About the project

The research project Decisions and Justification in Child Protection Services (CPS) focuses on how decisions and interventions in Norway's Child Protection Services (CPS) are to be understood as justificatory practices that express interpretations of the principle of the Best Interest of the Child (BIC).

The project is organised into seven work packages (WPs) which adhere to this main objective.

WP1 focuses on how BIC and related values influence norms of justification in Norwegian CPS with decisions made in relevant similar services in other countries.

WP2 explores how decisions on BIC regarding minority families reflect cultural differences and values related to ethnic background and social and economic factors.

WP3 looks at justifications of care orders made by the County Social Welfare Boards.

WP4 focuses on the CPS’s work with parents and other welfare organisations in families where the parents have serious psychological or addiction problems.

WP5 studies family council conferences, an alternative model for decisions in CPS compared to proceedings that are more traditional.

WP6 scrutinizes justifications for CPS-interventions separating new-borns from parents.

WP7 analyses justifications of decisions and interpretations of BIC found in WP1-6, in light of critical philosophy and criteria for sound justification. 

The project uses qualitative methods: individual and group interviews, observations, document analysis and in-depth literature studies. The research aspires to implement methodological principles in which participation is considered a method in itself. The project is tailored to strengthen research-based education, service-improvement, innovation and user-participation.

Users of services, students, collaborating academics, agencies and professionals from the practice field will be involved throughout the research.

The results will be shared in the Norwegian community of teachers and researchers in the field, and provide a novel knowledge base applicable to a range of educational programmes and academic institutions in Norway and comparable countries.