Newsletter - March 2022

If images are not displayed, please enable pictures in your email client or add
this address to your safe sender list. You can also view the newsletter online

A study of seven European jurisdictions shows that overall, the child is not visible in the court's justifications. Is this not a direct violation of the child's right to justice?



Child protection system impacts public opinion on state interventions

Dr. Hege Stein Helland (DIPA), PhD-candidate Siri Hansen Pedersen (UiB), and Professor Marit Skivenes (DIPA) study people's perspectives on child protection interventions for children in vulnerable situations. Published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare, a key finding is that the child protection system in a country is of importance for popular views on these issues. 


Who is "the child"? Best interests and individuality of children in discretionary decision-making

While the substantiation of "best interests" has received much attention, the question of how "the child" is conceptualised to safeguard the particular child's interests has been largely neglected. In this article published in the International Journal of Children's Rights, Senior Researcher Jenny Krutzinna (DIPA), propose a child-centric approach focusing on the child's individual characteristics, needs, qualities and circumstances. 


Comparing USA and Norway on the restriction of parental freedoms

Examining attitudes towards parental freedoms in cases of risk to a child, Professor Marit Skivenes (DIPA), Professor Jill D. Berrick (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Joseph N. Roscoe (Rogers Behavioral Health) find significant differences between Californians (USA) and Norwegians in a recent publication in the Journal of Social Policy.


County Social Welfare Board decisions concerning children and young people's placement in institutions 

In this report, PhD Fellow Barbara Ruiken (DIPA), presents information from County Board decisions concerning children's placement in residential units. The report builds on new data collected as part of the BARN-NEMND-project aiming to develop an unprecedented time-series database on care order decisions in Norway. The report is in Norwegian.


Those that challenge state authority

In this blogpost, Yngve Nedrebø offer constructive remarks on the phenomenon of state authority critique - problematization of the welfare state and the child protection system.



Barnevernfrokost: From the child's best interests to reunification as the overarching goal of child protection measures after care orders

Christian Børge Sørensen: Since the autumn of 2018, Norway has been convicted in the European Court of Human Rights for violating the right to family life in 14 child protection cases. This has led to changes in the Norwegian child protection law and practice. In this webinar, County Board Chair Sørensen questions whether the pendulum have gone too far in the direction of safeguarding families' unity. The lecture is in Norwegian.


Barnevernfrokost: Child protection services - Reflections on reunification

Kjersti Sandanger: What impacts decision making in child protection cases concerning reunifications after care orders and how are decisions made? In this webinar, Kjersti Sandanger reflects on the issue of reunification from the perspective of child protection services. The lecture is in Norwegian.  
DIPA in the News

Interdisciplinary research pushing the research frontier

Five researchers at the University of Bergen have received 25 million NOK each to conduct original research crossing disciplinary boundaries. Director of DIPA, Professor Marit Skivenes, is one of them, receiving the grant for the project Child Protection Systems Across the World (CPS-WORLD). The project tackles a looming gap in welfare state research on different child protection systems across the globe and how they protect children from abuse, neglect, and maltreatment. 

From collaborators

New report on child protection in Ireland

Professor and Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Conor O'Mahony,  recently published the 2020-2021 annual report to the Irish Government on child protection. The publication considers the findings of relevant reports of national and international bodies as well as developments in international law, national court decisions and academic research published during the reporting period. Several publications from DIPA are featured in the report.

'They fear the light of day'

Our colleague, Neil Datta (Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) recently spoke at a hearing in the European Parliament about the backlash against social and political rights. In particular, the hearing drew attention to how cash flows from American conservative organizations support movements against women's and LGBTIQ rights in Europe. "They are part of the local expressions of a transnational anti-gender network," said Datta. 

New contraception ranking shows differences between East and West

Our colleague, Neil Datta (The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) recently presented the updated contraception atlas, underscoring a clear divide between Eastern and Western Europe in terms of the accessibility of contraception. 
Do you know someone that should be on our mailing list?

We want to share our research with as many as possible. We appreciate if you forward this email to persons that might be interested or send the link to the sign-up page:

Recent publications from the Centre

Helland, H. S., Pedersen, S. H. & Skivenes, M. (2022) Comparing population view's on state responsibility for children in vulnerable situations - the role of institutional context and socio-demographic characteristics. Journal of Public Child Welfare, AHEAD-OF-PRINT, 1-22.

Krutzinna, J. (2022) Who is "The Child"? Best Interests and Individuality of Children in Discretionary Decision-Making. The International Journal of Children's Rights, 30(1), 120-145.

Berrick, J. D., M. Skivenes and J. N. Roscoe (2022) Parental Freedom in the Context of Risk to the Child: Citizens' Views of Child Protection and the State in the US and Norway. Journal of Social Policy, 1-22.

Berrick, J. D., M. Skivenes and J. N. Roscoe (2021). Children's rights and parents' rights: Popular attitudes about when we privilege one over the other. International Journal of Social Welfare, 1-14.

Thoburn, J. (2021) Processes and determining factors when family court judgments are made in England about infants entering care at birth. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. 10.1080/09649069.2021.1996082

Helland, H. S. (2021). In the Best Interest of the Child? Justifying Decisions on Adoption from  Care in the Norwegian Supreme Court. The International Journal of Children's Rights29(3), 609- 639.

Helland, H. S. (2021). Reasoning between Rules and Discretion: A Comparative Study of the Normative Platform for Best Interest Decision-Making on Adoption in England and Norway. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family35(1).

Skivenes, M. (2021). Exploring populations view on thresholds and reasons for child protection intervention - comparing England, Norway, Poland and Romania. European Journal of Social Work. Ahead-of-print, 1-16.

McEwan-Strand, A. and M. Skivenes (2021). “Children’s Capacities and Role in Matters of Great Significance for Them: An Analysis of the Norwegian County Boards’ Decision-Making in Cases about Adoption from Care” in Fenton-Glynn and Sloan (eds.) Parental Guidance, State Responsibility and Evolving Capacities. Brill Nijhoff: Leiden, The Netherlands.

Løvlie, A. G. and M. Skivenes (2021). “Justifying interventions in Norwegian child protection: An analysis of violence in migrant and non-migrant families in Norway.” Nordic Journal on Law and Society, Vol. 4 (2), 1-41.

Please contact us if you require access to any of the publications:
@DiscretionUiB @DiscretionUiB
DiscretionUiB DiscretionUiB
EN: The aim of this newsletter is to share news from the Centre and to disseminate research from our projects to interested parties, such as social care services, organizations, interest groups, media, and others that are interested in the child welfare field. Questions and enquiries can be directed to If you do not want to receive our newsletter, please click the "Unsubscribe" link below.

NO: Årsaken til at du mottar nyhetsbrevet vårt er at vi ønsker å dele nyheter fra senteret og formidle forskningen fra prosjektene våre ut til barneverntjenestene, organisasjoner, interessegrupper, media og andre interessenter på barnevernsfeltet. Spørsmål og henvendelser kan rettes til Dersom du ikke ønsker å motta nyhetsbrevet kan du melde deg av ved å klikke på lenken under.

Postal address
University of Bergen
Department of Administration and Organization Theory
C/O Marit Skivenes
P.O: 7802, 5020 Bergen

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism · Christiesgate 17 · Bergen, Hordaland 5007 · Norway

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp