At NOVA’s interdisciplinary department for research on childhood, family, and child welfare we direct attention to the welfare services’ and judiciary system’s relevance to the rights and needs of children, as well as to a diversity of family expectations and environments. Our research topics include the child welfare services, children and families from minority and majority backgrounds, children with disabilities, and circumstances of domestic violence.
Head of research group
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We study conditions for families and childhoods and direct attention in particular to positions that can be perceived as vulnerable or exposed in light of what various actors perceive as ordinary, good, or normal. Thus, we are also interested in what such perceptions consist of, and how they are maintained, contested, and changed.
Our research aims to critically examine and evaluate the management, measures and working conditions of the welfare services that target children and families. We view such services as social systems and examine the premises of these systems and their inherent logics, contradictions, and dilemmas.
Our research topics also include domestic violence, Family Counselling Services, migration and diversity, while we continue to develop our considerable methodological competence.
In our research projects, we empirically examine different levels and sectors of society, such as the life situation of individuals and groups, welfare institutions and services, working methods, politics, laws and regulations. We focus on the criteria for inclusion and on the nature and content of cases in the Child Welfare Services and in other services directed towards children, young people, and families.
Our attention is also directed towards the effects of laws, measures, professional practices and policies for different groups in the population, towards the conditions for cooperation between different services, sectors, and professional groups, and on the significance of all this for the lives, affiliations and networks of individuals and families both in Norway and transnationally.
The Domestic Violence Research Programme
The programme studies time trends in the prevalence of violence and assault, violence as phenomenon, and how violence is approached by the welfare- and justice systems.
Family Counselling: Equal Services for a Diverse Population?
The researchers investigate what it implies for the family services to provide equal services in different local contexts, and what kind of challenges the services experience when trying to provide equal services.
The Barnahus Model: Developmental Trends and Institutional Tensions
Based on the Norwegian and international barnahus models, this project will explore how the barnahus model has developed and changed over time, as well as the institutional tensions that permeats the barnahus operation.
Evaluation of Minority Counsellor Pilot Projects in Upper Secondary Schools and Adult Learning Centres
NOVA researchers will evaluate two pilot projects placing minority counsellors in secondary schools in vulnerable urban areas and adult learning centres.
Children with a Refugee Background – Measures for Inclusion and Belonging (Barnfluk)
The project aims to discover the experiences children and young people who come to Norway as refugees have with the settlement and integration process, and how municipalities work with this group.
Child Welfare Institutions for Young People with Drug Addiction and Separate Institutions for One Single Young Person
The project investigate the child welfare institutions for young people with drug addiction and separate institutions for one single young person.
Consequences of the Pandemic for Living Conditions and Equality
In this project we will investigate the consequences of the pandemic for living conditions for children and young people, equality in families and for individuals, including children and adults with disabilities.
Norwegian Schools’ Experiences with and Handling of Exemptions and Absences on Religious Grounds
In this project, we aim to investigate how schools handle requests for exemption from teaching and school activities based on religion and life stance.
- The Domestic Violence Research Programme
- Smette, I. & Aarset, M.F. (2023). Parenting in the second generation. The changing family figurations of descendants of Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants in Norway. Ethnic and Racial Studies
- Skiple, A. (2024). Whitewashing white Power: a Rhetorical Political Analysis of the parliamentary ambition of the Nordic Resistance Movement in Sweden. Journal of Political Ideologies
- Bøhler, K.K.; Bossy, D. & Hervie, V.M. (2023). How Did Children With Disabilities Experience Education and Social Welfare During Covid-19? Social Inclusion
- Stefansen, K.; Bakketeig, E. & Johansson, S. (2023). From dissenting to conforming hybridity—Experiences from a justice sector affiliated Barnahus model. In St-Amand, A. et al. (Ed.). Contemporary and Innovative Practices in Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Models. Presses du l’Université du Québec
- Bredal, A. (2022). Transnational regimes of family violence. When violence against women crosses borders. I Bows, H. & Fileborn, B. (red.): Geographies of Gender-Based Violence. A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective. Bristol University Press (bristoluniversitypress.co.uk)
- Bredal, A., Stefansen, K. & Bjørnholt, M. (2022). Why do people participate in research interviews? Participant orientations and ethical contracts in interviews with victims of interpersonal violence. Qualitative Research (journals.sagepub.com)
- Dullum, J.V., Fransson, E. og Skotte, S-E. (2022). Young Women in Norwegian Courts: A Study of Contemporary Control Strategies. Masson, Isla; Booth, Natalie (red.): The Routledge Handbook of Women's Experiences of Criminal Justice. Routledge (routledge.com)
- Gundersen, T. (2022). Embedded in relations—Interactions as a source of agency and life opportunities for care‐experienced young adults. Children & Society (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
More publications are listed at the researcher's employee pages.