Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Minister Toppe Proposes Key Steps to Strengthen Child Protection System 

The Ministry of Children and Families of Norway (Det kongelige barne- og familiedepartement) published a new law report titled “Consultation note – proposal for changes to the Child Protection Act, etc. (quality reform)” (read in Norwegian: “Høringsnotat – forslag til endringer i barnevernsloven mv. (kvalitetsreform)”). The report published on April 8th, 2024, proposes legal reforms which aim to enhance the quality of child protection services, while providing additional assistance and protection to vulnerable children and families. The amendments to the Child Welfare Act are planned to strengthen legal protections for children and parents, enhance stability in foster care, and ensure services meet the needs of children and families. 

While the Ministry is stating that there has generally been positive feedback from children and families on the services and protection provided by the current social protection system, multiple challenges have been identified, for instance, a lack of coordination between services. 

The measures in this report by the Ministry include suggestions proposed by the report NOU 2023: 7 “Safe childhood, secured future” (summary in English here), also known as “Skivenes Report”, and the report NOU 2024: 23 (With the child all the way — Child welfare institutions that have the children’s trust).  

The Proposal for changes to the Child Protection Act is a comprehensive report outlining both legislative proposals and a plan for implementing the reforms.  Chapters 1 to 4 provide a detailed analysis of the current situation and the previous reports and research that led to the suggestions outlined in the Ministry’s law proposal. Readers can get more information on the specific proposals in chapters 5 to 14. Finally, Chapter 15 discusses economic and administrative implications, while chapters 16 and 17 present legislative drafts. 

Deadline for comments and feedback on the proposed changes is July 2, 2024.  

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