Jan Simonsen

Our government is lying about Barnevernet (Norway’s Child Welfare System)

In Poland, a Norwegian woman has become a folk hero after fleeing with her child from the Norwegian CWS and sought asylum there.

Last year, around 75,000 people in more than 20 cities demonstrated around the world after NCWS had taken four children from a Norwegian-Romanian family. In the Czech Republic, the removal of a child from a Czech mother resident in Norway led to fierce criticism of Norway, both from the country’s president and many politicians, as well as several demonstrations outside the Norwegian embassy.

The Norwegian CWS and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs complain about misleading arguments and lack of understanding of the Norwegian system and have in recent years launched fire extinguishing attempts to prevent further destruction of Norway’s reputation abroad. Among other things, the Norwegian embassy in Bucharest published an article in English, probably also used by other embassies.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims, in writing, that it is true that care orders only occur “when the child is subject to serious neglect, maltreatment or abuse” and it is added that it only happens as the final resort.

Czech journalists I have talked to say that this is also the answer they receive from the Children’s Directorate, which is responsible for the Norwegian CWS, and from the Children’s Department. This explication of facts is a pure lie obviously presented while knowing otherwise. NCWS statistics show that most children are deprived of their parents because they feel that their parents lack „caring skills“, which of course is something completely different than „neglect of care“ and which can be corrected with support measures.

A recent case that the 247 newspaper wrote about this Saturday, proves that the Norwegian authorities are lying about Barnevernet. Two children were taken from their parents. After 2 1/2 years, the case came up in the county council which deals with child welfare cases, despite the fact that the law states that it shall not be more than 3 months. The now 14-year-old daughter had come home to her parents, but the now 4-year-old son had to stay with his foster parents. The NCWS argued, among other things, that it had been so long that he had become accustomed to his new surroundings, and this was agreed upon by the judge.

According to the newspaper, this case was not a matter of substance abuse or violence, but lack of attention and knowledge about care and stimulation. In other words, the reason for the care order was neither „serious neglect, maltreatment or abuse“. The NCWS accepted the return of their daughter, but not their son. According to the 247 newspaper, the County Council stated that the mother requires special guidance, and that therefore it will be the father who has to bear the bulk of care. The expert thought him to possess caring skills, but not „caring capacity“. To take care of two children became too much for a father.

However, according to the NCWS top management and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is only the cases of serious neglect, violence and abuse that children are taken from their parents. As we see here: A pure lie. Some brave MPs should confront the responsible Norwegian authorities with the way they try to lie themselves away from reality. The Norwegian reputation abroad can not be corrected by lies, which are eventually discovered and impair the reputation of Norway further. It can only be rectified if one first manage to „correct“ the NCWS so that it starts functioning like the authorities today, untruthfully, claim that it does.

Written by former Norwegian MP – Jan Simonsen

⏬ Click below for the Norwegian article ⏬

[Foto: Kjetil Ree / CC BY-SA 3.0]