Personal Accounts of Siblings Cruelly Separated by the Norwegian Child Welfare System (Barnevernet)

July 26, 2021

The following statements are from three of the thousands of cases in Norway where siblings have been sadly impacted by the actions of the Norwegian Child “Welfare” System (The Barnevernet):

When the CPS separates siblings as well, they make you lose part of yourself

By Tonje Omdahl

How can the courts and the CPS Barnevernet have the authority to decide whether sisters and brothers in child protection cases are to be separated or not?

It is devastating when siblings are torn from each other and placed in separate foster homes. The reason is not that the CPS lacks foster homes or resources. Rather, I believe, it has to do with what and how the CPS employees choose their priorities.

I have myself been a victim of the results. It felt like the worst of betrayals! The CPS took us in what they claimed was an emergency, and my brothers and I were torn apart; separate emergency foster homes picked us up as if we were on display – take your choice! The worst of all was when we were driven away to separate places. As if we had not been hurt enough already.

I love my twin brother and our older brother. Why should the CPS punish us even more by separating us?

First, with lightening speed you are taken from mother and father and then you are forced from your siblings and have to learn to take care of yourself. In some cases, children who have not had it so good at home are torn from their siblings just when they need the security siblings give you. In other cases the CPS takes children from well functioning families and separates siblings. Regardless of the reason for being moved, siblings should have the possibility of growing up together, they should live under the same roof!

*

You should know your own brother and sister. That ought to be the first consideration when the authorities decide about children.

I know of many who have been torn away from their brothers and sisters and it is so incredibly sad to see, because to prevent that ought to be the first priority. The authorities ought to take action and change this!

Is it allowed to split siblings up like that, without good reason – I would think not. If the situation is that it is not possible for siblings to grow up together because of very special circumstances, then care should be taken that the contact is still maintained and siblings should be able to meet whenever they want to.

(Tonje Omdahl is 19 years old. She started writing a blog when she was in care and in spite of pressure from Barnevernet did not stop writing about her experiences. Since she came of age, she has been very active both writing critically about Barnevernet, taking part in events to have the state of affairs better known, and establishing contact with other like-minded individuals who are or have been in care.)

Samnanger Fjord (Photo by Aqwis)

The CPS took everything I had – and smashed it

by Kristine Bolstad

I will personally raise a complaint against the CPS – Barnevernet – in Samnanger for having destroyed my family. Samnanger Municipality forgot me in all the commotion. I was a sizable part of a whole, an important part, a sister and a daughter who saw it all. It was very traumatic for me.

My life was shattered and destroyed completely through all the nasty, untruthful play the CPS put on. I not only lost myself but my whole family and my security. Why was I forgotten in it all?

I had to witness my sister and my brothers leave, one after the other, while I was left at home. It was not a good feeling. When I could remain with my father, why did they have to leave? If the CPS held dad to be a bad father, why was I left behind?

Nothing here adds up. Our father was a good father. He did everything for us.

I still see them leaving, in my mind’s eye, while I had to say “Goodbye”. And my dear, lovely sister who looked on me as a ‘mammy’ – I was her ‘nanny’. Father and I were left there without them. I had a feeling of guilt and a hatred against myself for all they had to endure in their journey, while I had to just accept, and could do nothing for them.

To visit them, to have them wanting to come back home with us, while we were not allowed to take them with us, has implanted in me an anxiety in my daily life. Trauma and fear. I was a pawn in it all, but Samnanger Municipality has evidently forgotten me in the middle of it all.

*

You have no idea how much Samnanger CPS has destroyed for me – with anxiety, traumas, school, job. These days I see a psychologist because of it, me paying for what someone else has done to my life.

I have missed a lot because of what happened to my siblings and my father. And sure enough: I had not even given birth to my first child when the CPS started interfering in my life as a mother. I cannot find peace, I am afraid that my children will be taken from me, even though there is no reason to take them. The traumas from what happened to my siblings seem entrenched in me. To ask for help raises the alarm in me.

I could list all that has happened, but the municipality has it all in its papers and it has been published in the media. I was a big sister and a daughter; to this day I struggle with all that happened. I am still afraid. What the CPS in Samnanger has done, has scarred my soul and my heart. They took everything and crushed it to smithereens. Those years without my sister and brothers I will never get back. Never!

(Kristine Bolstad is the oldest of four siblings in the Bolstad family, one of three families in Samnanger subjected to Barnevernet’s actions for whom a proper investigation was carried out and a realistic report written, leading up to some redress for the families who had been separated and harmed by Barnevernet. Kristine was almost 17 years of age when Barnevernet took her three younger siblings, a heart-rending experience. She is now in her twenties and is a mother herself.)

Brothers and sisters of children in care

By the Skretting law firm

The Ministry of Children and Families does not want to make things any easier for the siblings of children whom the state takes into care – the forgotten, silent children!

Brothers and sisters have a human right to have contact with each other. That follows both from our Constitution Article 102 and from the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) Article 8.

It is tragic that the Ministry of Children and Families, in their Proposition 133 L (2020-2021), will not change child protection law so that siblings would on the basis of the Child Welfare Act be given a right to demand contact with their brothers and sisters. The Ministry will still leave such decisions to the Child Welfare Services (CWS, the Norwegian child protection services). The CWS is to have the power to grant visitation between siblings “to the degree that this is in the child’s best interest”.

The background to Norway repeatedly being found guilty of human rights offenses at the Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg is that contact with the biological family is so often considered by the CWS not to be in the best interest of a child taken into care.

We in the Skretting law firm support the human rights lawyers who assert that accepting the new child protection act proposed and passing it into law, will increase the risk of children and families being exposed to continued human rights deprivations by the authorities.

As we are passing into summer, our law firm would like to share with you a heart-rending message from a big brother who, ever since he was a little boy, has experienced violations of his human rights. He has only rarely been permitted to meet his younger sister, for 2 hours per year:

” I have a sister, 15 years old. As some of you may know – – – but when I shall soon pass through this door I shall get to see her for the first time this year ….  in 2020 I was allowed to meet her for 2 hours. And in 2019 I was able to see her for one day.

She is, as I said, 15 years old. …. Visitation for 2 hours per year. The child protection services Barnevernet hold that to be enough, and would prefer to give us no visitation at all.

Cool – aren’t the systems we have in Norway good! But what if they had functioned in practice too.

What have I done wrong to be denied communication? Madness … Something good about working a lot is that then I don’t have time to think about all this. That’s what I have found, and thank you, God, for that! “

(The law firm Advokatfirma Skretting is based in Stavanger. The senior lawyer, Arnhild Skretting, is active politically to bring about a change in legislation and practice regarding child protection, and the lawyers in the firm have for many years been strongly engaged for families attacked by Barnevernet.)

Editorial

Yes, here is another post about Norway’s “Child Protective Services” and how can anyone blame me? It has come to my attention in the past several years that things like the experiences described above are happening in many first-world countries. However, as far as I’m aware, Norway has had more recent criticism of its Child Welfare system than any other country. The horrid thing is that almost no one in the Norwegian government is critical of a system that has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights along with many foreign publications in numerous countries.

Norway has been more “successful” than the best magicians. Somehow, it has continually hidden an orange elephant in plain sight. How has it done this? It has ignored the ECtHR decisions, it has far outpaced any national criticism with an aggressive campaign to promote the broken system, and it continues to write new laws that sound wonderful on paper but are a nightmare in reality.

I have done only a slight amount of research compared to the Skretting law firm but I have read enough to agree with them and other human rights lawyers who “assert that accepting the new child protection act proposed and passing it into law, will increase the risk of children and families being exposed to continued human rights deprivations by the authorities.” Like my own country, I have been keeping the country of Norway in my prayers. The rights of children and families worldwide seem in danger now more than ever. If blatant disregard for the rights of families continues in a “free” society like Norway, considered one of the “happiest countries on Earth,” how will the same problems in places where people have little to no rights ever be acknowledged and resolved?

Chris Reimers





“When I passed by thee, I said unto thee, Live.”

July 8, 2021

“When I passed by thee, I said unto thee, Live.”
Ezekiel 16:6

Saved one, consider gratefully this mandate of mercy. Note that this fiat of God is majestic. In our text, we perceive a sinner with nothing in him but sin, expecting nothing but wrath; but the eternal Lord passes by in his glory; he looks, he pauses, and he pronounces the solitary but royal word, “Live.” There speaks a God. Who but he could venture thus to deal with life and dispense it with a single syllable? Again, this fiat is manifold. When he saith “Live,” it includes many things. Here is judicial life. The sinner is ready to be condemned, but the mighty One saith, “Live,” and he rises pardoned and absolved. It is spiritual life. We knew not Jesus–our eyes could not see Christ, our ears could not hear his voice–Jehovah said “Live,” and we were quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Moreover, it includes glory-life, which is the perfection of spiritual life. “I said unto thee, Live:” and that word rolls on through all the years of time till death comes, and in the midst of the shadows of death, the Lord’s voice is still heard, “Live!” In the morning of the resurrection it is that self-same voice which is echoed by the arch-angel, “Live,” and as holy spirits rise to heaven to be blest forever in the glory of their God, it is in the power of this same word, “Live.” Note again, that it is an irresistible mandate. Saul of Tarsus is on the road to Damascus to arrest the saints of the living God. A voice is heard from heaven and a light is seen above the brightness of the sun, and Saul is crying out, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” This mandate is a mandate of free grace. When sinners are saved, it is only and solely because God will do it to magnify his free, unpurchased, unsought grace. Christians, see your position, debtors to grace; show your gratitude by earnest, Christlike lives, and as God has bidden you live, see to it that you live in earnest.

Charles H. Spurgeon


The Depth Of God’s Love ~

May 14, 2021

Deborah Ann asks some great questions here and shares wonderful verses about the subject of God’s love.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Have you considered,
God’s love and it’s depth
have you thought about
its profound breadth?

Do you know how deep,
it goes down for you . . .
do you ever think about
what without it you’d do?

Do you comprehend,
the deepness of God’s love
have you surrender your will
for your Father’s above?

Have you marveled over,
how God loves everyone
have you figured out
Your own need for His Son?

Have you ever considered,
God’s love fathomless
do you know for you . . .
it is a love bottomless?

~~~~~~~~

Ephesians 3:18 -19

May be able to comprehend
with all saints what is the breadth,
and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ,
which passeth knowledge, that
ye might be filled with all the
fulness of God.

Romans 5:8

But God commendeth
his love toward us, in that,
while we were…

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The YouVersion Bible App

April 29, 2021

“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You,
I will give thanks to your name;
For You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”
– Isaiah 25: 1

Have you ever thought about putting a Bible app that might help you with your study of God’s Word on your phone or computer? My wife and my daughter are both using the YouVersion Bible App for their daily Bible readings. It is free, it has just about any Bible version you can imagine, and it is easy to install. You can choose any book and chapter to read from or maybe even a reading plan that will inspire you. I am currently reading a plan that covers the Bible in one year and does so chronologically. As you probably know, the Bible isn’t always in chronological order so I found that particular plan interesting. I can always change to another plan. You can listen to the Bible as well if you wish.

Combing through videos to show you how to get this Bible App, I found this one to be pretty straightforward in explaining how to get it:

You can find all kinds of information about the app on the YouVersion Bible App Youtube page HERE.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. (Psalm 119)

May God bless your time studying God’s Word.

Chris Reimers


Unmovable ~

December 2, 2019

It is very difficult to capture God’s greatness in words. Deborah Ann’s latest poem is successful in doing just that. Her poem and the scripture it is based on are powerful words.

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

God’s Kingdom,
is unconquerable
His powers
are undefeatable.

God’s mercy,
is unshakable
His promises
are unbreakable.

God’s grace,
is unfaltering
His Words
are unwavering.

God’s love,
is unchanging
His compassions
are unfailing.

God’s Kingdom,
is unshakeable
His powers
are unmistakable!

~~~~~~~

Hebrews 12:28

Wherefore we receiving
a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we
may serve God acceptably with
reverence and godly fear:

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2019
Deborah Ann Belka

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Heard God Lately?

July 20, 2019

If so, reevaluate.

I agree with Justin Peters because his opinion is based on God’s Word.

cr


How does God speak to Christians?

April 20, 2019

I have the same thoughts when people say “God said (this) to me.” Well stated! Thank you for sharing this video, Maria!

Pilgrim’s Progress revisited ~ Christiana on the narrow way



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Washed In The Blood ~

September 10, 2018

I hope this new gem from Deborah Ann brightens your day as it has mine. What a wonderful reminder!

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Jesus’ blood,
washed over me
now His love
has set me free.

Free from quilt,
free from blame
for, upon Himself
He took my shame.

Jesus’ blood,
flooded over me
flushing out sin’s
grit and debris.

At not a cost,
His grace I attained
now through faith
I’m no longer sin-stained.

Jesus’s blood,
washed over me
giving me a life . . .
now sin free!

~~~~~~~~

Revelation 1:5-6

“And from Jesus Christ,
who is the faithful witness,
and the first begotten
of the dead, and the prince
of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our
sins in his own blood,

And hath made us kings
and priests unto God
and his Father;
to him be glory
and dominion
for ever and ever.”
Amen.

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2018
Deborah Ann Belka

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“What July Fourth Means to Me” by Ronald Reagan

July 4, 2018

I saw that people were coming here to read this today so I figured that I’d reblog it to the top. CR

Wings of the Wind

Ronald Reagan wrote the following for Independence Day in 1981.  It was not written by someone else for the President.  These are Mr. (President at the time) Reagan’s own words that were written with his own hand:

“What July Fourth Means to Me”

By Ronald Reagan

For one who was born and grew up in the small towns of the Midwest, there is a special kind of nostalgia about the Fourth of July.

I remember it as a day almost as long-anticipated as Christmas. This was helped along by the appearance in store windows of all kinds of fireworks and colorful posters advertising them with vivid pictures.

No later than the third of July – sometimes earlier – Dad would bring home what he felt he could afford to see go up in smoke and flame. We’d count and recount the number of firecrackers, display pieces and other things and…

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Mission Possible ~

May 28, 2018

God has blessed us through Deborah Ann once again with an encouraging and thought provoking poem of truth…

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Your mission today,
if you should so agree
is to share the Good News
and tell others about Me.

Your subject today,
could be anyone
who doesn’t know
what for them I’ve done.

Your mission today,
if you should decide
is to let your light shine
on the reason I died.

Your actions today,
might just save a life
and bring someone peace
instead of eternal strife.

Your mission today,
is not impossible
for with Me . . .
all things are possible!

~~~~~~~

Mark 16:15

“And he said unto them,
Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel
to every creature.

Public Domain
King James Version

Copyright 2018
Deborah Ann Belka

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