Recommendations for Foreign Parents in Norway
Norwegian Child Protection (Barnevernet) says that Norway requires that people live under Norwegian law. Recently, Barnevernet discovered that the Norwegian Child protection is a system which is difficult to understand to the foreigners who come to live in Norway. That is why we have prepared a set of recommendations for parents in Norway, which will help you understand the basic principles of how children should be treated in Norway.
We think it is important to know a few things for people who are planning to go to work or/and live to Norway:
- you come from another country and different cultural background;
- the laws and regulations are different in Norway;
- you are a newcomer and you have to respect and to conform to Norwegian rules.
There are many cases when people come to Norway from different countries and bring their family together, and apparently they have a vision that the laws in their home country and Norway are pretty the same. But it is not.
The laws supporting the child’s welfare in Norway are very strict when the rights of the child are violated. Sometimes children are even taken away from the family. We admit that it is important and sensitive topic. But on the other hand it is about respect too. We have to respect the laws of the country where we are. In this case, it is Norway.
You are the parents and you know what the best is for your child!
But you also have to pay attention to the laws of Norway.
Recommendations for parents in Norway
Here are several recommendations, which have been prepared based on information publicly available from the Norwegian child welfare institutions.
Alcohol and partying:
- It’s ok a glass of wine at dinner. But constant drinking is quite a different thing.
- After the party, late at night, mother drives home by car carrying children and drunken husband who is sleeping quietly at the back. The police stop the car. Will they inform the Barnevernet? Answer: – No, because no children’s rights are violated. One spouse is fully capable of looking after children. Of course pay attention to the safety in cars: kids have to be in the baby seat (depends upon the kid’s age) with the seatbelt on.
- If there is a party (with alcohol and loud music) at your home, make sure that kids are asleep and have rest. Children must not play around where there are people consuming alcohol and listening to loud music.
Psychological and physical violence:
- To shake, slap a child through the ass or other aggressive physical contact with the child according to the Norwegian Laws is violence.
- Violence between spouses. If the violence does not stop, the children might be taken away.
- If you are newcomer and want to rent a room for family (with kids), it might be that the Landlord will tell you that he cannot rent it because under the Norwegian law it has to be assured a separate room for a kid.
- According to the Norwegian Penal Code if children see, hear and experience violence from one parent against the other, this is also violence against the child. So pay attention to the mentioned above because a child should not be a witness of parent’s quarrel (for example divorce cases and how you will handle it).
- Sometimes parents feel powerless and act with frustration and anger when teenager comes home later than agreed or kid behaves totally opposite than the parents think is right. In situations like this parents end up threatening, shaking, hitting, and smacking the kid. That is not acceptable in Norway. Norwegian Child Protection suggestion – try to see the other way to react.
- It is prohibited to live for children in the premises were the workers live.
- The residential area requirements depend upon the municipality. Child Welfare Service representatives do not go and check.
- A girl and a boy can live in one room.
- If the parents do not want to vaccinate a child-it is their right to choose. 2, 6, 7 class children cannot be vaccinated without parent’s consent.
- If the child was alone at home and the accident happened then the parents will be responsible. It’s not recommended to leave kids (grade 1-2) alone no longer than for 30-60 minutes.
- There is no specific set age when children can be alone at home. It depends on the children’s own autonomy, what’s time of day and how long they can be alone. For example, 7 year-old child returning from school at 2.00 p.m. and is alone till 8.00 p.m., such a situation might pay attention of Barnevernet, especially when the situation is repeated systematically.
In conclusion, we can say that parents are fully responsible for welfare of their children. Children need to be safe, healthy, feel good and be happy.
From our experience as a recruitment agency we can tell that our workers go to Norway for the purpose. And the purpose is to work. But also they know that they will have to respect the laws of the country where they are working and living in.
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