Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Research strategy on children and young people at risk

A working group led by Marit Skivenes recommends establishing Norway as a world leader in research on vulnerable children.

In order to create a targeted and comprehensive national effort for vulnerable children and young people, the Norwegian government has initiated a national strategy – BarnUnge21. Professor Marit Skivenes, together with PhD student Hege Stein Helland, has been responsible for one of the four thematic working groups that have now released their reports.

The report – focusing on research – recommend the Government to define vulnerable children as one of the most important societal challenges in Norway. The working group emphasizes the important role of research to improve children and young people’s living conditions, and encourage the Government to embrace an ambition of positioning Norway as a world leader in research within this field.

Investment in research

– We are calling for a large investment in both basic research and applied research on children, with cross-cutting perspectives. Norway has a reputation of being a society with strong emphasis on children’s rights and could take a leading position internationally, professor Marit Skivenes states.

The report points out that the current quality of research on vulnerable children has significant weaknesses, that there are large knowledge gaps and a shortage of basic research, as well as that the various research environments are small and fragmented.

The report further stresses the importance of taking on a child perspective in research at all levels. It is a recommendation that researchers should reflect on what is important and necessary based on the child’s (as a group) positions and needs, and to reflect on the implications of the research findings for vulnerable children and young people.

The report is available from The Research Council of Norway (in Norwgian), and open for comments from the public.


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