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Summary

On behalf of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision, in 2020-2021
the county governors undertook nationwide inspection of the child
welfare service’s investigation work. The inspection was performed as
system audits and as self-assessments. In total, the practice in 90 child
welfare services was reviewed. Ofences or points for improvement
were found in 80 of these.
A recurring fnding was that the child welfare services do not perform
the investigations well enough. This concerns shortcomings in the
professional work and inadequate assessments of the information that
emerges. Many investigations are performed according to a standard
template, without specifc assessment of relevant topics to investigate
in more detail and which information it is relevant to obtain, and from
whom.
Many child welfare services give the children too little information to
enable them to have an opinion about the matter. Moreover, there are
many cases where children are not heard and are thus unable to voice
their opinion. When the children have expressed an opinion, these do
not always appear in the case presentation or in the assessments of
what will be in the best interests of the child.
Furthermore, many investigations do not progress as the seriousness
of the case would indicate. Many child welfare services have such a
strong focus on meeting deadlines that in some cases this afects the
diligence of the investigations.