Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Child Protection Systems Across the World

CPS-WORLD aims to conduct groundbreaking research by examining the empirical foundation of an emerging, global typology of child protection systems – systems imbued with the legal authority and responsibility to intervene into the private sphere of the family.

The main objective of the project is to examine defining elements of child protection systems and their boundaries by analyzing public and judiciary perspectives across the world, enabling empirical advancements and theoretical innovations. This transdisciplinary endeavor will lay the foundation as a conceptual tool for comparative research on governments’ responsibilities to and for children in vulnerable situations.

CPS-WORLD combines innovative methodological approaches and cross-country examinations, applying several data sources and combining survey, vignettes, experiments and text analysis. The project is the most comprehensive cross-country study ever undertaken in this field. It is pioneering in its empirical and critical ambition to explain the decisive factors and mechanisms in child protection systems. The research team will conduct randomized survey experiments to generate unique data identifying possible causal mechanisms to explain differences in the normative foundation of child protection systems.

The findings will advance our understanding of child protection, and spark a new generation of researchers who will continue to empirically test the typology and its associated dimensions. Those efforts are likely to result in articulated understandings about family caregiving, children’s safety and well-being, and state roles in supporting both. The comparative basis will provide new opportunities for transdisciplinary, international studies and nation-specific research. The typology will further provide benchmarks for policymakers as they seek to craft policies that protect the rights of children, and provide a conceptual and theoretical frame to interpret and understand their within-nation system and orient their aspirations toward system characteristics that are appropriate for change.


Project period



Research Council of Norway
University of Bergen

Research team

Marit Skivenes (PI)
Jill Berrick
Siri Gloppen
Karl Harald Søvig
Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde

Advisory board

Neil Gilbert
Rami Benbenishty
Andrea Castagnola
Andras Jakab
Jayna Kothari
Lydia Mugambe
Alexander Cappelen
Bertil Tungodden

Research Ethics

The survey part of the project is registered in Rette (F2828).


This project has received funding from the Research Council of Norway and University of Bergen under the Research Programme Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project (Fellesløft IV) (grant no. 324966).

Disclaimer: Publications from the project reflects only the authors’ views and the funding agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.