Norway’s child care services have been reluctant to take action following the sexual abuse of a six-year-old child by her foster family, to the outrage of the child’s own family.
Stine Gulbrandsen, a Norwegian mother of two girls, poured her heart out in a video explaining what happened to her and her children.
Speaking in Turkish journalist Fuat Uğur’s program in broadcaster ATV, Gulbrandsen explained that after her boyfriend decided to end their relationship, he kicked her and the older child out. She contacted the police and Barnevernet, the child welfare service in Norway, to take her younger daughter, only six-months-old back then. The police refused to intervene and Barnevernet warned her if she doesn’t resolve the issue with her boyfriend they would take both children away. Instead of helping the young mother, the policemen sent by Barnevernet took the children away and placed them under the care of a “bizarre family,” Stine explained in the footage.
“Later I found out that something happened to my six-year-old daughter. They found her with an older boy or man in the same bed, both naked,” said the mother. “I got worried and contacted the police.”
The police failed to react again, so she went to Barnevernet, where the authorities mocked her and even claimed that it was probably the six-year-old girl’s fault to be sexually assaulted.
“For the first time in my life I got angry. I was afraid for my children,” said Stine and continued to tell that she assaulted the social worker upon her mocking remarks.
Stine was sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of 400,000 Norwegian krone (around $47,000). Upon her release she continued her studies and has been fighting to get her children back.
“The government doesn’t want to give my children back. This cruelty against children and their parents in Norway has to stop”, she cried out.
Barnevernet is internationally known for taking children away from families without concrete reasons and gaining financial profit from it. Many other families like Stine’s are affected every year. Another example of a family that was torn apart from this child welfare service is the Kiriş family from Turkey.