Child Welfare Tribunal

Child Welfare Tribunal are responsible for decision-making with regard to child welfare services. Today there are 12 such county tribunals; each one covers one or two counties. The tribunals comprise a national body which on matters of social welfare are independent of both the Ministry and the County Governor.

The Child Welfare Tribunal is a state body that, in professional issues, has an independent position in relation to the Ministry and county governor. A decision of the Child Welfare Tribunal may only be reviewed by the courts.

Administratively, the tribunal is subject to the National Office for Social Welfare Boards. The Ministry of Children and Families is responsible for managing the tribunals as an underlying department.

Web page: The Child Welfare Tribunal

The Child Welfare Tribunal tasks

The Child Welfare Tribunal´s primary task is to make decisions pursuant to the Child Welfare Act. These decisions are about such things as whether the child welfare service is to assume the care and control of a child, whether the child is to have contact with his/her parents and whether the parents are to be deprived of parental responsibility.

In addition, the Child Welfare Tribunal decides on measures relating to children with behavioural difficulties.

The tribunal also makes decisions on the compulsory detention of alcoholics or drug addicts or pregnant alcoholics/drug addicts pursuant to the Act relating to health and care services, etc. The Child Welfare Tribunal for Oslo and Akershus makes compulsory orders pursuant to the Act relating to the control of communicable diseases.

In addition, the Child Welfare Tribunal's  are the appeal body for individual decisions to use force or authority in relation to persons with intellectual disabilities. 

The Child Welfare Tribunal's  procedures

The Child Welfare Tribunal's way of working is to a large extent the same as that of the courts. In cases dealt with by a Child Welfare Tribunal, the parties are on the one hand the municipality that wants to implement a child welfare service measure or a measure relating to an alcoholic/drug addict and on the other the private party to whom the proposal directly applies.

It is usual for both the municipality and private party to use lawyers to present their case to the Child Welfare Tribunal. 

Cases heard by the Child Welfare Tribunal start off by the municipality presenting its proposed measure. The municipality is assumed to have made the necessary professional preparations before the case is heard by the board.

When a proposal regarding a measure has been received from the municipality, the chair of the Child Welfare Tribunal is to set a date for a negotiation meeting as soon as possible.

At this meeting, the parties, usually represented by a lawyer, are to present their case to the Child Welfare Tribunal. The case is also to be shed light on through the statements of the parties and witnesses.

An expert member and a lay member usually also attend negotiation meetings in addition to the chair of the board. After the meeting, all the Child Welfare Tribunal's members are to discuss the case. The chair of the tribunal and the lay and expert members are all equal members and the case is determined by a majority decision.

Any disagreement between the tribunal members must be stated in the decision. The decision is to be signed by all the members of the Child Welfare Tribunal.

The expert members of the tribunal are appointed by the National Office for Social Welfare Boards. Below is an application form and information on the expertise required for appointment as an expert member.

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