BRIS Report 2010


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BRIS Report 2010

  1. 1. The BRIS Report 2010Let the children speak! And take them seriously!About contacts with authorities, school, mental illness and boys 2010
  2. 2. The BRIS-mail, The BRIS-chat, Foras The BRIS-mail provides BRIS Adult Helpline personal answers within – about Children a few days. The BRIS-Chat provides The Children’s Helpline Monday to Friday: real time 1-to-1-chat. – BRIS 116 111 10:00 am – 1:00 pm In the Discussion Forum, – for those up to age 18. which is also on BRIS. 077-150 50 50 se, children and young Monday to Friday: people can communi- 3:00 pM – 9:00 pM cate with each other Saturday, Sunday and holidayS: under the oversight of 3:00 pM – 6:00 pM an adult moderator. 116 111 www.bris.seBRIS´ OfficesBRISKarlavägen 121 BRIS  –  Children’s Rights in Society  –  is  an  NGO,  a  voluntary  organisation with no party political or religious affiliation,  which supports children and young people in distress and is a link bet-SE-115 26 StockholmTel: +46 (0)8-598 888 00 ween children, adults and the community. The core of BRIS’ activities Fax: +46 (0)8-598 888 01 is comprised of the Children’s Helpline – BRIS 116 111, the  BRIS-mail E-mail: and the BRIS-chat, to which children and young people up to the age BRIS region Nord of  18  can  turn  anonymously  and  free-of-charge  when  they  need  sup-(Northern Region)Kungsgatan 36 port from an adult. BRIS also works as an opinion maker and referral SE-903 25 Umeå organisation to increase adults’ respect for children as individuals. BRIS Tel: +46 (0)90-203 65 10Fax: +46 (0)90-203 65 11 works for the full application of the principles established in the UN E-mail: Convention of the Rights of the Child. BRIS uses its collective know-BRIS region Väst ledge of the situation of children and young people to inform, influence (Western Region) and create opinion in children’s rights issues at various levels. BRIS also Hvitfeldtsgatan 14SE-411 20 Göteborg accepts calls from adults who need someone to talk to about their own Tel: +46 (0)31-750 11 30 or other’s children.Fax: +46 (0)31-750 11 31E-mail: bris was founded in 1971 and is organised as one national and five re-BRIS region Mitt gional associations. Offices are located in Malmö, Göteborg, Norrköping, (Central Region) Stockholm and Umeå. BRIS’ activities are based on volunteer work and Karlavägen 121SE-115 26 Stockholm financial grants and donations from both private and public donors. BRIS tEl: +46 (0)8-598 888 10 has a total of over 600 volunteer workers who man the Children’s Helpline Fax: +46 (0)8-598 888 11E-mail: – BRIS 116 111, the BRIS-mail and the BRIS-chat. These volunteers are  recruited, trained and supervised by employed BRIS personnel. The BRIS BRIS region Syd(Southern Region) Adult Helpline – about Children is usually manned by employed BRIS Östra Rönneholmsv. 7 representatives and costs as much as a regular phone call.SE-211 47 MalmöTel: +46 (0)40-690 80 70Fax: +46 (0)40-690 80 71E-mail: BRIS.syd@BRIS.seBRIS region Öst(Eastern Region)Korsgatan 2, Hus ESE-602 33 NorrköpingPostal address: BRISSE-601 86 NorrköpingTel: +46 (0)11-440 05 50Fax: +46 (0)11-440 05 51E-mail: The BRIS Report 2010 2
  3. 3. The BRIS Report 2010 BRIS believes that the lack of knowledgeis often greater thanthe lack of resources.There are alsotendencies to applyresources to a child’scase only when thingshave gone so far thatthe individual is athreat to society andhim or herself. illuStration liSa j karlSSonThis BRIS-report is not atranslation of the entire Swedishreport. With regard to this year’s 4 Let the children speak! 21 Not being good enough as one isthemes and the expectedreaders, we have chosento translate main articles 7 Summary statistics 2009. 24 Reflecting boys seek concrete advice 14 concerning contacts with Insecurity 26 authorities, school, mental the worst BRIS is needed!illness and boys. 17 Truancy 28 116 111 19 Ignorance makes bullying worse Publisher BRIS, Barnens Rätt I Samhället Text Maja Aase, Åsa Lekberg, Cecilia Nauclér, (Children’s Rights In Society Pernilla Rönnlid and Åsa Wallentin Address BRIS-tidningen, Karlavägen 121, English translation Semantix SE-115 26 Stockholm, Sweden Photo Johan Bergling, Johan Gunséus, Martin Editorial committee Magntorn, Anna Rehnberg and Stina Svanberg PG 901504-1 Cecilia Nauclér, Jenny Ingårda, Peter Illustrations Thomas Fröhling, Lisa J Karlsson, Irgens, Karin Johansson, My Zinderland, Yusuke Nagano and Lena Sjöberg/Söderberg Eva Stenelund and Eva Waltré Agentur Editor Cecilia Nauclér/Peter Irgens Responsible editor Göran Harnesk, Secretary Ad Helena Lunding/Kristina Schollin-Borg General, BRIS The BRIS Report 2010 3
  4. 4. The BRIS Report 2010 Not only do children have the right to express themselves (under Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child), it is also a prerequisite for children’s development and mental health. Unfortunately, many adults lack the ability to see and interact with children, especially vulnerable children, and the lack of knowledge is often greater than the lack of resources.Let thechildren take themspeak! seriously! And briS liStEnS to tens of thousands of children every  Bullying is something that children themsel- year. And here, I mean really listens. BRIS never in- ves ask BRIS to push as an issue. In a web survey  terviews the children who contact us, but rather our  conducted in late autumn 2009, we asked child- aim and objective is for each individual child to con- ren what issue they thought BRIS should emp- trol the contact with us him or herself. They say what  hasize for the 2010 election and the single most  they need to talk about, or get help with, right then.  common answer was “school” and “issues of bul- Why do we do so? Why does BRIS not control  lying”. BRIS takes the children seriously and we  the contact with the child and conduct an inter- will  emphasize  issues  concerning  bullying  and  view? Why do we let them talk, e-mail or chat  other issues during the 2010 election year.  about anything?  One consequence of not being seen or listened  Because all children need to be met and listened  to in school is that the child quits going to school.  to based on their own individual needs. Only then  BRIS encounters children who have not been in  can trust be built, and only then will the child also  school  for  several  months,  sometimes  longer.  dare to ultimately talk about what is really difficult  These  are  vulnerable  children,  whose  already  and troubling. Consequently, BRIS can find out  low self-esteem has been further degraded by the  about the child’s real situation, and only then can  adults not acting and taking them seriously, with  we also provide help and support.  serious implications for the child.  A child who is not permitted to speak his or  We  meet  children  who  are  seeking  our  help  her mind will become dependent and silent in  because they were unable to get help from the ca- the long term. His or her capacity to contribute  ring and protecting bodies of society. Nor have  to society will be strongly diminished. Not liste- they been listened to or taken seriously. We also  ning is the same as repressing and violating and  encounter children who, for various reasons, have  is a way of saying to the child that what he or she  been put into placement by society and contact us  feels and is trying to communicate has no value.  because they do not have a single adult to talk to. Every  child  placed  in  care  can  be  seen  as  a  Consequences failure on the part of society, but the child’s best  Every day, BRIS sees examples of children not  interests must always be the first priority and in  being allowed to express themselves. We meet,  the placement of a child, the adults must have the  for example, children who are subjected to seri- expertise to understand the child’s situation and  ous bullying in school, but are not taken seriously  the child’s individual needs. Every placed child  when they try to get help from school staff. Not  should  consequently  have  individual  contact  being heard when he or she is subjected to serious  with a dedicated professional adult who listens  insult exacerbates the child’s victimisation.  and  safeguards  the  child’s  needs  and  can  esta- The BRIS Report 2010 4
  5. 5. The BRIS Report 2010 Foto johan bergling photo johan bergling”BRIS demands greater expertise in the needs and development of List of demandschildren, especially vulnerable children, among all those who interactwith children,” says Göran Harnesk. BRIS Report 2010 blish the trust that the child needs.  BRIS also sees a negative impact on children’s  LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IS GREATER mental health when they cannot express them- THAN LACK OF RESOURCES selves. Children who are doing poorly mentally,  do  not  like  to  talk  about  it,  which  makes  the  • BRIS demands that the social services problem  fundamentally  difficult  to  manage.  If  and child health centres have specialist the child is still not listened to, it is not uncom- expertise to meet vulnerable children. mon for him or her to also become the bearer of  BRIS also demands that all professional groups  a  negative  secret  and  the  child’s  mental  health  that work with children receive training in child  worsens, without anyone being aware of it.  development and in seeing and meeting children.  Receiving  support  early  on  is  extremely  im- portant in cases of mental illness, and a prerequisite  • BRIS demands the right of all children to for this is that the children dare to say how they are  individual discussions with caring and doing. The children must be allowed to speak!  protective bodies such as the social In our contacts with children and young pe- services and child and adolescent ople, we can see that many adults lack knowledge  psychiatric services. about  children’s  needs  and  child  development,    Today, it happens far too often that victimised  even though they meet children every day. Far  children are given discussions with caring and  too often, children tell us about adults who have  protective bodies in the presence of their guardians,  not dared to listen or have not taken what the  which means that the children do not dare say  child says seriously.  what they have been subjected to.  BRIS believes that the lack of knowledge is  often greater than the lack of resources. There are  • BRIS demands that all schools use also tendencies to apply resources to a child’s case  evidence-based anti-bullying methods. only when things have gone so far that the indi-   Many of the anti-bullying methods used in schools  vidual is a threat to society and him or herself.  today lack evaluation and the effects of them are conse- More knowledge is needed among everyone who  quently uncertain. Since bullying results in serious,  meets children in terms of recognising early signs  long-term implications for the person subjected to  that the child is not doing well. These adults also  it, schools must effectively and pro-actively combat  need knowledge in interacting with children for  bullying with evidence-based methods.  the child to dare to ask for help if he or she is  having a difficult time.    The BRIS Report 2010 5
  6. 6. The BRIS Report 2010 The BRIS Report 2010 6
  7. 7. statisticsSummarystatisticsilluStrationS Thomas Fröhling,Lena Sjöberg/Söderberg Agentur 2009 In 2009, BRIS had 21,611 supportive contacts with children and young people, including calls to the Children’s Helpline, e-mails to the BRIS-mail and chat sessions on the BRIS-chat. The BRIS Report 2010 7
  8. 8. statisticsNumber of contactsTotal number of contacts 2009 2008 2007 Supportive 21,611 21,848 21,401 Other 56,436 59,298 80,133 Total 78,047 81,146 101,534Supportive contacts by channel Children’s Helpline 1,838 No BRIS-mail 8.50% BRIS-chat 7,440 No 12,333 No 34.40% 57.10%Total number of supportive contacts 21.611Supportive child contacts 2000-2009 Year Children’s BRIS- BRIS- Total Helpline mail chat number 2000 17,431 608 18,039 2001 17,150 2,208 19,358 2002 18,348 4,675 23,023 2003 16,008 6,036 22,044 2004 14,450 7,683 22,133 2005 10,778 8,459 19,237 2006 11,588 9,685 21,273 2007 11,551 9,797 53 21,401 2008 13,014 8,029 805 21,848 2009 12,333 7,440 1,838 21,611 Various channels Availability The  largest  change  in  BRIS’  suppor- During  the  year,  601,916  attempts  were  tive channels is that the BRIS-chat expe- made  to  call  the  Children’s  Helpline,  an  rienced explosive growth during the year.  increase of 5.7 percent compared with the  The  number  of  contacts  more  than  dou- year  before.  Of  the  attempts  made,  87  bled,  from  805  chat  sessions  in  2008  to  percent  or  524,725  attempts  were  made  1,838 chat sessions in 2009. One reason for  during the opening hours of the Children’s  this may be that the opening hours for the  Helpline.  BRIS-chat were extended during the year,  The number of supportive calls on the  and as a result, more children were able to  Children’s  Helpline  decreased  somewhat  contact BRIS through the BRIS-chat.  compared with 2008. One reason for this  decrease may be that the average time spent  in each call was somewhat longer in 2009  than previous years.  BRIS has the goal that a child should  not  have  to  wait  more  than  3-4  days  for  a response e-mail from BRIS. In 2008, it  took an average of 57 hours for a child to  receive a response. However, this time de- creased during 2009 when the average wait  was 51 hours.  The BRIS Report 2010 8
  9. 9. statisticsMost common contact topicsTHE 20 MOST COMMON CONTACT TOPICS 2009 2008TOPIC No. % of % of total No. % of % of total topics no. of topics no. of noted contacts noted contactsFriends 5,984 8.8% 27.7% 4,981 8.0% 22.8%Fear/anxiety 5,243 7.7% 24.3% 4,424 7.1% 20.2%School 4,931 7.2% 22.8% 3,540 5.7% 16.2%Family conflicts 3,983 5.9% 18.4% 4,146 6.7% 19.0%Love 3,476 5.1% 16.1% 3,397 5.5% 15.5%Loneliness 3,444 5.1% 15.9% 3,168 5.1% 14.5%Bullying 3,051 4.5% 14.1% 3,008 4.9% 13.8%Other mental illness 2,112 3.1% 9.8% 2,038 3.3% 9.3%Identity development 2,058 3.0% 9.5% 1,826 3.0% 8.4%Sorrow 1,998 2.9% 9.2% 1,977 3.2% 9.0%Sex 1,940 2.9% 9.0% 1,736 2.8% 7.9%Physical abuse 1,897 2.8% 8.8% 1,857 3.0% 8.5%Living arrangements 1,890 2.8% 8.7% 1,611 2.6% 7.4%Existential/life issues 1,834 2.7% 8.5% 2,010 3.2% 9.2%Body/appearance 1,828 2.7% 8.5% 1,584 2.6% 7.3%Leisure time 1,631 2.4% 7.5% 1,084 1.8% 5.0% 2009 2008Sexual abuse/molestation 1,571 2.3% 7.3% 1,423 2.3% 6.5% Total number topics 68,050 61,894Stress 1,531 2.2% 7.1% 1,293 2.1% 5.9% notedSuicide/thoughts of suicide 1,515 2.2% 7.0% 1,798 2.9% 8.2% Total number of 21,611 21,848Divorced parents 1,499 2.2% 6.9% 1,464 2.4% 6.7% contacts Most common contact topics ted is divided by the total number of topics  Increases and decreases Every time BRIS has a supportive phone  noted, which for 2009 is 68,050. In a table  – contact topics call, e-mail or chat session, it is registered  that shows the proportions that each topic  The distribution of contact topics in 2009  as a supportive contact in BRIS’ database.  comprised of the total number of noted to- is somewhat similar to that for 2008, but  After  each  contact,  the  volunteer  invol- pics, the total of these proportions will be  the figures changed some for some topics. ved documents what different topics were  100 percent. The  contact  topics  that  increased  the  covered in the contact. A call, an e-mail  2.  The  second  answers  the  following  most in 2009 are “friends” and “fear/anx- or a chat session rarely concerns only one  question:  “What proportion of BRIS’ sup- iety”, as well as “school”. topic. On average, each contact covers th- portive contacts concerned this topic in par- Friends increased from 4,981 contacts  ree topics.  ticular?” in 2008 to 5,984 contacts in 2009.  For example, if a child calls BRIS and  The  answer  to  this  question  indicates  Fear/anxiety increased from 4,424 con- says that he or she is nervous about his/her  how  many  of  BRIS’  supportive  contacts  tacts to 5,243 contacts in 2009.  marks in school, the call is registered as a  were  about  this  specific  topic.  To  arrive  School increased from 3,540 contacts to  contact concerning two topics: school and  at this figure, the number of times a cer- 4,931 contacts in 2009.  fear/anxiety. tain topic was noted is divided by the total  “Stress” is a less frequent contact topic,  As a result of this, the statistics on the con- number of supportive contacts, which for  which however increased sharply in 2009,  tact topics can be read in two different ways: 2009 is 21,611.  from 1,293 contacts in 2008 to 1,531 con- 1. The first answers the following ques- In a table that shows the proportions of  tacts.  tion:  “What proportion of the topics noted BRIS’ supportive contacts that concerned  An  area  that  decreased  is  “suicide/ was about this topic in particular?” each  topic,  the  sum  of  these  proportions  thoughts  of  suicide”,  which  went  from  The  answer  to  this  question  indicates  will  be  more  than  100  percent  because  1,798 contacts in 2008 to 1,515 in 2009.  how many of the topics noted were about  each individual supportive contact can co- The topic “existential and life issues” also  this specific topic. To arrive at this figure,  ver several different topics. decreased, from 2,010 contacts in 2008 to  the number of times a certain topic was no- 1,834 contacts in 2009. The BRIS Report 2010 9
  10. 10. statisticsGender & AgeGender distribution 10 most common topics for boys Gender of No % Average age Topic No. of boys % of topics % of total no. of the child 14.4 noted for boys contacts w/boys Girl 16,902 78.8% School 1,170 8.70% 25.8% Boy 4,536 21.2% Average age/gender Friends 1,149 8.50% 25.3%Number of contacts where the child’s Bullying 963 7.10% 21.2%gender was apparent 21.438 Gender Average age Fear/anxiety 861 6.40% 19.0% Girl 14.5 Loneliness 704 5.20% 15.5% Boy 14.2 Love 682 5.10% 15.0% Family conflicts 590 4.40% 13.0% Sex 583 4.30% 12.9% Leisure time 535 4.00% 11.8% Physical abuse 485 3.60% 10.7% Number of contact topics noted for boys 13,469 Number of boys who contacted BRIS 4,536 10 most common topics for girls Topic No. of girls % of topics % of total no. of noted for girls contacts w/girls Friends 4,797 8.9% 28.4% Fear/anxiety 4,338 8.0% 25.7% School 3,722 6.9% 22.0% Family conflicts 3,369 6.2% 19.9% Love 2,788 5.2% 16.5% Loneliness 2,710 5.0% 16.0% Bullying 2,042 3.8% 12.1% Other mental illness 1,857 3.4% 11.0% Sorrow 1,676 3.1% 9.9% Identity development 1,609 3.0% 9.5% Number of contact topics noted for girls 54,060 Number of girls who contacted BRIS 16,902 Gender and age Gender distribution - Contact topics Girls  are  in  the  majority  in  contacting  Contacts  about  girls  most  often  concern  BRIS,  and  this  difference  between  boys  friends, fear/anxiety and school. In cont- and girls has grown since 2008. In 2009,  rast to contacts about boys, it is relatively  the  girls  accounted  for  80 percent of the  common,  however,  that  contacts  about  contacts  with  BRIS  and  the  boys  for  20  girls concern sorrow and other mental ill- percent. ness.  The average age increased marginally in  Contacts  about  boys  most  often  con- 2009, from 14.3 in 2008 to 14.4 in 2009.  cern  school,  friends  and  bullying.  The  From the 2009 figures, it can also be noted  topics  sex  and  leisure  time  are  examples  that the difference between boys and girls  of topics where the proportion of boys is  is somewhat small with regard to average  relatively high compared with the propor- age, where the average for the girls was 14.2  tion of girls. years and for boys it was 14.5. The BRIS Report 2010 10
  11. 11. statisticsLiving arrangements & topics10 most common topics – Divorce (Living w/ lone mother, 12 most common topics – Children in placementlone father, both parents alternately or in stepfamily) Topic No % of Comparison: % of Comparison: Topic No % of topics Comparison: % of no. of Comparison: topics % of topics no. of % of no. of noted – % of topics contacts – % of no. of noted – noted – total contacts contacts – Children in noted – total Children in contacts – Divorce – Divorce total placement placement total Family conflicts 1,332 8.8% 5.9% 36.2% 18.4% Divorced parents 1,216 8.0% 2.2% 33.1% 6.9% Living arrangements 242 9.1% 2.8% 43.2% 8.7% Fear/anxiety 1,050 6.9% 7.7% 28.6% 24.3% Fear/anxiety 191 7.2% 7.7% 34.1% 24.3% Loneliness 875 5.8% 5.1% 23.8% 15.9% Family conflicts 161 6.1% 5.9% 28.8% 18.4% Living 850 5.6% 2.8% 23.1% 8.7% Loneliness 156 5.9% 5.1% 27.9% 15.9% arrangements Contacts with 139 5.2% 1.7% 24.8% 5.3% Friends 845 5.6% 8.8% 23.0% 27.7% authorities School 843 5.5% 7.2% 22.9% 22.8% Other mental illness 106 4.0% 3.1% 18.9% 9.8% Physical abuse 596 3.9% 2.8% 16.2% 8.8% Sexual abuse/ 105 4.0% 2.3% 18.8% 7.3% molestation Sorrow 527 3.5% 2.9% 14.3% 9.2% Physical abuse 104 3.9% 2.8% 18.6% 8.8% Bullying 444 2.9% 4.5% 12.1% 14.1% School 104 3.9% 7.2% 18.6% 22.8%Total number of topics noted in divorce 15,204 Friends 102 3.8% 8.8% 18.2% 27.7%Total number of contacts in divorce 3,677 Self-destructiveness 97 3.7% 2.0% 17.3% 6.3%Total number of topics noted 68,050 Suicide/thoughts 94 3.5% 2.2% 16.8% 7.0%Total number of contacts 21,611 of suicide Total number of topics noted for children in placement (where it has come forth that the child lives in a foster home, at a treatment centre or the like) 2,650 Total number of contacts for children in placement 560Living arrangements Topics – Divorce Topics – Children in placementSince  the  discussion  method  BRIS  uses  Family conflicts comprise the most com- If a contact concerns a child who lives in a in the contacts with children means that  mon topic involving children who live with  foster home, treatment centre or the like, what the child says is the main focus, the  a lone mother, with a lone father, with both  the contact is most often about the child’s child is not asked any questions about his  parents alternately or in a stepfamily. Di- living arrangements. Family conflicts are or her living situation. This means that in  vorced parents are also a common topic in  also common in this group, as are issues many cases, just over half of all contacts,  these contacts, as are fear/anxiety and lo- concerning  fear/anxiety.  A  large  propor-the child’s living situation does not come  neliness. The fact that 596 contacts about  tion  of  contacts  concerning  children  in forth. This makes it difficult to comment  children from these kinds of living arrang- placement  are  also  about  contacts  with on the distribution with regard to the li- ements  were  about  physical  abuse  is  also  authorities and sexual abuse/molestation. ving situation of the children who contact  worth noting. Contacts  about  self-destructiveness  and BRIS.  suicide or thoughts of suicide are also re- However, one of the factors that is ap- latively common where children in place-parent in BRIS’  documentation is  which  ment are concerned.topics children with a certain living situa-tion contact BRIS about. The BRIS Report 2010 11
  12. 12. statistics10 most common topics – Nuclear family 10 most common topics – Living on one’s own Topic No. % of topics Comparison: % of no. of Comparison: Topic No. % of topics Comparison: % of no. of Comparison: noted – % of topics contacts % of no. of noted – % of topics contacts % of no. of Nuclear noted – total – Nuclear contacts – Living on noted – total – Living on contacts – family family total one’s own one’s own total Family conflicts 1,498 8.9% 5.9% 30.3% 18.4% Fear/anxiety 128 8.4% 7.7% 35.0% 24.3% Friends 1,338 8.0% 8.8% 27.0% 27.7% Loneliness 120 7.9% 5.1% 32.8% 15.9% Fear/anxiety 1,333 8.0% 7.7% 26.9% 24.3% Pregnancy 80 5.3% 1.0% 21.9% 3.1% School 1,297 7.7% 7.2% 26.2% 22.8% Living arrang- 73 4.8% 2.8% 19.9% 8.7% Loneliness 920 5.5% 5.1% 18.6% 15.9% ements Bullying 872 5.2% 4.5% 17.6% 14.1% Sexual abuse/ 73 4.8% 2.3% 19.9% 7.3% molestation Physical abuse 657 3.9% 2.8% 13.3% 8.8% School 71 4.7% 7.2% 19.4% 22.8% Love 542 3.2% 5.1% 10.9% 16.1% Other mental illness 69 4.5% 3.1% 18.9% 9.8% Sorrow 513 3.1% 2.9% 10.4% 9.2% Existential/life issues 69 4.5% 2.7% 18.9% 8.5% Leisure time 479 2.9% 2.4% 9.7% 7.5% Family conflicts 62 4.1% 5.9% 16.9% 18.4%Total number of topics noted in nuclear family (where it has come forth that the child Friends 60 4.0% 8.8% 16.4% 27.7%lives in a nuclear family) 16,761 TTotal number of topics noted in living on one’s own (where it has comeTotal number of contacts in nuclear family 4,952 forth that the child lives on his/her own) 1,518 Total number of contacts in living on one’s own 366Topics – Nuclear family Topics – Living on one’s ownOf all contacts where the child’s living si- BRIS is for all children up to and inclu-tuation  has  been  documented,  it  is  most  ding the age of 18, and among these child-common that the child lives in a nuclear fa- ren, there are many who have moved to a mily. As a result of this, there are somewhat  place of their own. In the contacts about large similarities between the frequency of  children  who  have  this  particular  living various  topics  concerning  children  from  situation, contacts about fear/anxiety and nuclear  families  and  the  frequency  for  loneliness are the most common. It is also BRIS’ total number of supportive contacts  worth noting that contacts about children with children. However, one deviation is  living on their own often concern pregnan-that  family  conflicts  comprise  the  most  cy, housing and sexual abuse/molestation.common topic of contacts about children from nuclear families. The BRIS Report 2010 12
  13. 13. statistics Discussion Forum 10 most common categories on the Discussion Forum Total number of submissions Category No % to the Discussion Forum Love 7,114 24,4% 29,178 Being young 5,478 18.8% Emotions 4,279 14.7% Discussion Forum by gender The Family 2,729 9.4% No % Violence and abuse 2,524 8.7% Girl 26,565 91.3% Friends 2,267 7.8% Boy 2,544 8.7% What makes you happy? 1,706 5.8% Number of submissions where the child’s gender School 1,684 5.8% is apparent 29,109 Bullying 1,313 4.5% Punishment in school 84 0.3% Approved submissions Total number of submissions 29,178 No Approved 26,814 Other 2,364 Other submissions include the submissions refused or deletedDiscussion Forum things with each other, but in contrast to The steady increase in the number of pu- the BRIS-mail and the BRIS-chat where blished  submissions  to  the  BRIS  Discus- the child can write about whatever he or sion  Forum  that  has  continued  since  the  she chooses, it is BRIS that decides what forum was launched appears to have shif- categories the children can make submis-ted  to  a  stabilisation  in  2009.  In  2009,  sions on in the Discussion Forum.there were 26,814 published submissions,  The  three  categories  where  the  most which is a small decrease from 2008 when  submissions  were  made  in  2009  were 27,245 submissions were published. “Love” with more than 7,000 submissions,  Looking at the gender distribution on  “Being  young”  with  nearly  5,500  sub-the Discussion Forum, one can note that  missions, and “Feelings” with more than the proportion of girls is even larger here  4,200 submissions. This means that more than  it  is  for  the  number  of  contacts  by  than half of all submissions were made in phone, e-mail and chat. A whole 91 percent  one of these three categories.of the submissions sent to the forum were  The remaining submissions were made sent by girls, while the boys accounted for  in  a  total  of  eight  categories,  including 9 percent of the submissions. “The  Family”,  “Violence  and  abuse”  and  In  the  Discussion  Forum  at,  “Friends”. children  and  young  people  can  discuss  The BRIS Report 2010 13
  14. 14. statistics contacts with authoritiesInsecurity tExt photo Maja Aase Martin Magntornthe worst The BRIS Report 2010 14
  15. 15. contacts with authorities The BRIS Report 2010 The children’s quotations from the support services in this report are authentic, but certain information has been altered to secure that no child could be identified.Many children who contact BRIS are very dissatisfied with the “What do social services do? What do social services actu-social services and Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. ally do?””They talk about their innermost feelings, but do not get the help E-mail from a 16-year-old girlthey need and feel abandoned,” says Helén Malmberg, BRIS “Who can you talk with aboutRepresentative, BRIS South in Malmö. “And children who have how you really feel? Without your parents having to findbeen put in placement by society say that they have seldom been out? Can’t you just be allowed to talk, that’s what I need!”told of the reason for their placement.” Girl, age 14 “i really don’t want to go to social services about this! i don’t want someone that doesn’t take me seriously to find out about my problemsF or thiS yEar’S  bris  Report,  Helén  Malmberg  conducted  an  in-depth review of documented contacts bris had  discussion sessions, but say they only get  medication. What the children want is to  talk, that talking will be the healing part. at home...” E-mail from a 13-year-old girl “Is there anyone in this countrywith  children  and  young  people  in  the  that is bound by confidentia-past year. She reviewed what the children  Children in placement find it dif- lity? Every time I’m going to gosay by e-mail, chat and on the Discussion  ficult to influence matters and talk with somebody, they always start by saying: we’reForum about their contacts with authori- Children who get in touch with BRIS and  bound by confidentiality andties, including the social services and bup,  who in various ways are subject to inter- this stays between us. Whichthe Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Ser- vention under the Care of Young Persons  makes me feel safe. But at the end of the talk, they say:vices.  (Special  Provisions)  Act  (LVU)  say  that  we have to take this further “The  children  rarely  contact  us  when  they have very little influence over their si- to your parents or somethingthings  are  good.  Instead,  they  contact  tuation. They are not aware of what rights  similar... I hardly dare talk with an adult now... because of allus when they have problems. This is im- they have. They call BRIS and ask about  this, because when I was littleportant  to  remember.  But  what  comes  basic information, such as why a certain  I talked to somebody fromforth is a negative image of the authorities  decision has been made or how a review  child psychiatry services, and I trusted them, until I found out– the children feel abandoned,” she says. can work. that my dad knew everything Children  are  mainly  disappointed  by  “Those who are affected the most know  and he was not happy... sinceadults not acting. A 14-year-old girl wri- the least,” says Helén Malmberg. then I haven’t dared talk with anyone, or trust any adults,tes in a submission to the bris Discussion  Some children also do not want to con- the only thing I’ve said toForum: “I’ve been abused ever since I was tinue living with their family. They do not  adults is hi, bye.”6 and have reported it, but no one has done feel protected after having told of physical  E-mail from a 15-year-old girlanything. Have talked to social services and and sexual abuse. They want and hope to  “don’t tell me to go to socialnobody cares. Help!!” be able to move somewhere else, perhaps  services again, i’ve heard that “What they want above all is to be liste- to a foster home. before and also been therened to,” says Helén Malmberg. “But when  Many  children  contact  BRIS  to  tell  but i’ll never do that again. Nothing ever happens theretime  passes  and  nothing  happens,  they  about  their  experiences  and  feelings.  and you end up dealing with itfeel that they cannot get help from social  Some want BRIS to contact the authori- yourself”services. This leads to them falling silent  ties, such as social services or Child and  Chat session with a 15-year-old boyand  resigning  themselves  to  their  situa- Adolescent Psychiatric Services; a decision  “Nobody took it seriously.....tion, which may have become even worse.”  that should be carefully thought through,  I’ve been abused ever since I In the contact with Child and Adoles- according to Helén Malmberg. The child- was 6 and have reported it butcent  Psychiatry  Services,  some  children  ren  must  abandon  their  anonymity  and  no one has done anything, have talked to social servicesare  afraid  that  nobody  will  understand  provide  their  identity  when  BRIS  takes  and nobody cares help!!!”how  they  feel.  The  children  want  more  on such an assignment. Girl, age 14 The BRIS Report 2010 15
  16. 16. contacts with authorities The BRIS Report 2010 “We  cannot,  after  all,  decide  what  services, things will get even worse for you.” social services will do, but we can defi- “One  cannot  forget  that  Child  and  nitely explain our perspective and speak  Adolescent Psychiatric Services, for in- on behalf of the child. The contact bet- stance, are obliged to forward the infor- ween BRIS and the child continues until  mation on in some cases. If a child is in  the child feels that he or she has received  distress or if there is a risk that the child  the help and support needed.”  hurts him or herself, Psychiatric Services  must file a report with social services.” On  the  BRIS  Discussion  Forum,  Children talk about trust the children often help each other and  According  to  Helén  Malmberg,  inse- provide  support  and  advice.  Someone  curity in the contact with authorities is  writes  a  main  submission  and  others  the  worst  factor  for  answer. For example,  the children. A child,  a  16-year-old  boy  who has contacted an  One cannot advises  a  teenage  authority  and  wants  forget that girl who is abused at  to  talk  about  his  or  Child and Adolescent home to move: “I mo- her problems, does so  ved from my old man in trust. This is often  Psychiatric Services, and things are a lot a  large  step  for  the  for instance, are easier now.” Topic No % of total no. % of total of topics noted no. of child  to  take  and  the  obliged to forward Helén  Malmberg  contacts child  might  not  want  the information on is  pleased  that  the  Contacts with 1,143 1.7% 5.3% his  or  her  parents  to  children  encourage  find  out  what  he  or  in some cases. authorities each other not to give Total number of topics noted 68,050 she  said.  The  child  up,  to  contact  social Total number of contacts 21,611 may have revealed the family’s secret to  services again and again, and not to lose Contacts with authorities a  school  counsellor  or  social  services,  hope: it is possible to change one’s life.2005-2009 and feel that he or she has been promised  “Seeing the exchange between them  Year No both  help  and  confidentiality.  But  sud- is  a  true  pleasure.  Our  children  and  2005 279 denly, the parents nonetheless know what  young people have incredible resources.  2006 306 the child said. The mother and father of- They are amazingly wise.”  2007 459 ten disapprove of the disclosure and can  – Det är en ren glädje att se utbytet  2008 834 2009 1,143 then  become  even  more  aggressive  and  dem emellan. Det finns oerhört stora re- threaten the child: “If you don’t say that surser hos våra barn och ungdomar. De Contacts with authorities by gender everything is fine next time you talk to social är fantastiskt kloka.   Barnets kön No. of contacts Proportion of contacts Girl 943 83.2% Boy 190 16.8%Number of contacts about Contacts with authorities wherethe child’s gender was apparent 1,133 Average age Average age for – Contacts with contacts about authorities Contacts with Girl 14.8 authorities Boy 13.2 14.5THEME – CONTACTS WITH AUTHORITIESOf the 1,143 contacts that concernedcontacts with authorities, nearly12 percent were also about livingarrangements. A nearly equalproportion, just over 11 percent, wasalso about legal issues.It is also worth noting that slightlymore than 8 percent of the contactsabout contacts with authorities alsoconcerned neglect and just over 7percent were about physical abuse. The BRIS Report 2010 16
  17. 17. school The BRIS Report 2010Long-term absenteeism from schoolis often due to a valid reason. Manychildren contact BRIS regarding long-term absenteeism and it is more oftena question of them wanting to go toschool, but being unable to. tExt Åsa Lekberg photo Anna RehnbergTruancy “School anxiety. Oh, I can’t take it anymore! Now it’s almost been a year and a half that I’ve struggled to go to school, with a lump in my throat all day long. Did my best, never good enough, never satisfied, can’t do better, have to do better, oh I’m losing it, no have to struggle on, can’t give up, no it’s impossible, I can’t, yeah I have to, I can’t cope anymore, oh how much ofi a failure can you be! Finally, havE bEEn Struck by how tough many feel that  Several causes of truancy you can’t cope anymore, it is to go into the school building. Depression  Problems of bullying may also be the underly- no matter how much youand long-term absenteeism from school are rela- ing cause for children to skip school and many  want to. Yeah, I WANT to be motivated to study, happy,ted,”  says  Maria  Cederlund,  BRIS  Representa- express a lack of belief in the future, goals and  smart, for life to go well. Oftive at BRIS West. a sense of meaning with their lives, which leads  course I do. Of course I want Children who skip individual lessons to ins- them to opt to stay home. Days turn into weeks  to want to go to school and learn. Of course I do. But Itead do something fun with friends rarely con- and  weeks  turn  into  months.  Absence  from  can’t.”tact  BRIS.  However,  children  who  want  to  go  school makes them feel even worse. Pretty soon,  Girl, age 14, the BRIS-mailto  school,  but  cannot  because  they  feel  so  bad  it is almost impossible to go back. contact BRIS, by phone, chat or e-mail. Maria  For the children, the link between problems  “Now it’s been nearly a month since I went toCederlund has summarised these types of con- and truancy is very clear, but this is not always  school, I have no idea whattacts BRIS had during 2009. She believes that  the case in the adult world. Adults tend to nag  I should do, my parents nagextended absences from school are a question of  or view truancy as an infraction of the rules in- me, school sends letters home about meetings. It’ssomething completely different than staying at  stead of asking for an explanation of why the  like a huge black cloud thathome to find something more fun to do.  children  skip  school.  The  children  mostly  say  just gets bigger and bigger.” Boy, age 16 “These  children  often  isolate  themselves  that they get told off by adults rather than un-at  home  and  feel  very  bad.  Common  factors  derstanding.  “I’ve been reported sickamong those who skip school are that many feel  “For a teenager, a week can be a long time, and  since December. I can’t goanxiety,  depression,  self-loathing,  headaches,  a month can be an eternity. A lot can happen at  anywhere without having stomach problems andlow  motivation,  dejection  and  considerable  school in that time and constellations of friends  anxiety, which is why I’mworry,” she says.  change. Their school is such an important part of  at home now and don’t It is most commonly girls who contact BRIS  children’s lives and if things do not work there,  go to school or even go out. Just go for short walkswith regard to long-term absenteeism. The rea- it affects the child’s entire existence.” Ultimately,  and practice driving withson they have begun to skip school is that they do  they lose their social contacts and become com- the car sometimes ... Oh Inot feel well for various reasons: they might have  pletely isolated, such as in this description by a  don’t do anything! I try not to think that I’m completelya tough situation at home, feel under pressure or  15-year-old girl: worthless, it’s not my faultare so depressed that they do not have the energy  “I do try, I don’t want it to be like this, it’s re- after all! “to go to school.  ally hard. I’m not stupid, I’m not lazy ... Now, one Girl, age 17, the BRIS-mail The BRIS Report 2010 17
  18. 18. The BRIS Report 2010 school For a teenager, a week can be a long time, and a month can be an eternity. Ultimately, they lose their social contacts and become completely isolated,” says Maria Cederlund, BRIS Representative at BRIS West.Number of contacts – School Topic No % of total % of total might think that I find something fun to do Children who skip school often feel a  no. of topics no. of noted contacts with friends or something when I stay home, sense of guilt and shame and the possibili- School 4,931 7.2% 22.8% but nope, I sit at home alone ... it’s not so ty of being anonymous makes the contact Total number topics noted 68,050 much fun. Feel completely isolated and ex- with BRIS easier. Here, there is always so-Total number of contacts 21,611 cluded ... missed so much that it’s impossible mebody who can listen, support and instil School 2005-2009 to catch up.” hope. That they get in touch with BRIS  shows that they want to talk, but do not  Year No Early intervention is crucial have anyone to talk to. Besides being met  2005 835 2006 1,110 Maria Cederlund believes in early interven- by adults, they can get support from their  2007 1,612 tion in cooperation between the home and  peers who share similar experiences and  2008 3,540 the school as well as Child and Adolescent  may have found a way out. Maria Ceder- 2009 4,931 Psychiatric Services since long-term absen- lund believes that the children can help  teeism  is  the  result  of  problems  the  child  each other.School by gender needs help with. Addressing absenteeism as  “In  meetings  on  the  Discussion  Fo- Gender of No. of % of early as possible is an important first step in  rum, they really support each other. They  the child contacts contacts preventing it from becoming long term. Be- encourage, spur on and share their own  Girl 3,722 76.1% Boy 1,170 23.9% cause once it is long term, a great deal more  feelings.  The  give  so  much  love  to  each Antal kontakter om Skolan effort is needed to get the student back into  other. They can also be straight forward där barnets kön framkommit 4 892 school, she explains and continues: and  honest  in  different  way  than  adults  Average age for “One  must  be  sensitive  and  take  the  can in their contact with children. Some- contacts about school Average age for children’s signals seriously and apply mea- times, a peer’s advice is worth more than  Girl 13.2 contacts about school 13.09 sures based on the child’s needs. Many of  an adult’s.” Boy 12.7 those we have been in touch with don’t even  However, the most important aspect is  want to be in the school building. In such  conveying that there is always a way out  cases,  the  school  should  be  able  to  offer  and several different ways to come back, THEME – SCHOOL home schooling so the student can catch up  she continues. Of the 4,931 contacts that were about on what he or she missed. Discussions do  “The  sad  thing  is  that  many  of  the school, just over 10 percent were also not necessarily need to take place at school  children  who  have  lost  contact  with about friends and slightly more than and could instead be held at home, at a café  school feel so bad that they cannot see the 5 percent of the contacts also con-cerned bullying. In addition, contacts or somewhere the child feels secure.” possibilities that actually do exist.”   about school can be found in just It may be possible for the child to work over 6 percent of the cases that also in a small group to be slowly eased back concern the topic of fear/anxiety. into school.  The BRIS Report 2010 18