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Social work and child welfare politicsThrough Nordic lenses$
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Hannele Forsberg and Teppo Kroger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424068

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424068.001.0001

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In the best interest of the child? Contradictions and tensions in social work

In the best interest of the child? Contradictions and tensions in social work

(p.97) seven In the best interest of the child? Contradictions and tensions in social work
Social work and child welfare politics

Reidun Follesø

Kate Mevik

Policy Press

This chapter critically explores three recent trends within the Norwegian Child Welfare Services: the movement towards knowledge-based services; the focus on family in the services; and the commitment to ensuring children’s and young people’s right to participation. It also highlights some possible tensions between these trends and describes what kind of implications there might be for a child in a situation where the three perspectives are in conflict with one another. There has been a definite change in the understanding of children, and an increasing recognition of children and young people as citizens with independent rights in the society. Moreover, there is a possible tension inherent in focusing on both the family and the child in decisions and choices of measures in the Child Welfare Services. There is probably no great disagreement concerning either the need for a knowledge-based Child Welfare Service or that considerations must be made on a professional basis.

Keywords:   Norwegian Child Welfare Services, social work, participation, children, family

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