Ivaretakelse av barns rettigheter i sosialt arbeid med familier

  • Ingunn T. Ellingsen
  • Ingunn Studsrød
  • Marit Ursin


The UN Child Convention and Norwegian laws aim to ensure children’s right to protection, information
and participation. Despite an increase in research on the implementation of children’s
rights, less attention is paid to the ways in which children’s rights are exercised across welfare
areas. This article builds on four focus group interviews with social workers from three welfare
areas: Child welfare (2), substance misuse (1), and adult psychiatry (1). Participants discussed a
vignette describing a family where children live with parental substance misuse and where there
are concerns about domestic violence. Findings show that children are seen as subjects with
rights, with emphasis on children’s best interest. An individual rights perspective together with a
risk perspective were more prominent among child welfare workers, whereas participants from
the other two welfare areas emphasised children as next to kin, and thereby employed a relational
rights perspective. Furthermore, children’s right to information seems better ensured than
their rights to participation.