Number of children is stabilising
During 2013, 53 150 children received measures from the Child Welfare Services, which is about the same level as in 2012. The number of children receiving measures by the end of 2013 also decreased by 4 per cent. These two factors combined indicate that the number of children in Child Welfare Services is stabilising.
|1Up to the year 2012, only one investigation per child was reported, and then the first or the one that led to measures. From 2013, all investigations initiated and/or concluded during the year were reported.|
|Children with measures from the Child Welfare Services during the year||52 098||53 198||53 150|
|Assistance measures||43 613||44 203||44 072|
|Care measures||8 485||8 995||9 078|
|Oslo||5 526||5 395||5 692|
|Region East||11 961||12 186||12 108|
|Region South||11 045||11 086||11 090|
|Region West||10 058||10 532||10 809|
|Region Middle||7 372||7 724||7 594|
|Region North||6 136||6 275||5 857|
|Notifications during the year||52 553|
|Investigations started during the year1||35 090||34 591||41 493|
|Investigations closed during the year1||35 878||36 652||38 046|
|Total, employees||4 016.9||4 375.2||4 855.6|
A new reporting system was introduced in 2013, which entails changes in how and what is being reported to Statistics Norway. A few municipalities did not report for 2013. This means that comparisons with previous years should be made with care.
Children receiving measures during the year is stable
The number of children receiving measures from the Child Welfare Services in 2013 was approximately at the same level as the year before. There was a slight increase in children with care measures, while the number of children receiving assistance measures was reduced from 2012. In 2013, 83 per cent of the children received assistance measures and 17 per cent care measures. This distribution is the same as in earlier years. As in previous years, there were more boys than girls receiving assistance from the Child Welfare Services in 2013; in total 29 200 boys and 23 950 girls, giving a share of 55 and 45 per cent respectively.
Notifications to the Child Welfare Services
During 2013, the Child Welfare Services concluded 52 550 notifications relating to 46 550 children. The clear majority of the notifications were processed and concluded by the deadline of 7 days, with less than 2 per cent having a longer processing time. A total of 41 550 of the notifications, about 79 per cent, were submitted for further investigation, the rest of the notifications were dismissed.
More children with investigations
In 2013, the Child Welfare Services initiated investigations on 38 850 children. This is an increase of more than 12 per cent since 2012.
Fewer children with measures at the end of the year
At the end of 2013, more than 37 250 children were registered with measures from the Child Welfare Services. This was 4 per cent less than in 2012.The fall is related to children with assistance measures, while the number of children with care measures increased by almost 5 per cent.
Increase in placement measures
By the end of 2013, approximately 14 500 children were placed outside of their family home, either as a care or an assistance measure, which is a 4 per cent increase from 2012. This indicates that about 10 per 1 000 children (0-22 years) were placed by the Child Welfare Services. Foster homes covered 7 out of 10 of the placement measures.
Many new categories for measures
In 2013, a total of 147 250 measures were registered. This is a large increase from 2012 when 120 200 measures were registered. This large increase is mostly due to the change in the reporting system and therefore new categories for measures. To give a better picture of the use of measures we use figures for the end of the year.
The number of measures by the end of 2013 was about 77 350, which is 200 fewer than in 2012. From the eight main categories, where three of them contained placement measures, 40 per cent were measures to enhance the child's development at the end of 2013. Twenty-five per cent of the measures were measures to enhance parenting skills. Approximately 10 per cent of the measures were in the category networking/cooperation with other services. About 5 per cent of the measures at the end of 2013 were measures involving supervision and control. Remaining measures at the end of the year were placement measures.
Almost NOK 10.7 billion to the Child Welfare Services
The total expenditure for the Child Welfare Services grew by almost NOK 800 million from 2012, and totalled almost NOK 10.7 billion in 2013, representing almost an 8 per cent rise.
Man-years in the Child Welfare Services
A total of 4 856 man-years were reported by the end of 2013. The reporting system on man-years was changed in both 2012 and 2013. Comparisons with earlier years should, therefore, be made with caution.
2013 is the first year of child welfare data after an extensive change of the statistics. Statistics Norway now receives file extractions from the local authorities in a new format, and the content of the file has also changed. This can affect the quality of the figures. From 2013, all notifications and investigations are reported to Statistics Norway. Categories of measures have been expanded from 28 to 8 main categories and 48 measures under these. In addition, it is now Statistics Norway, not the registration in the local authorities, that determines whether a measure is a assistance or a care measure according to which legal basis is reported, and whether the measure is a placement or not according to the measure category that is reported.
Municipalities Granvin, Værøy, Flakstad, Moskenes, Kautokeino and Måsøy have not reported for 2013. Of all children in Norway aged 0-22 years, 0.15 per cent was registered in these municipalities by the end of 2013. The figures for the whole country in this article and in StatBank do not include these six municipalities.
A case often starts with a notification to Child Welfare Services, which as soon as possible and within a week must decide whether they should initiate an investigation or close the notification. An investigation starts as soon as possible and a decision must be made within three months on whether measures should be started or the case should be closed.