Doc. no. 3:10 (2002-2003) The Office of the Auditor General’s study of follow-up and supervision in the child welfare service was submitted to the Norwegian Storting on 16 September.
The Office of the Auditor General takes a favourable view of the measures that the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs has implemented and will implement to improve the supervision and follow-up in the child welfare service, but we still perceive a lack of concrete measures aimed at weaknesses in the municipalities’ work on assessing the care needs of children and youth and the municipalities’ administration of the child welfare inspector scheme.
The number of children and youths who have no action plan varies greatly from county to county. There are also significant deficiencies in action plans and other relevant planning documents in the municipalities where the Office of the Auditor General has reviewed dossiers. The study also reveals that it will be a big challenge in many municipalities to get the child welfare inspector scheme for children placed in foster homes to function as intended in the goals that have been set for the scheme.
There are not any guidelines for the county governors’ administrative supervision of the municipalities, and the Office of the Auditor General’s study reveals that the county governors do not devote much time to reviewing the municipalities’ follow-up and supervision of children placed outside the home. The ministry now wants to give employees at the county departments training in system auditing, and, together with previously implemented measures, the ministry thinks that this will help improve the supervision and follow-up of the municipalities.
The Office of the Auditor General’s study reveals that many counties do not have enough suitable institutional places for children who need a place in an institution. All of the counties in the study state that some of the children who are receiving assistance or who have been placed in institutions ought to have been given other forms of assistance that would be more suitable to the child in question. Therefore, the Office of the Auditor General regards it as a positive step that the ministry has given high priority to quality assurance, control and supervision of institutions in connection with the national government’s assumption of responsibility for tasks that are currently performed by the county pursuant to the Child Welfare Act.
The document can be downloaded from the Office of the Auditor General’s web site, http://www.riksrevisjonen.no or ordered from Akademika bokhandel, tel. +47 22 11 67 70.