Combined psychiatry and child welfare

Solveig HorneMinister of Children and Equality Solveig Horne ( Progress Party )

Sørlandet can get a combined psychiatry and child welfare institution

After the murder in Kristiansand, Minister of Children, Solveig Horne (Frp), says it is appropriate to establish an institution that combines psychiatry and child welfare in the Agder counties.


– Now I will go so far that I say that Sørlandet is a very relevant candidate for such an institution, says Horne to the newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.

According to a research report from NTNU, 76 per cent of children and adolescents in child welfare institutions have some form of mental disorder. This is one of the reasons why Horne and Health Minister Bent Høie (Conservatives) together wish for a pilot project involving establishment of so-called combined institutions. These are institutions where children in child welfare can receive mental health care as well.

– What we have looked at is especially true where children and young people need help from both psychiatry and child welfare, and there has not been enough cooperation. Too many children are caught between a rock and a hard place, says Horne.

Implemented as early as next year

It is the Children’s, Youth and Family Directorate (Bufdir) that, together with the Directorate of Health, will determine the location of the institutions.

– We have said this will hopefully be up and running as early as next year. It is clear that there is a need for a common institution for the children and young people who need such a close and good follow-up of both child welfare and mental health care, says Horne.

She herself participated in a meeting about the murder indicted 15-year-old in a meeting with the municipality of Kristiansand in June. The girl, and other stories, was discussed in anonymized form. She says outrageous behavior in children and young people is often a cry for help, but thinks one has a long way to go when it comes to react early and listening to them.

Horne believes the legislation is clear enough, but that the challenges are lack of competence, knowledge and understanding of it.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today