Omsorgsovertakelser og etniske minoriteter. En gjennomgang av saker i fylkesnemnda
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- NOVA rapport 
The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs commissioned this report, which deals with the Child Welfare Service’s (CWS) and the County Social Welfare Boards’ (CSWB) handling of compulsory care order cases in ethnic minority families. The data consists of 91 anonymized and non-anonymized decisions from the CSWB, as well as 17 case files from the archives of the Oslo and Akershus County Social Welfare Board. Both the general limitations of a document analysis and the specific limitations of the CWS’s presentations to the CSWB influence the study. Considering these data restrictions, the report is not an exhaustive mapping of the CWS’s work. Instead, we have chosen to enlighten some of the topics that have stood out and of which we have substantial material to reflect upon. The report pinpoints a few tendencies and patterns in the CWS’s work with ethnic minority families that can be problematic. Brief summary of main findings: The CWS takes reported concerns about violence seriously. They talk to, listen to, and put trust in the child in these matters. Especially in cases where the parents deny the accusations, the children are placed outside the home immediately and the parents are reported to the police. These cases make new demands on the CWS and its approach to the parents. We recommend a re-evaluation of what we call the CWS’s admission paradigm . This current paradigm entails that the parents have to admit to violence in order to be considered as fit for guidance. In connection with the county board case we find that the child is listened to and believed. However, the case documents rarely state what information the child has been given and whether an interpreter has been used during conversations with the child. The mandate of the child’s spokesperson, who is appointed by the county board, could profitably include more questions related to the child’s ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity. The parents’ seemingly reluctant participation influences many cases, and often the CWS does not succeed in establishing a collaborative relation. The CWS finds these challenges demanding, and one risks that the case is not sufficiently informed. We warn against the tendency of overly interpreting the parents’ mistrust as a poor parenting skill. The CWS’s conversations with the parents do to a limited degree take into account the cultural differences of the definitions and expressions of child care competence. Besides, we find that little attention is paid to the cultural specificities of communication styles and what this could entail for the understanding and misunderstanding between the CWS, the child, and the parents. There is a need to develop methodological approaches as a supplement or an alternative to the conversation-based, reflective methods that dominate the mapping and guidance methodology of the CWS. Immediate placement outside the home after the child has told about violence is a case type that stands out with its own distinctive set of dynamics. We ask if this dynamic in itself can increase the risk of compulsory care orders. We especially problematize the CSWB’s emphasis on the visitation reports of these cases. Here, there is a need for more knowledge and method development. A rejection of the application for asylum, an unsettled residence permit, or other possible judicial conditions for foreign nationals can affect parents’ ability to take care of their children. These circumstances are rarely taken into consideration in the evaluations of the CWS and the CSWB. Greater awareness is needed on the impact of different legislation when the child welfare case and immigration case take place in parallel. The study’s data on the national minority Norwegian Roma was very limited. Our impression is that the CWS struggles both with achieving a good connection with the parents and with finding actions that work. The families have complex problems and frequently move around. The CWS and the CSWB poorly reflect on the importance of the linguistic and cultural differences in these cases.Rapporten bygger på et forskningsoppdrag fra Barne-, ungdoms- og familiedirektoratet (Bufdir) om barneverntjenestens og fylkesnemndas håndtering av saker om omsorgsovertakelse i familier med etnisk minoritetsbakgrunn. Datamaterialet har bestått av vedtak og saksmapper fra fylkesnemnda. Studien er ikke en fullstendig kartlegging av barneverntjenestens arbeid, men løfter frem noen mønstre og temaer som kan være utfordrende eller problematiske i barnevernets arbeid med etniske minoritetsfamilier. Blant annet pekes det på at barneverntjenestens økte fokus på vold mot barn, tilsier en styrket faglig diskusjon om voldsforståelser og en revurdering av barnevernets erkjennelsesparadigme.