Child protection services

The staff of the Child Protection Services work according to the Child Protection Act No 80/2002. 

Efforts are made to ensure that children living in unacceptable circumstances, or children that display risk-taking behaviour, receive the necessary help. Efforts are made to support families at all times and to take action for the protection of children, when appropriate.

In child-protection cases, when the child protection services receive a report of neglect, violence or the risk-taking behaviour of a child, the staff make a decision on whether to initiate an investigation of the matter. The parents are sent a letter to inform them that a report has been made. The person reporting is also sent a letter to confirm receipt. In addition, general information on the case procedure is supplied.

When processing child protection cases, the main focus is on the circumstances and wellbeing of the child, that matters are discussed with the child and that the child is allowed to air their views and opinions. The focus, moreover, is on co-operation with the parents and collaboration with other professional services involved in children’s affairs, when appropriate. The utmost confidentiality is maintained in the processing of child protection cases.

  • Psychological treatment

    The Child Protection Services employ psychologists who provide children and their parents with supportive and treatment sessions. The sessions are, for the most part, based on the approaches of cognitive behavioural therapy. The psychologists of the Child Protection Services also provide general parenting advice to parents who receive support from the service.

  • Support families

    According to Article 85 of the Child Protection Act, child protection committees are to have support families available. The object of the support is to ensure the safety of children, relieve pressure on children and their families and to support parents in their parenting role.

  • Personal counsellors

    This measure is provided in accordance with the Child Protection Act. Personal counsellors have the role of strengthening the child socially and emotionally in connection with recreational pursuits, education and employment. The tasks of personal counsellors, therefore, are quite diverse. The focus is on ensuring that the relationship between the personal counsellor and the child is based on mutual trust and friendship.

  • Advocacy

    Staff in advocacy are employed by the Child Protection Services in accordance with the Child Protection Act to assist families within their homes. Support is varied but involves for the most part parenting advice, co-operation with public bodies with which the family is in contact, and work on home arrangements.

  • Residential placement facilities (private homes operated throughout the year)

    According to Article 84 of the Child Protection Act, child protection committees are to have resources available, such as residential placement facilities, to accept children in cases of emergency. The Child Protection Services have a service agreement with private homes for this purpose. The focus is on ensuring that the children attend their regular school during placement, that they continue with their recreational activities and maintain friendships.

  • Together Against Violence

    Together Against Violence is a collaborative project between the Welfare Division and the police in the Greater Reykjavik area. The collaboration involves the use of targeted procedures in the event of reports of domestic violence.

  • Clever Kids

    The psychologists of the Welfare Division and Education Division hold the Clever Kids preventative course twice a year. The course is intended for the parents of children aged three to six who are at risk of developing anxiety disorders.

  • Related material from other entities:

    Ministry of Welfare
    Government Agency for Child Protection
    Ombudsman for Children
    Sjónarhóll – Counselling Centre
    Foreldrahús (Parents‘ House)
    Heimilisfriður (Peaceful Home)
    The Police
    District Commissioners
    Vinasetur (Friends‘ Centre)

Last updated 15. March 2017