Tuesday, January 25

No, Clemet, we need to talk more, not less about the vulnerable children!

  • Hege H. Malterud

    Director of the Children and Family Agency

  • Kristin G. Furuholmen

    Chief psychologist in the Child and Family Services

  • Kristine Berbom

    Head of department, Aline and Frydenberg family department

Children living in dangerous homes must actually be detected and helped, despite the pandemic, the post writers write.

For some children, the home is a dangerous place. We have to take that into account.

This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.

In her comment «Home for Christmas» in Aftenposten on December 26, the leader of the think tank Civita Kristin Clemet expresses concern about inflation in the use of the term vulnerable groups. Especially about children. She believes the home is being portrayed as dangerous.

At the same time, we in the Children and Family Agency meet many parents who say that everyday life has become very difficult during the pandemic. Then the children are vulnerable. Especially some of them.

Vulnerable children are different

We know that children’s development and well-being depend on the overall care situation, as well as the relationship with friends. They need encouragement, comfort, support and camaraderie. Children in vulnerable life situations have different needs and a greater risk of further difficulties as a result of pandemic measures.

Necessary help and control are weakened under such conditions.

It should be highlighted more often, not less often. It can help more children who need it get help. That vulnerability is thematized and that we ensure that the measures against the pandemic do not affect children more than necessary, is important for both the individual and society.

We need researchers who uncover the consequences for the vulnerable children, so that their needs are seen and prioritized by professionals and politicians. Then the vulnerable children must be on the agenda.

Good schools provide important protection

Kindergarten and school can not replace the importance of parents for children’s development, but research shows that good kindergartens and schools also provide important protection. It can be teachers, friends, subjects or the routines of the school day that provide.

There is reason to be impressed by many of the parents who receive assistance from the child welfare service. With great challenges, they go to great lengths for their children. They also experience that kindergarten and school help them better by providing the security the children need.

As digital education increases, so do the differences

It takes a lot to follow up home schooling. As digital education increases, so do the differences. Competence, space and the opportunity for peace in the home are not evenly distributed.

The consequences of measures clearly show that those who had a good starting point have gotten better, while those at risk of negative development, the vulnerable children, have found it more difficult.

Dangerous homes exist

Most children are safe at home and receive adequate support. But for some children, the home is a dangerous place. We are reluctant to see and believe it, but we must!

Parents who are struggling need access to some more assistance and help. In addition, the children living in dangerous homes must actually be detected and helped, despite the pandemic. School and kindergarten are the most important arenas for this.

Parents who are struggling need access to some more assistance and help

The time to deal with the side effects of the pandemic is here already. It costs to be socially isolated over time, to have school at home and friends scattered, to have a gloomy outlook on the future, not to be squeezed, to fear illness and death. Even safe children have been shaken by confidence in the world and the future.

For some children and families, the measures cost extra. Therefore, we need to talk more about the vulnerable children – not less.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *