Child welfare or ‘Barnevernet’ as is normally called in Norway is one of the most discussed topics among immigrants in Norway. The topic is also well covered in media internationally albeit with negative tone sometimes. Headlines exist in the media from different countries criticizing the Norwegian child welfare and its intervention into immigrant families. Words like ‘legal kidnapping’, ‘theft’ and ‘cultural insensitivity’ have often been used by several online news internationally to refer to the Norwegian child welfare. This research tries to understand immigrant parents’ experience of their involvement with the child welfare services (for those that have been in contact with CWS) and the perception of the child welfare services especially for those that have never been in contact with child welfare services.
To understand immigrant parents lived experiences, a qualitative design was employed to gain in-depth insight. Since the study focuses on experiences and perceptions, data was collected from immigrant parents who have been in contact with the child welfare services and those who have never been in contact with the child welfare services. The project began in December 2014 and now in the process of analyzing and writing up the findings in form of articles. The first article for this project was an integrative review on parents emotional experiences with the child welfare; this article has been accepted for publication in the Nordic journal for social work research, the second one is a book chapter that has been published in an edited book titled ‘Barneomsorg på norsk; I samspill og spenning mellom hjem og stat’. This book chapter focuses on parenting in a new context. The third article, which is in process, now is about immigrant parents’ emotional management when involved with the child welfare services in Norway. I also plan to write a fourth article together with an Australian scholar in summer on the perceptions of child welfare services amongst the immigrants.
Memory plans to finish this project and submit her doctoral thesis in the end of 2019.