Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Tick Box Decisions

Written by Frida Holsten Gullestad, Trondheim
Published in KLASSEKAMPEN, January 27th 2018

"A checklist is determining whether the Norwegian Child Welfare Services removes the child from its home or not:"


"If you are divorced, unemployed or on social security, the likelihood that you may lose your child in a child welfare case increases. Norwegian child welfare services has introduced a standardised checklist that researchers are highly critical of..."

"Based on the answers, the caseworkers can count their way to the procedure that fits the situation. Some of the researchers‘ informants say that the number of crosses affects the outcome."

"If they get six to eight at risk factors, the answer will be a care order, i.e. the child is removed from the family and placed at an institution or in a foster home. Fewer crosses can lead to the child staying at home and that the family is offered relief measures..."

"The researchers fear that the use of such checklists will push the child welfare services towards using measures that easily show a statistically measurable effect. This will replace solutions that are adapted to the individual child, as it is difficult to prove the efficiency of such..."

"The fear is that this model prefers standardised measures where the effect can be controlled. An example might be early intervention, i.e. taking a child away from the parents at an early stage."

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