Justifying Interventions in Norwegian Child Protection – An Analysis of Cases of Violence in Migrant and Non-migrant Families
Nordic Journal on Law and Society 4(02):1–41. doi: 10.36368/njolas.v4i02.178.
41 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 3, 2021
How are decisions about care orders of children in cases about violence justified? What important accounts are considered? In an in-depth analysis of 94 written care order decisions from the Norwegian County Boards, we examine decision-makers arguments and hereunder if there are differences in cases about migrant and non-migrant families. The analysis shows that justifications are largely rooted in a pragmatic discourse focusing on risk-levels, drawing on empirical evidence of violence. Additionally, there is a pragmatic-ethical discourse rooted in the decision-makers assessment of parents’ ability to change their behaviour, to meet the children’s needs, highlighting parental denial of violence and blaming the children. This serves the decision-makers in justifying whether the necessary care for the children is possible to attain. We find only a few differences between migrant and non-migrant cases: parents’ denial is more prevalent in migrant cases; in non-migrant cases consequences for the child is more prevalent; and more evidence of strong direct violence in migrant cases.
Keywords: child's best interest, violence, justifications, discourse, decision-making
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