Child Protection Managers’ Views on Frameworks for Assessment of Children in Need
Internationally there has been a movement to reform investigative work in child welfare and protection systems. These reforms have aimed to introduce national frameworks that systematize the way assessments are carried out. Several reports have identified shortcomings in the way that child protection investigations are carried out in Norway. Consequently, there is a need for improvement. However, an attempt to change practice within an organization has little hope of succeeding unless the organization implementing the new practice accepts that a change in practice is needed. The aim of this study was to examine child protection agency managers’ views on the advantages and disadvantages related to implementation of an assessment framework in Norway. Electronic survey questionnaires were distributed to the managers of all Norwegian child protection services. The response rate was 68% (N = 217). The majority agreed that the use of an assessment framework is helpful in child welfare and protection services investigations in general, and helpful in terms of facilitating child and family participation. This study indicates that some prerequisites would need to be present for successful implementation of an assessment framework: training, supervision and ongoing support, and sufficient resources.