Child welfare work - focusing on children and families (BSO202)

Course description for study year 2024-2025


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



The course consists of three topics:

  1. The concept of knowledge in social science-related child welfare work
  2. Practical social science-related child welfare work
  3. Applying research-based knowledge.

The concept of knowledge in social science-related child welfare work builds on the ‘Social work with children and families in context’ course, but focuses on theories and concepts of knowledge that form the basis for work in municipal and state child welfare services. Child welfare work is a field of study that requires broad knowledge about factors that promote coping, sense of security and love in children and young people. All children have the right to protection, participation and a provision of services adapted to the needs of children and families. Focus is also placed on different concepts of knowledge and how these affect what we see and how we approach children and families in child welfare work. The knowledge must be applied in a way that is based on openness, mutual respect and recognition.

Practical social science-related child welfare work focuses on key international and national child welfare work legislation, and social science-related approaches that are well adapted to the needs of children and families, their participation, and with emphasis placed on prevention and early intervention. The course will provide knowledge about procedures and different methodological approaches used to meet the needs of children and families, based on mutual collaboration and resources that exist around the child. The social science-related work will be based on a comprehensive understanding that requires collaboration with other service areas.

Learning outcome

After successfully completing and passing the course, students will have achieved the following learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The concept of knowledge in practical child welfare work

  • Has broad knowledge about coping and development conditions in children and young people.
  • Has insight into how to exercise judgment and professional discretion in situations where there is inadequate and/or conflicting information, and identify opportunities within different professional and institutional contexts.
  • Has broad knowledge about caring skills and various forms of neglect.
  • Has knowledge about and can recognise symptoms of violence, physical, mental and sexual abuse.
  • Can reflect on risk and how to manage conflicts and reduce the risk of adverse events, and has knowledge about methods for following this up systematically.
  • Can plan and carry out work tasks in complex and conflictive situations.
  • Can plan, implement and lead coordinated and interprofessional collaboration between different services and service levels.
  • Has knowledge about violence and neglect, and how being a child in a family with problems of violence and neglect can be experienced.
  • Has knowledge about caring skills, as well as physical, mental and sexual abuse.

Practical social science-related child welfare work

  • Has knowledge about relevant legal methods and central legislation in welfare administration, including administrative law and legislation in child and family law.
  • Can apply legal rules, inform about rights and obligations, and exercise legal and social discretion in encounters with individuals, families and groups, including Sámi users.
  • Can apply academic knowledge and methods in order to interact and collaborate with children and young people on everyday life and on difficult topics in a way that safeguards their interests, participation and rights.
  • Can master relevant mapping, documentation, analysis and decision-making methods.
  • Can apply academic knowledge to assess and clarify reports and investigate the care situation of children and young people and implement, follow up and evaluate measures/interventions when necessary for the child’s health, living conditions and social development.
  • Can apply knowledge and work in an interdisciplinary manner in encounters with people who carry out and are exposed to violence and abuse.
  • Can find, assess and implement measures/interventions that alleviate and reduce the consequences of violence, abuse and neglect of children and adults of all ages. In addition, the candidate can talk to children about topics such as neglect, violence and abuse.

Applying research-based knowledge

  • Has knowledge about social science methodology and its possibilities and limitations.
  • Can assess scientific knowledge and political framework conditions in a practical context.
  • Can apply research-based, experience-based and user-based knowledge in professional practice.

Required prerequisite knowledge

BSO101 Introduction to social work’s platform of knowledge, BSO102 Communication and interaction in social work

Recommended prerequisites

BSO103 Welfare policy, BSO104 Welfare law


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Oral exam 1/1 30 Minutes Letter grades The Norwegian Law, other compendium or offprint which contains law texts without comments. Printouts are not permitted

Individual oral examination. Duration: up to 30 minutes. The candidate is examined in topics selected by the examiner without any preparation time.Students who fail the re-sit or re-scheduled course examination must take the next ordinary examination together with the subsequent year group. The compulsory activities that have already been approved do not have to be retaken. Students must take the examination in accordance with any new and revised course description, but decide themselves whether to follow teaching in the new examination semester.

Coursework requirements

Written assignment, Attendance

Both compulsory activities must be approved in order for the student to take the examination. Approval/non-approval of compulsory activities is announced on Studentweb, normally no later than 7 days before the examination. Students who lack approval of one or more compulsory activities will be withdrawn from the examination.

Written assignment: Individual written assignment. Scope: 1500 words (+/- 10%) including table of contents and notes; excluding source referencing and bibliography. Referencing style: APA 7th.

Attendance requirements: 75% attendance is required for the teaching in skills training groups and seminars. Students who have less than 75% attendance in the compulsory teaching activities lose the right to take the examination, regardless of the reason.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Marte Tonning Otterlei

Study Program Director:

Nina Thorbjørnsen

Method of work

Lectures, skills training groups* in social work and seminars* (*compulsory attendance)


The syllabus can be found in Leganto