Coordinating researcher is Tone Jørgensen (HVL), and co-researcher is Berit Marie Njøs
The aim of case study five is to develop knowledge and competence about participation for children and young people in low-income families in contact with child welfare services (CWS) and Labour and Welfare Services (NAV). Part of this is to study how participation for children and young people is practiced, and to try out innovative models of collaboration between the CWS and NAV.
This user group experience particular challenges related to participation and marginalization (Fløtten, 2009; Seim & Larsen, 2011). Their possibilities of participating in society, in organized leisure activities and in contact with peers are restricted (Sandbæk & Pedersen, 2010). They have lower achievement in school and higher risks of developing health problems, and risks for poor living conditions later in life (Sandbæk, 2002; Lorentzen & Nielsen, 2008;). Studies show that children and young people in low-income families fall within a grey area between the CWS and NAV, and that issues related to poverty and material needs are often neglected (Andenæs, 2004; Hjelmtveit, 2008; Tunestveit, 2010; Kojan, 2011; Ask & Sagatun, 2014). There are severe challenges to participation for children and young people both in contact with CWS (Seim & Slettebø, 2007; Gulbrandsen et al., 2014) and when parents with low-income apply for benefits in NAV (Helsetilsynet, 2013). This point out needs for knowledge and development of models for collaboration between CWS and NAV, with participation for children and young people.
The study will be organized as a research circle consisting of two child welfare workers from the CWS, two social workers from NAV, two youths from low-income families, who have received support from the CWS, two parents who receive support from the CWS and NAV, and two researchers. Through dialogue between the different stakeholders in the research circle, innovative models for improving participation for children and their families in the CWS and NAV will be developed, tested out and evaluated.