NOK 4.4 billion for national child welfare initiatives
Social conditions, welfare and crime
barnfam, National child welfare and family counsellingChild welfare and family counselling , Social conditions, welfare and crime

National child welfare and family counselling2006



NOK 4.4 billion for national child welfare initiatives

Preliminary figures show that a total of NOK 4,4 billion was spent on the national child welfare service in 2006, an increase of 8 per cent. About 4 900 children received assistance from the national child welfare service at the end of 2006. This is 300 more children than in 2005 and an increase of 7 per cent.

The national child welfare service includes the initiatives that the municipal child welfare service wishes to use, but doesn’t control. Such initiatives include the placing of children in institutions, in reinforced foster homes and managing various intensive treatment initiatives in the home environment.

Number of children who receive assistance from the Child Welfare Service, per 10 000 inhabitant 0-19 years, by region. 2005 and 2006

More children received assistance

At the end of 2006, a total of 4 884 children received assistance from the national child welfare service compared with 4 569 the previous year. In Norway as a whole, 4.0 per 1 000 children aged less than 20 received assistance in 2006 compared with 3.8 in 2005.

Increase in treatment days in foster homes

Preliminary figures show that a total of 554 800 treatment days were registered in 2006, compared with 558 400 in the previous year, which is a reduction of 0.7 per cent. The number of treatment days in different types of reinforced foster homes, family homes and emergency shelter homes increased last year by 58 200 days to 363 100 days, an increase of 19 per cent. The number of treatment days in home-based initiatives such as MST (Multisystemic Therapy) and PMT (Parent Management Training) increased from 122 300 days in 2005 to 128 300 days in 2006, an increase of 4,9 per cent last year.

Number of children in institutions is the same

Preliminary figures show that 1 535 children were in child welfare institutions at the end of 2006, compared with 1 539 children the previous year. This is related to the fact that stays in institutions during the course of the year increased from 4 283 in 2005 to 4 524 in 2006. The increase can indicate a greater flow factor and that stays in child welfare institutions have become shorter.

Different initiative profiles

Region West and Region North have the highest gross operating expenses for child welfare per capita aged 0-19, with NOK 4 561 and NOK 4 012 respectively. Both of these regions spent a relatively high proportion on institution placements, 69 and 71 per cent respectively. By way of comparison, in Region Middle, which spent the least per capita with NOK 2 645, only 67 per cent was spent on institution places for children and juveniles.

Family counselling service

Based on the data received, it appears that the number of cases that the family counselling service has worked on will be about the same as in 2005. The family counselling offices that have submitted data, dealt with near 28 000 cases in 2006. The family counselling service’s total expenses were near NOK 279.5 million in 2006.

The preliminary figures also indicate that the primary client (the persons who apply for the family counselling service) still state couple related issues as the most common reason for contacting them. Couple related issues was reported for 13 600 cases, and for more than 12 000 cases the main actions in the counselling were couple counselling. Individual counselling and collaboration about children were the main actions for about 9 400 and 4 700 cases.

The data basis for the family counselling service is not complete at the time of publication. Region East, West and North lack figures on service production for one family counselling office each. Region East and Middle have incomplete man-labour year figures.


The family counselling offices are the core unit in the Norwegian mediation service, but almost all counties also have mediators that are not connected with the family counselling offices. Data received indicate that the number of mediations is about the same as in 2005, with a total of 12 000 mediations. About 7 800 of these did take place in a family counselling office.

Takeover by central government of county municipal child welfare and family counselling service

Until 31 December 2003, the family counselling service and parts of the child welfare service were the responsibility of the county municipalities. The data were reported to KOSTRA (Municipality-State-Reporting), and the statistics are still available at http://www.ssb.no/kostra/ .

When the responsibility was transferred to central government on 1 January 2004, the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) was set up. The Directorate has established five regions with responsibility for producing the services: Region North, Region Middle, Region West, Region South and Region East. In addition, Oslo municipality is responsible for national child welfare on a permanent basis. Trondheim municipality takes part in the work of differentiating tasks and is responsible for the entire child welfare service in the municipality for a period of four years from 2004. The mediation statistics, which are the responsibility of the counties, are included and published at county level.