Tag Archives: Norway

A comparison of the culture between Australian and Norwegian child protection (CPS)

CopiiiAustraliei4

By Julian Chan

One problem which I have encountered both first hand and in reading comments from many parents who have had contact with a country’s CPS is in understanding what those authority’s expectations are regarding child development as well as the transparency of the processes. Here I have made a quick review of available material on Norway’s Barnevernet website as compared to the Western Australian Department for Child Protection

*The Australian site appears appears to provide much more information to the public than the Norwegian counterpart, Barnevernet. It gives the definitions of child abuse and neglect, providing examples and signs for each category. They make their expectations about child development and signs of trauma clear, while also acknowledging that development is not an even, straight line.

https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/ChildProtection/ChildAbuseAndNeglect/Documents/ChildDevelopmentAndTraumaGuide.pdf

There is a clear, published framework for working with cases:

https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/Resources/Documents/Policies%20and%20Frameworks/SignsOfSafetyFramework2011.pdf

and they have a clear, published policy statement on the use of that framework:

https://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/Organisation/Documents/PolicyonSignsofSafety20June2008.pdf

Of interest in the usage of that framework is the policy that the investigation is evidence based, and that the CPS worker is expected to proved clear concerns as well as what is working well. They are expected to have

“A clear and rigourous understanding of the distinction between, past harm, future danger and complicating factors…in straight-forward rather than professionalised language that can be readily understood by service recipients. As much as possible all statements focus on specific, observable behaviours and avoid meaning laden, judgment-loaded terms.”

The case worker is also encouraged to show critical thinking. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is from the framework notes, and deserves to be shown here in full:

In the contested and anxious environment of child protection casework the paternalistic impulse to establish the truth of any given situation is a constant. As Baistow and colleagues suggest:

Whether or not we think there are absolute perpetrators and absolute victims in child abuse cases, and whether or not we believe in a single uncontaminated ‘truth’ about ‘what happened’, powerful forces pull us towards enacting a script, which offers us these parts and these endings (Baistow et al. 1995: vi).”

The difficulty is that as soon as professionals decide they know the truth about a given situation this begins to fracture working relationships with other professionals and family members, all of whom very likely hold different positions. More than this the professional ceases to think critically and tends to exclude or reinterpret any additional information that doesn’t conform to their original position (English 1996).

Eileen Munro, who is internationally recognized for her work in researching typical errors of practice and reasoning in child protection (Munro 1996: 1998), states:

“The single most important factor in minimizing error (in child protection practice) is to admit that you may be wrong (Munro 2002: 141)1.

Restraining an individual’s natural urge to be definitive and to colonise one particular view of the truth is the constant challenge of the practice leader in the child protection field. Enacting Munro’s maxim requires that all processes that support and inform practice, foster a questioning approach or a spirit of inquiry as the core professional stance of the child protection practitioner.”

Now compare that culture of enquiry and reflection with how Barnevernet presents itself – https://www.bufdir.no/Barnevern/CopiiiNorvegiei2

The case-handling process does not appear to be provided there although the relevant rights and laws are mentioned and described in difficult (for a layman such as myself) legal-speak. How do they go about investigating? How do they make their decisions? Here:

https://www.bufdir.no/global/nbbf/Barnevern/Barnevernet_Brosjyre_ENGELSK.pdf

– on page 8, Barnevernet informs the reader that they have it all under control:

“When the parents meet with the child welfare service worker, they are given information about the call or note of concern, and in most cases will be able to read it themselves. After information relating to the notified concern has been provided, the child welfare service worker and the family discuss the content of the call or note of concern. The Child Welfare Service will often also contact others who know the child and the family, for example the local health centre, kindergarten, school, PP service and similar.

The Child Welfare Service is able to make an informed decision on the basis of the above as to whether or not further work in the case is necessary.”

The Child Welfare Service is able to… And we just have to take their word for it. When that statement goes hand in hand with another from the same document, I can only fear that Barnevernet are falling into the trap of paternalistic infallibility that Baistow, Munro et al have warned us about.

The Child Welfare Service must base its actions on the best interests of the child. This can sometimes conflict with the view of the parents. The Child Welfare Service’s first duty is to provide help and support to the parents so that they can be good carers for their children. If such measures and initiatives fail to produce the desired result, or if the problems experienced by the parents are for whatever reason insurmountable, an alternative may be to relocate the child or children outside the home for a shorter or longer period.”

**

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Knut Nygaard Writes a Letter to Help Bodnariu

bodnariu-familyIf you spend any time on Delight in Truth, you know Mr Knut Nygaard. He is an employee of Barnevernet in the larger city of Bergen, Norway, and he has been defending the CPS as a whole. Having said that, Mr Nygaard has had reservations about the way the Bodnariu case has been handled in the small municipality of Naustdal.

Today he wrote a letter to the CPS leader in Nausdtal (here) and followed up with this comment to DiT:“… it may give me an earlier retirement. If the CPS in Naustdal makes a complaint to my employer accusing me of interference in their ongoing work I think I’m off duty in the near future.”

Here are some excerpts from the letter (google translate from Norwegian – the meaning of the message is preserved despite the rough translation) :

“It is reasonably painful that the Municipal Councilman in Naustdal is willing to go down with the municipal flag to prevent these four [older Bodnariu kids] to get the opportunity to return to their own [family]. Probably it is uncertain what will happen with Ezekiel.

It is not in the child welfare social task to destroy an ordinary family of 7.

I’m in the final stretch of my working career and much of it has been happening and will still take place in the municipal child welfare. The last 23 years I have worked in one of the now 8 CPS areas in Bergen. My main responsibilities are receiving, investigations and measures.

At our office, we received 475 messages in 2014 – higher likelyhood of acute evaluations. In Naustdal they received a total of 27 messages and something tells me that it can be very far between emergency assessments.

If it is true that this [Bodnariu] family has never had contact with Barnevernet before and theme is spanking, then we have at our office handled approximately 100 such cases only one of which led to the use of 4.6, 2nd paragraph, and there was marked violence – like using a belt and water immersion.

Read more>>

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Classical Pentecostalism in the Old Days in Norway

Nor2Today, May 15th, 2016, millions of Christians across the globe celebrate the Day of Pentecost, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and the church was born. The believers at that time were characterized by a powerful and passionate proclamation of the truth which has lasted over centuries.

Here is an opinion expressed by a long time Norwegian commenter on “Delight in truth”, regarding a church service recorded in 1983 in Olso on video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=143&v=kxHKLg0rxyM

“In my youth – as not yet a Christian – I was inside a meeting led by Åge Samuelsen thatNor6 led Maranata – he came from the Pentecostal church – this was special and for a not yet born again – somewhat too happy and out of order – 1983 seems like a long time ago taken from this surroundings”.

Today, there are people in our local congregations that still show this consistent enthusiasm, and it is of inestimable value.

Octavian D. Curpas

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Norwegian Resident: What has Norway Become

Naustdal1This article was written by a resident of Naustdal (same county as the Bodnariu family) and published in  the newspaper Firda. Translated by Marianne Skanland. Segments posted with permission:

***

“Personally I feel strongly for the [Bodnariu] family and I believe they are being treated very unjustly. It is a strange thing that this is what the rest of the world seems to believe also, just not in Norway and especially locally. I think most Norwegians are over-confident that Barnevernet does everything in the best interest of children. Everybody – government ministers, diplomats, county governors – rise to tell in complimentary words about the theoretically fantastic child protection set-up we have, without entering into the real world. I hope from my heart that this is what causes their behaviour.

But I do not believe it. In this case I believe and I feel that it is not.

By good fortune the larger newspapers have lately covered several child protection cases around the country, giving us shattering stories. On social media there are also links, to loads of terrible accounts by people in Norway who have experienced Barnevernet on its worst behaviour. Naustdal is hardly alone. It seems to me that proper investigation and renovation are needed, of laws, rules and procedures. It is not enough that an arrangement looks fine on paper. One must see to it that it functions in each individual case. I think there may be great variations between different county committees and not least between those working there.

All the secrecy in Norway appears to serve the county committees more than the affected families.

Everybody can go to social media and see authentic recordings from actions with a family, the police and Barnevernet in action. I guarantee it is not a pleasant experience.

Regarding Naustdal, I understand it to have happened without warning. But from what I Nausdal2have heard, taking children away from their parents is supposed to be a last resort after everything else has been tried? Here, obviously, they have started at the wrong end. And where is it to end?

In addition, the parents have been charged and risk a criminal court case, a paragraph running to 6 years of prison being used. Does it take a month-long court case to get the children home? All this is to happen to a young woman who grew up on a farm in a community in Naustdal municipality, a woman who went to Romania to help street children there, met her husband there, came home and by and by had five children. Together with her husband she has lived for 10 years in their own house on the farm of her parents, where they all lived happily in a large family.

People ought to read carefully the desperate cry from the heart of the grandparents in an article in Firda on 10 February 2016.

I have to ask, what has Norway become?

Can such a thing happen only in Naustdal? Are people right abroad? Are these conditions such as we want to live with in Norway?”

http://delightintruth.com

 

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Ruth Bodnariu’s father – letter for local government and Norwegian media

Bodnariu1We have not wanted to come out openly in the media, because it can so easily be misunderstood. But based on the article in Firda (translator´s comment: The local newspaper) by the Chief Administrative Officer of Naustdal county, and the editorial in the newspaper, we find it necessary to tell about the factual circumstances around the much talked-about Barnevernet-case in Naustdal. We do not think it is alright that the Chief Administrative Officer, other county employees, or anybody else be harrassed or bullied. But when we know that this case was a shock for many and especially for us in the family, then it is not strange that there would be reactions.

This case has hurt the whole family and way beyond us. It has also been painful to read articles about the case in different newspapers where the upbringing of the children has been presented negatively without knowing the actual conditions. We who live here in the home and have had the children around us since they were born, must be the ones who know best how the children have been with their parents. Grandmother has at times taken much care of the children. When they came from school and the parents were not at home, the kids were with us. When their present home was being refurbished, the whole family lived with us for six months, and we thereby had full insight into their upbringing.

We can assure that we have never seen that violence has been used against the children. Not even that they have raised their voices to them. The children themselves have never told us that the parents have been nasty to them. For us who love our grandchildren so much, it would be inconceivable to know that they were not happy and not to intervene. After all, we are well informed people.

An enormous number of phone calls have come to us in this time. People are totally disturbed when they hear which approach Barnevernet has used. A women from Oslo had learned about this case through the media. She asked if Barnevernet has taken away the children based on what the children have said. Could that be possible? she said. Then she told us that she had been involved in Barnevernet in Oslo. For her, this was an outrageous approach. While the Chief Administrative Officer says that “Barnevernet in Naustdal has done a good job”.

A close relative who lives another place in the country has an 8 year old son. He came home from school and claimed that the teacher had taken a stranglehold of him in the classroom. Mom questioned that, but he said this repeatedly. She contacted the teacher who was devastated. It was established as a fact that this was not the case. We have heard similar cases when children have come home from school and other places and told things that were not real. Everyone who has kids knows that they can exaggerate and take things out of context. Children can be influenced by games and movies, and can say what seems fitting based on the questions they are asked.

We perceived from what the editor wrote in the editorial that he has chosen side in the Barnevernet-case. He mentions especially Christian upbringing, and writes that this “of course is total fabrication”. Well, then let us see what the principal of the school, according to the case documents, says in the telephone with Barnevernet on October 13th: “The school tells that it is a very Christian family with strong faith, a sin concept (translator´s remark: “syndstenkning” implies conviction of the sinfulness of man), punishment from God. All aunts and uncles share this view. The principal thinks that this inhibits the children”. Is this fabrication? We could also ask why this is brought into the report from the school? This cannot be perceived in any other way than that the principal maintains that Christianity is damaging for the children.

During police examination, the mother´s father was asked whether he knew that the children were exposed to some pressure (indoctrination relating to the Christian faith). When the mother´s father started to answer a little to the side of the question, he was told to not say anything other than what the case is about. Therefore the Christian upbringing is what the case is about. Is this also fabrication?

It is somewhat odd to note that foreign media have understood what has happened in Naustdal county in this case, whereas Norwegian media have not understood, or rather, don´t want to understand. Here we are living in the old assumption that “little and kind Norway” does not persecute Christianity – but there are many ways to do that.

The editor of Firda says in the editorial that one must “trust that Barnevernet tries to do what is the best for the children”. Yes, but how are the children doing? Well, they say that they cry a lot and miss their parents. Both of them said that repeatedly. They wanted to go back home. The oldest girl is now 10 (in January) said in a phone call on January 14th when mother´s father was present (first contact since November 16th) that she was super-angry when they prohibited her from meeting her parents.

Defenseless children are held captive away from the home against their will. We cannot find words to express what we feel. And this is called by the county´s Chief Administrative Officer: “Barnevernet in Naustdal has done a good job”. We must be allowed to ask: What is on the inside of people who can do something like this against someone´s children?

Barnevernet has a working method that psychs out both children and adults. They cannot have any other objective than to have the children and parents break down. It is hard to have to say this, but based on the actions of Naustdal´s barnevernet, as we have experienced it, our perception is that no family with children in the county should feel safe, especially foreigners.

Please excuse us, Chief Administrative Officer, but we have good advice to give: Now the time has come for you to resign and take Barevernet with you. The county and we who live here cannot accept that Naustdal has become world wide famous because of a merciless Barnevernet that keeps children captive so they cannot come to their good home with good parents.

Ruth’s father, grandfather of the Bodnariu children

Translation from Norwegian to English by Jan-Age Torp

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Barnevernet Sinking Despite the Progressive Romanian Defenders

B1The Norwegian CPS (Barnevernet) is taking a beating like never before. There are more victims who now have the courage to come public with their stories. There are reports of directors resigning.  There are horrifying reports that children are dying in the system. Some activists are saying that on average 2 children die per week while under CPS care.

The death of a 13-year-old girl has made front page news this week after she was found dead in her bed. Her biological parents are devastated that their concerns about her epilepsy were not addressed.

As the Barnevernet ship appears poised to sink, Barnevernet is waging a propaganda campaign in the media.

Who is coming to their rescue?

Progressive Romanians who live in Norway.B7

Delight in Truth wrote about pastor Beniamin Ciuciu who defended the CPS in a newspaper interview. Turns out he is affiliated with a Norwegian church and is supporting Barnevernet to maintain that relationship, as his church dwindling.

Here is another devil’s advocate, to use the English idiom, which in this case may reflect reality not just a mode of linguistic expression. Her name is Adriana Lie and she wrote an article for Bergens Tidende here.

She wants to tell us that she is upset with all the international protests and the “demonization of the CPS.”

She is also upset by the fury of anti-CPS posts in social media.

She is also upset with politicians, pastors, athletes, activists and pretty much every other Romanian who dares to question the Norwegian system.

Really? Wow.

Friends, this is a war. It is waged in the media and social media, and it appears that Barnevernet has hired mercenaries to fight against the Bodnarius, the Nans, and other families who are decimated by Barnevernet.

Maybe the mercenaries should look into the statistics of children dying and suffering harm inside Barnevernet. Maybe they should talk to the Romanian families who found scrapes, bruises and burns on their children during visitation.

Some child protection!

Who is the monster here? Who is the demon?

Barnevernet, hence the international demonization of this runaway organization.

http://delightintruth.com/

 

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Norway’s Dark History with Children

IstoriaNorvegieiDear friends, Delight in Truth would like to inform you about Norway’s crimes against the Lebensborn Children. It will provide a chilling historical context to understand what is happening to Child Protective Services (CPS) in that country today.Between 1940 and 1945, hundreds of thousands of German soldiers were part of the Nazi occupying force in Norway. The Lebensborn program encouraged Nazi soldiers to pursue relationships and have children with Norwegian women because Nazi ideology considered them a pure Aryan race.This social experiment in eugenics produced approximately 12,000 children who were later labeled the Lebensborn Children. Such war children were born in countries acrossEurope, but in Norway they have a special story that continues even today. In fact, FridaLyngstad, one of the singers of 1970s-80s pop band ABBA is a Lebensborn Child.During the war, the pregnant mothers and the children were given special care and were considered to be genetically superior to the average Norwegian. But after the war ended, these children became social outcasts in Norway. Some were abandoned, someended up in orphanages, and many were confiscated by the state and subjected to mistreatment.Norway placed many of these children in mental asylums and special institutions where they were physically, sexually and psychologically abused. Many of them who are now in their 60s tell horrifying stories of how they were tied to their bed, unable to play outside, having to relieve themselves in the same place where they ate their food. The mothers who had their children confiscated never saw them again.In the last 15 years the Lebensborn children have been fighting a hardened Norway government in the court system to get Norway to acknowledge their crimes and human rights violations, and to get compensation for lost childhoods.This Norway, perhaps the most developed country in the world by their own standards, continues to confiscate about 2-3000 children per year, targeting mostly immigrant and mixed Norwegian children. Critics of the CPS (Barnevernet) claim that as low as 1% of those cases actually involve the type of violence where the children would be taken from home in other comparable countries.Considering this background, it is not surprising to read in the media about the five Bodnariu kids which were removed from their loving parents without investigation, without warning, without attempting to help the family first. Accusations against the family are severe, despite any physical evidence of violence on the kids. There ishowever evidence that CPS may have manipulated the kids to incriminate the parents, and the system tried to have the parents sign affidavits to incriminate each other.Delight in Truth has tried to look at both sides of the story as available in the media, but it is evident that the Bodnarius have been treated unfairly. Some well-informed legal authorities from the Romanian parliament (senator Titus Corlatean) claim they have been treated criminally.I do not know if the Norwegian government is realizing what is about to happen world-wide starting in January 2016 with extensive protests in Europe and America in front of their embassies, and how this will destroy Norway’s image in the world.I pray they will resolve the Bodnariu case and return the kids to their parents immediately, while taking a long look at their history and step up to reform CPS.

http://delightintruth.com

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