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11 October 2022
 
 
 
Alvheim's ten commandments
to people in touch with Barnevernet

 
 
• • • •
John Alvheim (1930-2005) was a Norwegian politician who made a strong effort to bring about improvement in Norwegian 'child protection'. He assisted and helped families who were in conflict with the child protection service, Barnevernet, and took up their cases and general issues of failed child protection politically, in the municipality of Notodden, where he was for a period deputy mayor, in parliament, to which he was elected in 1989-2005, and in interviews and media programmes.
    In 1995 he published some points of advice regarding what to do and not to do as a family exposed to Barnevernet. They quickly became known as 'Alvheim's Ten Commandments'!
    The translation into English is mine.
MH Skånland
• • • •
 
 
Alvheim's 'ten commandments' – for people who come into contact with the child protection system Barnevernet
 
1.  Shut up, everything you say will be used against you.
 
2.  Immediately contact a lawyer.
 
3.  Get hold of a psychologist even if you are well – you may need one.
 
4  Say no to help, or it will be interpreted as a sign that you cannot cope.
 
5.  Say no to offers of placement in a 'mothers' home' [or 'family centre'] .
     It is not a helpful institution, but a monitoring centre.
 
6.  Demand written justification for every decision imposed on you.
 
7.  Appeal against all decisions.
 
8.  Say no to an offer of placement [for the child] in a foster home.
     You will not get the child back.
 
9.  Remember that when Barnevernet speaks about help, they generally mean taking the child into care, or monitoring/supervision.
 
10.  If you need help, make use of friends and relatives – or make do without.
 
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The original:
 
Alvheims ti bud
 – til dem som kommer i barnevernets søkelys:
 
1.  Hold kjeft, alt du sier kommer til å brukes mot deg.
2.  Ta straks kontakt med en advokat.
3.  Skaff deg en psykolog selv om du er frisk - du kan få behov for det.
4.  Ta ikke imot hjelp, det blir tolket som at du ikke klarer deg selv.
5.  Ta ikke imot tilbud om plass på mødrehjem. Det er ikke en hjelpeinstitusjon, men en overvåkningssentral.
6.  Forlang skriftlig motivering til alle beslutninger som du utsettes for.
7.  Påklag alle beslutninger.
8.  Ta ikke imot tilbud om plassering i fosterhjem. Du får ikke barnet tilbake.
9.  Husk at når barnevernet prater om hjelpetiltak så mener de som regel omsorgsovertakelse eller overvåkning.
10. Behøver du hjelp, bruk venner og slektninger - eller klar deg selv.
 
 
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See also
 
 
Olav Terje Bergo:
Hva kan de folkevalgte gjøre med barnevernet?
MHS's home page, 10 October 2022
(English translation to come)
 
Øivind Østberg:
Child protection: A contribution to a much needed discussion
MHS's home page, 19 March 2016

Jan Simonsen:
Shame on Norway
MHS's home page, 21 June 2015
 
Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The treatment by the Norwegian child protection services (CPS) and police of a German / Ukrainian family
Forum Redd Våre Barn, 21 November 2015

 
 





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