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Oplæg ved Bente Kojan


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Oplæg til FORSA/NOUSA-konferencen, Institut for Socialt Arbejde, Metropol, nov. 2016

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Oplæg ved Bente Kojan

  1. 1. Inequalities in child welfare decisions in Norway - a social class perspective Desicions, outcome and change Nordic FORSA/NOUSA conference 7th-9th November 2016, Copenhagen Bente Heggem Kojan Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU
  2. 2. Outline of presentation • The Norwegian Child Welfare Service Context • What I mean by inequalities in Child Welfare Decisions • The project New Child Welfare Services [Det nye barnevernet] and the data on social class of the family and child welfare decisions • Trends in the Norwegian CW landscape • Can we afford to treat social inequality as an afterthought?
  3. 3. Social inequality in Norway • Norway is viewed to have less social inequality than most countries in the world (Halvorsen, Hvinden & Schøyen, 2015) • Appr. 9 % of children in Norway lived in low-income households for longer than 3 yrs in 2015 (Bufdir, 2016) • Costs of social inequality are high for the child, the family and society as a whole (Kristofersen & Clausen, 2008) • Evidence suggests long term negative health consequences and negative school performance are associated with social inequality (Valset, 2014) • Social inequality is related to use of health and welfare services
  4. 4. The Norwegian CWS context • Developed from social democratic traditions (Esping-Andersen, 1999) • The CWS system undertakes the significant public role and responsibility for supporting vulnerable families • CWS is in the current CW Act promoting equality as one of its mandates (Kojan & Lonne, 2012) • Needing protection no need for accessing services • During the nineties and the last decade described as «family and parent orientated» (Marthinsen & Lichtwarck, 2013) • Towards a child-centred orientation (Skivenes, 2015) • A new CW Act outlined in Official Norwegian Report (NOU 2016:16) Gilbert et al., 2015
  5. 5. What I mean by inequalities in Child Welfare Decisions • Inequalities in Child Welfare Decisions occur when certain groups in the population face large differences in the chances of experience a child welfare referral, assessment and/or intervention (see Bywaters et al., 2016) • Indicators can be for example gender, demography, ethnicity, age, cognitive capacity or socioeconomic status • Todays presentation looks at child welfare inequalities in terms of the social class of the families in contact with the Norwegian CWS
  6. 6. The New Child Welfare Services 2007-2012 [Det nye barnevernet] Project leaders: Edgar Marthinsen, Halvor Fauske, Willy Lichtwarck, Graham Clifford, Elisabeth Willumsen (phase one) Research design: Mixed/integrated Main objective: Capturing and understanding the needs and perspectives of the families
  7. 7. Data from «New Child Welfare Services» Type of data Year Sample (14 municipalities) Nr. of cases Survey part 1 2009+2015 Parents 715+34 Survey part 2 2009 Practitioners Semi-structured interviews 2012 Children 17 In-depth interviews I 2012 Parents 96 In-depth interviews II 2013 Parents 16
  8. 8. Inequality in terms of social class • European Socioeconomic Classification (Harrison & Rose, 2010) • A categorical social class schema based on the concept of employment relations and education • Standard Classification of Occupations (Statistics Norway, 1998) was used to decide employment relation
  9. 9. What the data tell us about the interplay between decisions to intervene in children’s lives and their families’ social class
  10. 10. Survey data «The New Child Welfare Services» European Social Survey* Mother Father Parents** Parents aged 20- 59 Salariat 13 14 18 47 Intermediate 11 10 12 18 Working class 47 51 50 25 Non-employed 29 15 20 9 Sum perc. 100 100 100 100 N 664 572 707 544 Social class of families in contact with CWS and the general population in Norway aged 20-59 with children *Data accessed from European Social Survey, 2010 ** Operationalization based on the parent with the highest social class
  11. 11. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Salariat Intermediate Working class Non employed Involvement in decisions to refer to CWS Parent self-referral or parent knew about the referral to CWS Involved Not involved
  12. 12. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Salariat Intermediate Working class Non-employed Main cause for CWS’ decisions to investigate The child The parent(s)
  13. 13. Decisions to intervene based on the social class of the families, per cent and number of cases (N) Salariat Intermediate Working class Non employed No active interventions 10,1 (14) 15,1 (13) 10,4 (38) 6,6 (9) Supportive services in home (Section 4-4) 52,2 (72) 55,8 (48) 60,2 (221) 57,7 (79) Voluntary placement in out-of- home care (section 4-4) 15,2 (21) 11,6 (10) 5,4 (20) 4,4 (6) Planned placement in out-of- home care (section 4-12) 6,5 (9) 9,3 (8) 16,6 (61) 29,9 (41) Not planned- emergency placement 15,9 (21) 8,1 (7) 7,4 (27) 1,5 (2) Total 100 (138) 100 (86) 100 (367) 100 (137)
  14. 14. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Salariat Intermediate Working class Non employed Not-planned decisions («emergency/acute» placements) vs planned decisions in out of home care Planned decisions Not-planned decisions
  15. 15. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 CWS understand peoples lives CWS respect parents' views CWS are open and honest CWS handle criticism in an appropriate way Parents’ experiences from the decision-making process Salariat Intermediate Working class Non-emplyed
  16. 16. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Salariat Intermediate Working class Non-employed Level of trust towards CWS, viewed in terms of parents ‘own experiences High Middle Low
  17. 17. Marginalisation across social classes (Clifford et al., 2015, p. 86) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Low Middle High Level of marginalisation Salariat Intermediate Working class Non-employed
  18. 18. Marginalisation • A significant association beween social class and marginalisation • However, marginalisation occurs across social classes • The mixed and integrated data allow us to explore marginalisation within the classes as told by the parents and children themselves • These stories reveal problem complexities within all social classes • Marginalisation in salariat families associated with mental health problems
  19. 19. Two families The mother who refused to leave the CW office (although it was after closing time) without getting her daughter placed in an institution She got her daughter emergency placed the same day The mother who expressed serious concern for her youngest boy but didn’t know the name of the current CW caseworker In the follow-up interview we did, she still hadn’t got any help from the CWS Both families scored high on marginalisation. They had different social class affiliations.
  20. 20. Summary of DNBV data on CWS decisions and its associations with social class - Large differences between social classes in their chances of being notified to CWS - Involvement in the decision-making process varies - Salariat more likely to report the child as the main cause for needing help - Class differences for types of placements outside the home - Children enter CWS at different ages - Level of confidence to CWS is high
  21. 21. Unanswered questions… 1. Marginalisation occurs across all social classes. When does it become social inequality? 2. The role of social class in CW decision-making and outcomes over time? The intersections between social class, ethnicity and gender? 3. Stefansen (2010) suggests that the logic of child rearing varies between social classes (even) in Norway, but are CW decision-making processes and measures class sensitive?
  22. 22. Answered questions…. • Socioeconomic inequality in CW decisions a worldwide reality crossing (but often related to) ethnicity, gender and functionality • The socioeconomic status of the clientele in the CWS have changed little over time (Clausen and Kristoffersen, 2008; Clifford et al., 2015) • The socioeconomic status of the clientele in CWS very similar across national boundaries in Western countries, independent of the level of the overall inequality differences (Ben-Arich, 2014; Bywaters et al., 2016) • The socioeconomic status of the clientele in the CWS very similar across the role of the state in child welfare/protection
  23. 23. How likely are inequalities in children and parent’s life chances to be told, seen and handled within the current Child Welfare paradigm? trauma attachment disorder violence the neurobiology of childhood
  24. 24. Some current trends in Norway - Certain theories dominate (Andenæs, 2004; Hennum, 2016) - Child centricism (Hennum, 2014; Skivenes, 2015) - Standardisation and use of risk assessment manuals (Vis et al., 2015) - Less use of «compensatory» support services, increased use of measures aimed at parenting skills (Statistics Norway, 2016)
  25. 25. 3 captures from The Norwegian Child Welfare Act, the section on Supportive Services «hjelpetiltaksparagrafen» 1992-2013: To improve «living conditions» mentioned as one of the objectives of supportive services. Economic support mentioned in one separate sentence in the section. 2014-?: To improve «living conditions» still mentioned. Sentence with economic support removed. Official Norwegian Report (NOU 2016:16) In the proposal for a new Child Welfare Act: The term «living conditions» not mentioned at all in the Act.
  26. 26. Can we afford to continue to treat social inequality as an afterthought in Child Welfare practice and research?
  27. 27. Dealing with social class in CW • Social inequality a complex phenomenon that requires exploration of material and normative aspects of children and families’ lives • This necessities a broad theoretical framework as a departure point for decision-making (Andenæs, 2004; Hennum, 2016) • Scientific knowledge can only to a certain point assist CW decisions (Kojan & Christiansen, 2016; Lonne et al., 2015) • Flexible CW practices to deal with uncertainties, not practices that «feed the risk monster» (Featherstone et al., 2016)
  28. 28. References Andenæs, A. (2004). Hvorfor ser vi ikke fattigdommen? Fra en undersøkelse av barn som blir plassert utenfor hjemmet. Nordisk sosialt arbeid, 24(1), 19– 33. Bywaters et al. (2015). Exploring inequties in child welfare and child protection services: Explaining the inverse intervention law. Children and Youth Services Review, 57, 98-105. Clifford, G., Fauske, H., Lichtwarck, W. & Marthinsen, E. (2015). Minst hjelp til dem som trenger det mest? NF-rapport 6/2015. Bodø: Nordlandsforskning. Christiansen, Ø. & Kojan, B.H. (red.) (2016). Barnevernets beslutninger. Oslo, Universitetsforlaget. Featherstone, B., Gupta, A., Morris, K. & Warner, J. (2016). Let’s stop feeding the risk monster: towards a social model of ‘child protection. Families, Relationships and Societies. Fraser, Nancy & Honneth, Axel (2003). Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange. London: Verso. Funtowicz, S. O & Ravetz, J. R. (1993). Science for the post-normal age. Futures, 739-755. Gilbert, N., Parton N. & Skivenes, M. (2015) Child Protection Systems. International trends and orientations. London: Oxford University Press. Halvorsen, Hvinden & Schøyen (2015) The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century: the bumble-bee still flies. Social Policu and Society, 15, 1, 57-73 Hennum, Nicole (2014). Developing Child-Centered Social Policies: When Professionalism Takes Over. Social Sciences, 3, 441–459. Hennum, Nicole (2016). Kunnskapens makt i beslutninger. I Ø. Christiansen og B. H. Kojan (red.). Barnevernets beslutninger. Oslo, Universitetsforlaget. Kojan, B.H. (2011). Klasseblikk på et barnevern i vekst. Trondheim: NTNU. Kojan, B.H. & Fauske, H. (2011). Et klasseperspektiv på barnevernets familier. Tidsskrift for Velferdsforskning, 2, 95-107. Kristoffersen, Lars & Clausen, Stein-Erik (2008). Barnevern og sosialhjelp. Notat 3:08. Oslo: NOVA. Kristofersen, L. B. (2014). Stønader, uførepensjon, dødsfall og dødsårsaker. I E. Backe-Hansen, C. Madsen, L.B. Kristofersen & B. Hvinden (red.) (2014). Barnevern i Norge 1990–2010. En longitudinell studie. NOVA-rapport 9/14. Oslo: NOVA. Marthinsen, E. & Lichtwarck, W. (2013). Det nye barnevernet. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Munro, E. (1996). Avoidable and unavoidable mistakes in child protection work. British Journal of Social Work, 26 (&), 793-808. Valset, K. (2014). Ungdom utsatt for omsorgssvikt - hvordan presterer de på skolen? I E. Backe-Hansen, C. Madsen, L.B. Kristofersen & B. Hvinden (red.) (2014). Barnevern i Norge 1990–2010. En longitudinell studie. NOVA-rapport 9/14. Oslo: NOVA. Vis, S. A., Storvold, A., Skilbred, D. T., Christiansen, Ø. & Andersen, A. (2015). Statusrapport om barnevernets undersøkelsesarbeid – høsten 2014. Tromsø: UIT.