The National Notice of Concern

September 28, 2016

norway-national-notice-of-concernThe situation within Norwegian Child Protection Services

This Notice, addressed to the Minister of The Department for Children, Equality and Inclusion, has been signed by more than 200 professionals; about. 30 Psychologists, 50 Lawyers, a number GP’s and other Health Workers including Child Protection Officers, Expert Witnesses and University Professors.

A number of professionals due to career reasons, do not wish to officially state their support. The current situation within Norwegian Child Welfare Services and System gives rise to profound concerns. As professionals and responsible citizens we consider ourselves accountable for clearly warning as follows: Under the current laws and practice in Norway an unknown number of children are suffering due to incompetence and abuse by authorities.

As a society we should no longer accept the prevailing situation. Our opinion is that it requires mobilisation of a stronger commitment among all dealing with the challenges facing Norwegian Child Welfare Services/System (our abbreviation NCWS). This applies to child welfare professionals, politicians, media and the general social debate. We all have to ensure that children and their families are not exposed to breaches of their human rights caused by incompetence or decision making processes within welfare and care organisations. This is especially so, given that these same organisations are meant to create welfare and care of actual needs.

An increasing number of professionals in interaction with NCWS are increasingly understanding that the system, in many situations, falls short of promoting the interest of children, and that there is a need for comprehensive changes. Experience suggests that initiatives so far being launched or planned are insufficient or inadequate. Ministers and department heads have promoted changes, but obviously this is not enough.

We would prefer having confidence in the professional expertise and discretionary decisions of the NCWS, and that these would help ensuring well founded actions and decisions. Similarly, we would like to believe that the legal rights of children and families are being maintained by the courts and their expert witnesses. Professionals, who have examined individual cases, all too often discover a completely different reality.

We know that there are many cases, where statutory services have had to intervene in family conflicts and take over the care of children. Many NCWS offices address this extremely demanding task in the best way possible. At the same time we regularly observe examples, where NCWS appears to be a dysfunctional organisation performing erroneously with subsequent serious consequences.

We observe cases where NCWS is failing to recognize obvious child abuse and serious lack of care within families. Thus they do not act timely with adequate interventions, which might have saved children from an unacceptable life situation. In such circumstances developing and agreeing on better methods of assessment will help children, suffering due to lack of care, getting adequate help quickly.

On the other hand there are cases where the NCWS transfer children from their homes based upon very weak evidence, characterised by speculative interpretation, disagreement between assessments and conclusions, and missing quality of measures that might otherwise have brought about change.

A serious matter is the lack of legal rights for families resulting from the close link between many expert psychologists and the NCWS. NCWS is their principal and employer, and frequently engages the same psychologists for assessments of the same case, as initially related to sanctioning emergency decisions to take over child care. When the parents appeal decisions to county boards and onwards through the court system, they learn that the NCWS has appointed the same expert witnesses as in earlier parts of the proceedings.

For the experts these are well paid assignments, and many professionals have these child protection cases as their only source of income. Thus the assigned expert witnesses may easily prefer to state expert opinions that support decisions already taken by the NCWS. Thus we encounter a situation of serious conflict of interest, which may constitute impaired legal protection of the vulnerable families involved in NCWS decisions.

When expert witnesses submit their reports and give evidence in the Courts, we often see that the observational basis upon which they report is very weak. Hence, their assessments are easily weak and abstract. Nevertheless, statements by experts appointed by the NCWS are given excessive emphasis when presented in court.

Judges are frequently entrusting the decision to be made to the expert witnesses. In some cases the biological parents have sufficient financial resources to appoint their own expert witnesses to study their case. In these cases judges appear to place less emphasis on these alternative conclusions.
Witness statements from privately appointed experts are not given the same status as those made by experts appointed by statutory services. Far too often we observe that biological parents, without sufficient financial resources, do not have any chance of a fair hearing when faced with a large and powerful statutory service. Consequently, we see that once decisions have been based upon weak observations and unverified interpretations, they are applied through all levels of the legal system.

On the basis of the portrayed representation above we contend that care arrangement decisions in an unknown number of cases fails at all professional and legal levels, and that devised safeguard mechanisms do not function as intended. For the families concerned the consequences are serious. Immigrant families are particularly vulnerable –they lose their children without opportunity to understand Norwegian culture, such as e.g. the Norwegian zero tolerance for physical punishment in child rearing. Many immigrants have grown up with physical punishment through generations, and they sincerely believe this to be in the best interest of their child.

Trust, respect and dialogue are most necessary tools in order to change what in Norway is considered unacceptable child raising violence. In the absence of these tools, a crisis of confidence between the NCWS and minority groups will emerge. We have closely observed this situation in many Norwegian municipalities. When conveying the explicit Norwegian view of success and failure in building good child care, a more self-critical stance is needed. At the same time, in Norway we need to develop increased insight into specific expressions of emotional attachment and care, as these are exposed in other cultures.

At times there is a shocking disagreement between the competencies found within the Local NCWS and its power, which this public institution is authorized to exert over families. It is hard to envisage any other area in our society where public service interferes so radically in people’s private lives.

Today’s situation shows that many of the functions and services of NCWS are not functioning at a standard justifying its use of power. Within NCWS examples show that authoritarian and closed systems/cultures are nurtured, thus exposing children and vulnerable families with the risk of being abused by community decisions. Legal protection in Norway is challenged, when the voices of children and vulnerable families stand minor chances of being heard.

Hardship is felt particularly strongly by families having insignificant financial or social resources to initiate their own legal case, and promote this through the legal system. A naive belief held by many is that NCWS protects all children in the best possible way, and that the checks and balances built into the system are adequate.
Unfortunately, this reinforces a sense of powerlessness felt by those children and families, who experience the opposite.

Oslo, June 2015

Einar C. Salvesen
Gro Hillestad Thune
Elvis Nwosu
Thea Totland
Nina Witoszhek
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steven-bennettI found this Notice of Concern posted by one of my Facebook friends this week. Steven Bennett is a Christian man who has researched the Barnevernet thoroughly. He is a well-known activist outside of Norway who is concerned about the problems facing citizens there. From Austria, he has mounted a tremendous effort to share the truth of the issue via social media. Not only has he researched this subject in-depth, he has shared words of truth and encouragement with many, and he has done it all in a Christian way.

Here is Steven at the Symposium in Vienna:


Words Spoken in Deeds ~

September 28, 2016

Wonderful words by Deborah Ann taken from The Source. Let’s ask God to help us act what we believe.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

words-spokne-in-deeds-christian-poetry-by-deborah-ann

Acts of kindness,
words of hope
we all need them
to help us cope.

Acts of compassion,
words of forgiveness
we should all make
our daily business.

Acts of love,
words of encouragement
helps us through
our own discouragement.

Acts of gentleness,
words of appreciation
seen in our actions
and communication.

Acts of generosity
words of helpfulness
leaves no room
for our own selfishness.

Acts of kindness,
words spoken in deed
we all should give . . .
but, we also need!

~~~~~~

Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind one to another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for
Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2016
Deborah Ann Belka

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My Rock

September 28, 2016

Sherry has a way of picking out the gems from the “Prince of Preachers.” Here is another good one…

He Hath Said

He only is my rock and my salvation. -Psalm 62:2

“My rock!” What a history the rock might give you of the storms to which it has been exposed; of the tempests which have raged in the ocean at its base, and of the thunders which have disturbed the skies above its head; while it, itself, has stood unscathed by tempests, and unmoved by the buffettings of storms. So with our God. How firm hath He stood-how steadfast hath He been-though the nations have reviled Him, and “the kings of the earth have taken counsel together!” By merely standing still He hath broken the ranks of the enemy, without even stretching forth His hand! With motionless grandeur like a rock He hath broken the waves, and scattered the armies of His enemies, driving them back in confusion. Look at the rock again: see how firm and unmoved it stands! It…

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What is Heresy?

September 28, 2016

My blogging friend, Sherryn, has posted a very good (and brief) description of a word that is being used in many ways today. Is the word over or under-used? I’ll have to think about this question myself. In any case, I think this is a good definition.

The Narrowing Path

A great summary article on defining heresy from Amy Spreeman at the Berean Research blog, including a list of classic heresies that are well and truly thriving in the visible church and cults today:

What is Heresy?

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-11-15-30-amHeresy is a false teaching about the essential doctrines of our faith – the ones we must adhere to, regarding who God is, who Jesus is, salvation by grace, and Jesus’ resurrection. Non-essential beliefs are certainly worth discussing with passion (and love of course), but not to the point where those who hold opposite non-essential beliefs are considered heretical. It is also important to remember that sanctification (our growth in holiness, truth, and wisdom), often is on a different timeline from other brothers and sisters in Christ.

So what constitutes a heresy? There’s no better resource than what CARM (Christian Apologetics & Resource Ministry) has put together on the subject…

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NADIA AND CASPIAN IN VIENNA…UPDATE #17

September 24, 2016

nadia-and-caspian-9-23-2016-4-cropped
Message received September 24th, 2016 @ 11:00 am Vienna time:

“Hi Chris. We did have a wonderful time with AMAZING people yesterday! We are going to church with some of them on Sunday. They have stolen my baby twice, so I will always be afraid they will come after us again. I will live with this anxiety every day until he is 18 years old. All I wish is that Caspian is safe with his mother. I enjoy every day with him but at the same time I’m afraid everyday is going to be the last day we will spend together. I don’t want him sent to kindergarten because I will always be afraid he won’t come home. But in Norway, if we don’t send them to kindergarten Barnevernet gets really worried so, I guess I have to.”

Nadia, Caspian, and Margaret at the Symposium in Vienna

Nadia, Caspian, and Margaret at the Symposium in Vienna

“Children in Barnevernet do not have it good. They become nobody’s children and they are moved around like they are a package. They lose all contact with their family. 😦 It is so sad how they treat children.”

Nadia and the Hennums arrive at the Symposium

Nadia and the Hennums arrive at the Symposium

“It is important to mention the feelings I’m sitting with after this tragedy. They will never go away.”

“And it was all a mistake. They haven’t even said that they are sorry. My boy and I have been through so much because of them.”
-Nadia Bekkelund

nadia-and-caspian-9-23-2016-3-cropped
————————–

I was fortunate to receive this message from Nadia today. Because of the content of the message and the pictures Nadia sent, you can see why I have mixed emotions.

It is wonderful to see a smiling mother with her only child. It is difficult to read most of the words Nadia sent.

What a blessing to know that Nadia will be in church with Caspian tomorrow and that she is surrounded by friends! Then there are the doubts and fears that Nadia expresses about her return to Norway.

Nadia makes a general statement about the Barnevernet, one borne out of experience. Then, she states that her bad experience “will never go away.”

It speaks volumes that the Barnevernet has not apologized to Nadia or the Hennum family. What could the reason for this be? Is Norway’s Barnevernet not willing to admit a huge mistake? In this case, it would be the only descent thing to do. Or maybe Norway’s Barnevernet doesn’t think it has made a mistake. This would be a tragedy, indeed. Is what some humble Norwegians have stated true? Is there a feeling of superiority among some Norwegians that allow such events to occur? Except for complete incompetence, the only other alternative that I can think of is that this wasn’t a “mistake.” Is it possible that Caspian was taken on purpose even though the Barnevernet knew there was no good reason? All of these possibilities are, of course, horrible. A more humane, less brutal, family-friendly CPS is needed in Norway.

Chris Reimers

The symposium that Nadia, Caspian, and Margaret Hennum participated in is at the last post on this blog. For your convenience, I will place it here in case you would like to watch it. Please start around minute 34.


‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’ SYMPOSIUM…WATCH IT HERE

September 21, 2016

Click play above to watch today’s symposium. You will have to go to minute 34:00 (approximately) to see the beginning of the event.

If you want to know the reason for this event, YOU CAN FIND OUT ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

Those interviewed were (in order):

Nadia Bekkelund (with Caspian!) and Margaret Hennum

Marius Reikerås

Tor Age Berglid

-Break-

Amy Jacobsen and Kevin (Tyler’s parents)

Sverre Skimmeland

Berit Aarset

Steven Bennett

Natalie

Margaret Hennum

My thoughts: Having just finished watching this, I feel that this was, indeed, an excellent symposium as Professor Marianne H. Skanland has so aptly described in the comments below. It is wonderful to see Christian Austrians doing what they can to help suffering Norwegians. I enjoyed seeing people whom I have never met in person but whom I feel I know. I wish I didn’t have to see them discussing such a topic. However, it is inspiring to see people who will speak out against a cruel and unrelenting system that Norway calls the Barnevernet. Several Norwegians traveled to Vienna for this event. They are names that have been mentioned on this blog. There was the British/Austrian activist, Steven Bennett, who has been so helpful in getting this information out to Europe and the world. Behind the scenes and helping to organize this event was a young Christian man named Bjorn Korf. I wish to thank him and all who participated in this event. May God bless each of you as the valiant attempt is made to dismantle this evil government-sponsored family destroyer.
I respect those who spoke. One would have to be callous to misunderstand the emotion in the voices. These are voices of strength, not of weakness.

There is a Bible verse that states: “You reap what you sow.” I hope the good workers of the Norwegian CPS that do exist and the government entities responsible for actions like those mentioned in this symposium take heed.

Chris Reimers

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The Father’s Will

September 21, 2016

Sherry has put together a great combination here. Worship God through song and then listen to the Prince of Preachers preach. (I wish it was an actual recording of Mr. Spurgeon’s voice. A good reader will have to suffice.)
If you can’t make it to church, this is the next best thing!

He Hath Said

You who are King of kings and Lord of lords, we worship You. Before Jehovah’s awful throne we bow with sacred joy.

Sermon Text

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