Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Literature update #3 2018

LITERATURE OVERVIEW: See our list of articles of interest from June.

We apologize for wrong link in the newsletter. New link below:

LITTERATURE UPDATE #4 (July – September)

Highlight 1

Professor Karl Harald Søvig (UiB), collaborator at the Centre, recently published a article in the Norwegian journal Tidsskrift for Familierett, Arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål. In light of the numerous complaints towards Norway, serveral cases are now up for the European Court of Human Rights.

These cases are a result of child welfare interventions, and Søvig (2018) gives a presentation and analysis of the five childcare cases that so far have been decided. The article is written in Norwegian, ‘Avgjørelser fra EMD i saker om vern av privat- og familieliv fra 2017 – Nærmere om barnevernssakene mot Norge’.

Highlight 2

In the context of Child Welfare, the children’s experience with recognition in service collaboration with different professionals is examined in Husby, Kiik & Juuls (2018) articleChildren’s encounters with professionals’ recognition and respect during collaboration’ in European Journal of Social Work.

The study is based on Norwegian children’s stories about their experience with the Norwegian welfare system. The author identifies key profession action associated with recognition; A dialogical form of communication, as well as the exploration of children’s troubles, abilities and skills, highlighted the children’s experiences of recognition and respect.


How articles are selected

  • A full list of articles are collected based on TOC alerts from journals by the publishers; Taylor & Francis Online, SAGE Journals, Science Direct, Brill Publisher and Idunn.
  • The short list is selected based on an assessment of the articles theoretical, methodological and/or empirical relevance to the projects at the Centre.
  • Please note that the list of articles is not based on a qualitative assessment of the articles scientific contributions or level.

ILLUSTRATION: Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism / MGalloway, Wikimedia Commons

Full list of new publications

Children and Society, 2018

Child & Family Social Work

Tidsskrift for familierett, arverett og barnevernsrettslige spørsmål, 02-03, 16, 177-193

International Social Work, 2018

International Political Science Review, 2018

Qualittative Social Work, 2018

Journal of Child Custody, 2018

Journal of Family Social Work, 2018

The Sociological Review, 2018

European Journal of Social Work, 2018

Adoption Quarterly, 2018

References and abstracts

Sibley, A., Fitzpatrick, R., Davis, E., Sheehan, M & Pollard, A. J. (2018) The family court of assent: Comparison of child and parent perspectives on familial decision-making. Children & Society. 32, 266-278.

Assent guidelines currently fail to include an assessment of a child’s decision‐making ability, experience and interest. This paper summarises a two‐stage study, conducted in the United Kingdom, exploring perspectives on children’s decision‐making power and ability within their family, as an indicator for overall decision‐making readiness. Children desired to make some decisions but knew their parents held ultimate authority. Parents believed their children could make some decisions and actively trained them through involvement in daily decisions. Researchers should strive to include children in enrolment decisions to some degree, based on a consideration of their expectations for involvement informed by their daily family context.

Moriss, L. (2018) Haunted futures: The stigma of being a mother living apart from her child(ren) as a result of state-ordered court removal. The Sociological Review.

The notion of ‘haunted futures’ can provoke new understandings of the experiences of birth mothers living apart from their children as a result of state-ordered court removal. As ‘abject figures’, the mothers are silenced through the stigma and shame of being judged to be a deeply flawed mother, the justifiable fear of future children being removed, and court-ordered reporting restrictions. In this article, the author depicts how these mothers exist in a state of haunted motherhood: they are paralysed in anticipation of an imagined future of reunification with their children. The mothers are painfully aware that any future pregnancy will also be subject to child protection procedures; thus even their future motherhood continues to be stigmatised by the past. However, while the ghosts of removed children signify a traumatic loss, they also simultaneously represent hope and future possibilities of transformation through re-narrativisation. The creation of spaces for the mothers to speak about their experiences can foster a ‘maternal commons’. This ending of enforced silencing can be a political act, countering the stigma caused by pathologising individual mothers and making visible how structural inequalities and governmental policies impact on the lives of the most vulnerable families in the UK.

Riiber, T. (2018). Samvær etter barnevernloven §4-19. Tidsskrift for Familierett, Arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål. 02-03(16), 141-155.

I artikkelen belyses ulike rettslige spørsmål knyttet til samvær etter barnevernloven. I NOU 2016: 16 foreslås det en helt ny barnevernlov, men det er i hovedsak lagt opp til å videreføre dagens regler om samvær. Det er likevel foreslått noen materielle endringer, og viktigst i denne sammenhengen er forslaget om at det skal lovfestes rett til samvær også med søsken og andre nærstående. Det foreligger betydelig rettspraksis om samvær etter barnevernloven. På grunn av samtykkeregelen i tvisteloven § 36-10 avgjøres de fleste barnevernssaker i tingrettene. I artikkelen her konsentrerer jeg meg likevel om hva som generelt kan utledes av de 15 høyesterettsdommene som er avsagt om samvær etter barnevernloven av 1992. Jeg avgrenser mot besøkskontakt etter adopsjon som har likhetstrekk med samvær etter omsorgsovertakelse, og sperret adresse som også er regulert i barnevernloven § 4-19.

Sverdrup, T. (2018) Felleseieordningen i prosessuelt barneperspektiv. Tidsskrift for Familierett, Arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål. 02-03(16), 177-193.

I artikkelen reises spørsmål om ekteskapslovens delingsregler oppildner til konflikt mellom ektefellene som kan være skadelig for barna i forholdet. Oppmerksomheten rettes særlig mot utformingen av skjevdelingsregelen i ekteskapsloven § 59. Til sist drøftes hvorvidt andre hensyn knyttet til ektefellenes innsats og behov kan oppveie et slikt prosessuelt barnehensyn.

Søvig, K. H. (2018) Avgjørelser fra EMD I saker om vern av privat- og familieliv fra 2017. Tidsskrift for Familierett, Arverett og barnevernrettslige spørsmål. 02-03(16), 123-140.

En rekke klager mot Norge som følge av inngrep i barnevernet står nå for EMD. Bidraget gir en presentasjon og analyse av de barnevernssakene som til nå er avgjort. EMD har så langt ikke konstatert krenkelse, men én av dommene er avsagt under dissens 4–3.

Dæhlen, M. & Rugkåsa, M. (2018) Early school leaving in the care population – differences by country of origin. Child & Family Social Work.

In many Western countries, children in immigrant families are considered at increased risk of experiencing social problems and marginalization and are often overrepresented in the care population. How these children fare in the educational system is crucial for their future adult life. International research over several decades has shown that many child welfare clients quit school prematurely, but less is known about their educational progress by country of origin. Based on a large‐scale longitudinal study from Norway, this article examines early school leaving between ethnic minority groups and the ethnic majority in the child welfare population. The results show substantial differences in early school leaving by country of origin, even when adjusted for any differences by gender, school grades, and parental educational level. The lowest rate of early school leaving was found among youths originating from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Pakistan, whereas youths originating from Afghanistan, South America, Morocco, Western countries, and Norway (i.e., the ethnic majority) had the highest rate of early school leaving.

Thulin, J., Kjellgren, C. & Nilson, D. (2018) Children’s experiences with an intervention aimed to prevent further physical abuse. Child & Family Social Work.

Many child protection systems struggle to implement effective models of frontline practice in the context of high caseloads, increasing costs, and compliance‐focused bureaucratic cultures. This article discusses changes brought about by “Practice First,” a framework for practice introduced to improve the quality and effectiveness of child protection work in New South Wales, Australia. Findings drawn from quantitative and qualitative research with practitioners show that the initiative was effective in changing cultures of practice. It enabled workers to spend more face‐to‐face time with families and build relationships and was perceived to improve the quality of decision‐making. At the same time, the article highlights difficulties in attempting to embed change in practice cultures when broader systemic challenges persist.

Fuentes, M. J., Bernedo, I. M., Salas, M. D. & Garcia-Martin, M. A. (2018) What do foster families and social workers think about children’s contact with birth parents? A focus group analysis. International Social Work. 1-15.

This study analyzes the opinions of foster families and social workers regarding the benefits and problems associated with contact visits. Data were gathered through two focus groups, comprising social workers and foster carers, respectively. Both groups agreed that visits were useful for maintaining foster children’s attachment to their birth family, for enhancing their psychological wellbeing and for helping them to understand the real situation of their birth family. Regarding difficulties, the two groups highlighted problems of coordination between social workers and foster families, as well as a lack of support and preparation for foster carers, children, and birth families.

Regilme, S. S. F. (2018) The global politics of human rights: From rights to human dignity? International Political Science Review, 1-12.

This review essay highlights the limitations and possibilities of a global human rights order based on analysis of five recently published books about human rights. The main argument states that reform of the global human rights order requires not only a shift to a more emancipatory notion of human dignity but also an emphasis on global justice and material compensation within and between the Global North and Global South. Human dignity, in this essay, embraces all types of human rights claims, ranging from political rights to socio-economic rights, among many others. The essay proposes a three-pronged reform of international human rights: (1) a shift from Western human rights to the more inclusive and pluralist notion of human dignity; (2) the promotion of global justice by rewriting the rules of global economic governance; and (3) mandatory political education on human rights and human dignity.

North, G. (2018) ‘It was sort of like a globe of abuse’ A psychosocial exploration of child protection social work with emotional abuse. Qualitative Social Work.

This article draws on research findings from an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD psychosocial exploration of child protection social work with emotional abuse. Intrafamilial harm occurs predominantly within the relationship between a parent and their child in the context of this research. Emotional abuse is a complex concept, comprising of many cumulative elements, which may include restricting a child’s psychological autonomy. Emotional abuse is not so clearly observed as other forms of parental harm, but it causes the most significant impairment. The dual overarching goals of this research was to make the less tangible aspects of work with this form of child abuse more visible, and to improve professional understandings of how to work with it more effectively. The focus of this article is to exemplify how the critical realist methodological framework and psychosocial research approach were developed to underpin the data collection and analysis processes. Psychosocial methods incorporate researcher and research participant’s use of self to explore the often deeply subjective, and undocumented process of identifying the presence of emotionally abusive behaviour. The research sought to elicit responses that enabled social workers to share their unconscious thought processes to get under the surface of everyday decision making. Sharing their ‘workings out’. This article draws on one social worker’s narrative of encountering emotional abuse to illuminate some of the professional and personal challenges the work can present. This research provides a methodological template for further research into supporting social workers in effective interventions into intrafamilial emotional abuse.

Dellor, E. & Freisthler, B. (2018) Predicting adoption dissolutions of children involved in child welfare system. Journal of Child Custody.

While the majority of foster care adoptions are stable and secure, some dissolve, resulting in the return of children to the system. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with children’s reentry into the foster care system after adoptions are formally finalized. Using case records from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) Bureau of Information Systems (BIS), we compared 123 dissolved adoptions to 74 successful ones. We found that children’s gender, history of physical abuse, exposure to drug use, and the number of foster care placements prior to adoption are associated with greater odds of dissolution. Furthermore, the odds of dissolution were higher for relative adoptive parents and for adoptive parents with prior substantiated Child Welfare cases. Implications for practice include ongoing targeted training and supportive services for families and improved screening procedures that address the unique needs of adoptive parents.

Guetterman, T. C. & Fetters, M. D. (2018) Two methodological approaches to the integration of mixed methods and case study designs: a systematic review. American Behavioral Scientist.

Case study has a tradition of collecting multiple forms of data—qualitative and quantitative—to gain a more complete understanding of the case. Case study integrates well with mixed methods, which seeks a more complete understanding through the integration of qualitative and quantitative research. We identify and characterize “mixed methods–case study designs” as mixed methods studies with a nested case study and “case study–mixed methods designs” as case studies with nested mixed methods. Based on a review of published research integrating mixed methods and case study designs, we describe key methodological features and discuss four exemplar interdisciplinary studies.

Hellman, C. M., Robinson-Keilig, R., Dubriwny, N. M., Hamill, C. & Kraft, A. (2018) Hope as a coping resource among parents at risk for child maltreatment. Journal of Family Social Work.

This study investigated hope as a protective factor buffering the relationships between parenting stress and well-being among a sample of parents identified at moderate to high risk for child maltreatment. Two hundred parents were recruited from a nonprofit organization providing secondary and tertiary child maltreatment prevention programs. Results of the analyses showed that parental stress was negatively associated with subjective and emotional well-being. Hope was positively correlated with well-being and negatively associated with parenting stress. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that hope had a significant incremental relationship to well-being and that the negative effects of parenting stress fell below statistical significance. These findings provide preliminary support for hope as a coping resource social workers can target when working with parents in the prevention of child maltreatment.

Husby, I. S. F., Kiik, R. & Juul, R. (2018) Children’s encounters with professionals recognition and respect during collaboration. European Journal of Social Work.

In the context of Child Welfare, collaboration is used to ensure that families receive the best public services. In these working processes children have the legal right to participate. Research has demonstrated that children are sensitive to whether they feel they are treated with respect. The issue of partnership relations can be demanding. This article examines children’s experiences with recognition in the context of service collaboration. Based on a Norwegian qualitative research project about professional-child interactions in the context of public services and a narrative analysis of two accounts, we have identified key professional actions associated with recognition in collaborative processes with children. A dialogical form of communication, as well as the exploration of children’s troubles, abilities and skills, highlighted the children’s experiences of recognition and respect. Further research should concentrate on how to ensure that recognition occurs during communication with children in Child Welfare Services.

Luu, B., Rosnay, M. d., Wright, A. c. & Tregeagle, S. (2018) Identity formation in children and young people in open adoption from Out-of-home care in New South Wales, Australia. Adoption Quarterly, 02(21), 120-139.

Semi-structured interviews were used to explore identity development for nine adoptees (aged 9–23 years) who were adopted by their foster carers in New South Wales, Australia. Adoptions were open, with court-ordered face-to-face contact with birth families. Findings suggest that participants had healthy adoptive identities, with coherent and meaningful narratives about their life histories. Adoption provided a sense of security and belonging. Openness provided information to build a self-narrative and encouraged discussion of adoption issues within adoptive families. Adoptive parents were critical in helping children understand their adoption and facilitating direct contact with birth families, thus laying foundations for positive identity development.

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