Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Pro Bono Research

Our Pro Bono Group conducts research on children’s rights.

Pro bono is a Latin phrase for professional work and research undertaken voluntarily without payment and for the benefit of the public good. The Pro Bono Group, believing that working for children and young individual’s rights is a particularly important social responsibility, conducts research on children’s rights.

Professor Marit Skivenes is the principal investigator and chair of the group. The members of the group include staff from the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, students at the Department for administration and organization theory, and volunteers interested in child welfare.

Current project
The Pro Bono Group is currently embarking on a comparative project investigating minority perspectives on child welfare services in the media (Spring 2019). Assessing the child welfare systems in Norway and California (U.S.), research questions include: What are minorities’ perspectives in the media on challenges with their relationship with child welfare services? How does the state respond to and address such challenges? Are there gaps between minorities’ perspective of challenges and state responses? If so, how may these gaps be filled? Methodology includes textual analysis of news articles from prominent Norwegian and U.S. newspapers.

Previous project: Mitt Liv Barnevern
The Pro Bono Group’s most recent completed project is an evaluation of the “Mitt Liv” (“My Life”) program. “Mitt Liv” is a project developed by “Forandringsfabrikken” (“The Change Factory”) and “Barnevernsproffene.” Its ambition is to change how child welfare workers work so that the child is at the centre of child welfare decisions. The project is set to change work procedures in and the ethos of many municipalities in Norway. “Forandringsfabrikken” is a foundation that, with the public, works to highlight a child-centred perspective in the Norwegian child welfare system. “BarnevernsProffene” are youth working for “Forandringsfabrikken” who are experts by experience with the child welfare system.

The final report is available here: Mot et barneperspektiv i Barnevernet. En studie av implementeringen av programmet Mitt Liv Barnevern.  Contributers to the report included: Kaja Eek-Larsen, Hege Stein Helland, Lisette Holm, Ida Juhasz, Oda Krogh Læret, Amy McEvan-Strand, Siri Hansen Pedersen, Barbara Ruiken, Marie Topaas Storm, Hilde Svrljuga Sætre, Marit Skivenes, Line Sørsdal, og Vilde Tøfte Øvstetun,

Members (Spring 2019)
Marit Skivenes (PI), Lisette Holm (coordinator), Barbara Ruiken (coordinator), Silje Amalie Eikeland Rose, Hege Beate Stein Helland, Madi Burroughs, Olive Dwan, Camilla Engebråten, Siri Hansen Pedersen, and Amy McEwan-Strand.


If you are interested in volunteering for, or have questions about, the Pro Bono Group, please contact coordinator Lisette Holm or Barbara Ruiken.

You can also volunteer for the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism and/or the Child Rights Unit at Centre on Law and Social Transformation. Please contact professor Marit Skivenes.