Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Improving decision-making in court

NEW ARTICLE: The organization of care order proceedings might be an obstacle to good decision-making, finds Marit Skivenes and Milfrid Tonheim.

Child welfare removals of children are among the most invasive decisions a state can make toward its citizens. A care order decision typically implies that the child is removed from its parents and placed under the care of local child welfare authorities.  Normally, it is the courts that make these decisions.

PHOTO: Professor Marit Skivenes. CREDIT: Otto von Mûnchow

In the article “Improving decision-making in care order proceedings” published in Child & Family Social Work, Marit Skivenes and Milfrid Tonheim (Uni Research) examine how care order proceedings can be improved in England, Finland, Norway and USA (California).

The authors have asked the judiciary decision-makers about their view on what should be improved, thus gaining insight from those who have first-hand understanding of care order proceedings in their system.

Their findings show that the organization of the proceedings, including time and staff, are identified as issues in all four systems. Furthermore, the preparatory work by the child welfare agency is also mentioned as an issue for English, Finish, and Californian decision-makers (but not for the Norwegians).

The authors conclude that the decision makers strong call for change in the way proceedings are organized indicates a need for modernization, as well as better use of available competency from child development experts.

Comments are closed.