Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

New articles

“Care Order Templates as Institutional Scripts in Child Protection: A Cross-system Analysis”


In a new article Jill Duerr Berrick (UC Berkely, USA), Jonathan Dickens (University College Cork, UK), Tarja Pösö (University of Tampere, Finland) and Marit Skivenes (University of Bergen, Norway) comperes care order templates across four child welfare systems, England, Finland, Norway, and USA (California).

The content of the care order application may serve as the source of data for research regarding the characteristics of families in question, but the blank template itself is not regularly featured as a source of study. However, it is crucial because it is the document that guides agency staff in completing the application, presenting the facts of the case, and recording and exchanging information between the agency and judicial system. The analysis of the documents compares the language and form of the four blank templates, their inter-textuality, their readership, and authors. The analysis highlights the discretionary space allocated to social workers across countries and the state frameworks within which child protection efforts are embedded.

The article is published in Children and Youth Services Review 2017. Click here to read more about this.


“The Representation of Children’s Views in Finnish Court Decisions Regarding Care Orders”

In their new article Tarja Pösö (University of Tampere, Finland) and her colleague Rosi Enross (University of Tampere, Finland) examines the representation of children’s views in Finnish court decisions regarding care orders.

The article explores how written court decisions recognise, address and use children’s views in care order decisions and compares the results with a similar study conducted in Norway. In the literature, both countries are portrayed as having a child-orientated child welfare system. Based on the analysis of 36 court decisions in Finland, it is argued that children’s views are narrowly represented and used in written court decisions of care orders. Three models emerged: the direct and indirect representation of children’s views and the absence of children’s views. The first model is strongly related to the child’s age.

The article is published in the International Journal of Children’s Rights 2017. Click here to read more about this.

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