authorities to the central government child welfare authorities at regional level until the child becomes a resident of a municipality or leaves the realm. This provision applies to children who are under 15 years of age when they file their application for asylum. In the case of children over 15 years of age, the provision applies from the date decided by the King.
52. The care centre shall give the child good care and security and help to ensure that he or she receives the necessary follow-up and treatment.
53. Central government child welfare authorities at regional level are responsible for establishing and operating care centres for minors
54. A child who has reached the age of 7, and younger children who are capable of forming their own opinions, shall receive information and be given an opportunity to state his or her opinion before a decision in made in a case affecting him or her. Importance shall be attached to the opinion of the child in accordance with his or her age and maturity.
55. A child may appear as a party in a case and exercise his or her rights as a party if he or she has reached the age of 15 and understands the subject-matter of the case. The county social welfare board may grant a child under 15 years of age rights as a party in special cases. In a case concerning measures for children with behavioural problems, the child shall always be regarded as a party.
56. Information shall as far as possible be obtained in collaboration with the person whom the case concerns or in such a way that the person concerned is aware that information is being obtained.
57. public authorities shall of their own initiative provide information to the municipal child welfare service when there is reason to believe that a child is being mistreated at home
58. Individual decisions made by the child welfare service, and follow-up orders made by the central government child welfare authorities at regional level, may be appealed to the county governor.
59. If a decision that upholds the appeal cannot be implemented immediately, the county governor may decide that interim measures to meet the immediate need shall be implemented without delay.
60. The child welfare service shall give a response to any person who has sent a report to the child welfare service, The response shall be sent within three weeks of receipt of the report
61. Anyone who is to be employed in the child welfare service shall present a satisfactory police certificate of conduct.
62. A police certificate of conduct may also be required from other persons who perform functions for the institution the centre for parents and children, or the care centre for minors, and who have direct contact with children and youth or parents staying there.
63. Any person or persons who is/are to be approved as foster parents, shall present a satisfactory police certificate of conduct. A police certificate of conduct may also be required from other persons living in the foster home.
64. In each county there shall be a board – the county board for child welfare and social affairs. The Ministry may decide that several counties are to have a common board. The county social welfare board decides cases brought by municipalities in the county covered by the board
65. The composition of the county social welfare board.
66. Each county social welfare board shall consist of (a) one or more chairs who are qualified to act as judges, (b) a committee of professional experts, (c) a committee of ordinary members. The Ministry may decide that the committee shall be divided into sub-committees covering different parts of the board’s territorial jurisdiction.
67. The county social welfare board shall ensure that legal counsel is appointed for the private parties. The counsel shall immediately be informed of any application for a measure with attached documents, and be given a time limit for reply
68. When a child is placed in care as a result of a decision/order made pursuant to the
69. Act, the municipality may require that the parents pay fostering contributions1 from the month after the placement was made until and including the month the placement terminates. Fostering contributions may only be required if this is deemed to be reasonable in relation to the parents’ financial situation
70. Children’s contributions as mentioned in the first paragraph may only be required if it is considered reasonable to do so. It may not be required that contributions are recovered from the child’s assets, from the return on the latter, or from the child’s own accumulated funds
71. In the case of children under 20 years of age who are placed in a foster home or institution or who are granted a stay in a centre for parents and children, the entral government child welfare authorities at regional level shall cover such part of the municipalities’ expenses as exceeds the amount that the municipality is obligated to pay
72. The state shall provide annual grants for partial coverage of municipalities’ expenditure on the child welfare service.
73. The state shall give a grant to municipalities to cover expenditure on refugee children and children seeking asylum who have come to the country without parents or other persons with parental responsibility. Grants shall also be given in the event of placement in care
Reality views by sm –
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Tags - Norway Child Care Act
24 January 2012
Norway Know Child welfare act Child Welfare Services important facts