Gro Hillestad Thune, a Norwegian lawyer by profession, was a member of the European Commission of Human Rights for 17 years. She is regarded as Norway’s leading expert on human rights, and her name is recognized internationally.
Gro Hillestad Thune, in her article last week, “The child welfare services have become family controllers”, explains that the concern messages that child welfare services receive are often very trivial, and although Norway’s CWS can help people who need help, in many cases, they create more problems than they solve.
According to Thune, the notes that employees make in the pre-schools are very often inadequate and full of errors, that give a totally wrong picture of the child’s situation. They are simply not educated enough to question and ask children about the home care situation.
“A message of concern from pre-school provides an access card to a family. The child welfare services can call them, visit them and demand that they come to the office. They can talk to children and parents separately. They have free passes into family life.
The “interrogations” are often initiated with a number of leading questions, and the children feel compelled to answer something to satisfy the caregivers in the pre-school, and then the imagination is fuelled. Often, what the children are talking about is also misinterpreted. It can have disastrous consequences for the child and the family,” says Gro Hillestad Thune.