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The Basis for Legitimate and Justified State Intervention in Families: USA and Norway

This project aims to study the basis for legitimate and justified state intervention, by examining citizens’ opinions and sentiments on the child´s best interests and thresholds for child protection intervention

Termination or curtailing of parental rights is one of the most invasive and consequential decisions a state can make. Strong critique of child protection interventions is uttered daily both in the mass and- social media, and the legitimacy of child protection systems is challenged both in the U.S. and in Norway.

This project aims to study the basis for legitimate and justified state intervention, by examining citizens’ opinions and sentiments on the child´s best interests and thresholds for child protection intervention through survey vignettes and survey experiments in the USA and in Norway.

These two countries are ideal cases for studying this topic, as they represent two different welfare state models. The project will contribute to closing the knowledge gap on citizen’s views on child protection, and findings have the potential to inform child welfare policy within the U.S. and Norway, as well as in other high-income countries and on the international level. The findings may also improve our understanding of legitimacy in modern welfare states.

Facts

Project period

  • August 2018 – June 2019

Funding

Countries

  • Norway
  • USA

Research team

  • Marit Skivenes
  • Jill Berrick