The voice of the child is not heard Summary of countrywide supervision in 2017 of The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat)
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 3/2018
The Offices of the County Governors have carried out supervision of Bufetat’s regional placement teams and the National Placement Team (NIT). The supervision included the following areas: the requirement of Bufetat to provide support in acute situations and with applications for planned measures in institutions, such as providing help and care, and dealing with behavioural problems. Participation of the child was assessed for all types of measures. Participation means that the child is given appropriate information and the opportunity to express his or her opinions. The opinions of the child shall be taken into account according to the child’s age and development.
The work of Bufetat shall be organized and controlled in such a way that appropriate measures are offered when help is requested from the municipalities. In order to decide which measures are appropriate, Bufetat must have adequate knowledge about the child’s needs and situation, and also about which measures are available. Bufetat must make a specific evaluation of whether the proposed measures are in the child’s best interest. The child’s situation and needs must be decisive factors when deciding how urgently measures need to be offered.
The results of supervision are summarized in this report.
The results show that emergency response is adequate, but that there are
inadequacies with meeting the requirements in several central areas. A common finding was that the child was not given the opportunity to participate when his or her application was dealt with. Another finding was that Bufetat did not ensure that sufficient information about the child, the child’ situation and the child’s needs were available when deciding which measures to offer.
Bufetat is now well underway with work to improve the areas in which the statutory requirements were not met. The Offices of the County Governors shall follow up supervision until these requirements are met.