Improved understanding

Improved understanding of characteristics of substance-abusing and disruptive youth who are placed in child welfare institutions

This project is a continuation of the "Evaluation of the MultifunC treatment model in child welfare institutions." The background is that former child welfare clients and youth placed in child welfare institutions are at risk of dropping out of school and facing challenges in their careers, which contributes to an increased risk of becoming social welfare recipients, continuing a criminal path, and having long-lasting "child welfare careers," among other issues. In the evaluation of the MultifunC treatment model, a recurring finding was that some individuals benefited from the treatment while others did not, regardless of the institutional alternative. Therefore, it is important to gain more knowledge about what works for whom.

The project is based on a unique and resource-intensive data collection supported by public authorities, specifically the Ministry of Children and Families (BLD) and the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir). The 139 youths in the project were placed in a total of 16 child welfare institutions. These youths all displayed severe behavioral problems, and many had concerning substance abuse behaviors.

In this project, established assessment tools will be used to assess mental health, substance use, previous criminal activity (see the project outline for details) to study what can predict (1) drugrelated crimes and other crimes, including incarcerations, (2) initiation and premature termination of education, and (3) the duration of institutional placements when youth are placed in child welfare institutions. Archive data from Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå) and Bufdir will be used for this purpose. The project is unique in the Norwegian context, as it is rare for projects outlined in this manner to have such a large number of informants and to be able to use objective archive data as outcome measures.

Project group

Doctoral Research Fellow

Marie Kvalø

Associate Professor

Sturla Fossum (Project manager)