The Representation of Children’s Views in Finnish Court Decisions Regarding Care Orders

in The International Journal of Children's Rights
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The article examines the representation of children’s views in Finnish court decisions regarding care orders. It explores how written court decisions recognise, address and use children’s views in care order decisions and compares the results with a similar study conducted in Norway. In the literature, both countries are portrayed as having a child-orientated child welfare system. Based on the analysis of 36 court decisions in Finland, it is argued that children’s views are narrowly represented and used in written court decisions of care orders. Three models emerged: the direct and indirect representation of children’s views and the absence of children’s views. The first model is strongly related to the child’s age.



Atkinson P. and Coffey A. , “Analysing Documentary Realities” in Silverman D. (ed.), Qualitative Research. Theory, Method and Practice (London: Sage, 1997).

Berrick J. , Peckover S. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. , “The formalized framework for decision making in child protection care orders: A cross-country comparison”, Journal of European Social Policy 2015a (25(4)), 366378. Doi: 10.1177/0958928715594540.

Berrick J. , Dickens J. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. , “Children’s involvement in care order decision-making: a cross-country analysis”, Child Abuse & Neglect 2015b 49, 128141. Doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.07.001.

Block S. , Oran H. , Oran D. , Baumrind N. and Goodman G. , “Abused and neglected children in court: Knowledge and attitudes”, Child Abuse & Neglect 2010, (34(9)), 659670. Doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.02.003.

Burns K. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. , “Removals of children by the child welfare system – variations and differences across countries” in Burns K. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. (eds.), Child welfare removals by the state: a cross-country analysis of child welfare systems (New York: Oxford University Press, in print).

Cashmore J. and Parkinson P. , “What Responsibility do Courts Have to Hear Children’s Voices?”, The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 2007 (15(1)), 4360.

de Godzinsky V. , Huostaanottoasiat hallinto-oikeuksissa. Tutkimus tahdonvastaisten huostaanottojen päätöksentekomenettelystä. [Taking a Child into Care. Research of decision making in administrative courts]. Report. 260 (Helsinki: Oikeuspoliittinen tutkimuslaitos, 2012).

de Godzinsky V. , Lapsen etu ja osallisuus hallinto-oikeuksien päätöksissä [The Best Interest of the Child and the Child’s Right to Participate in Administrative Court Proceedings]. Research reports 267 (Helsinki: Oikeuspoliittinen tutkimuslaitos, 2014).

de Godzinsky V. , “Kohti lapsiystävällisempää oikeudenkäyttöä. [Towards more child friendly justice]Lakimies 2015, 6, 856878.

Dingwall R. , Eekelaar J. and Murray T. , The Protection of Children, 2nd edn. (New Orleans: Quid Pro Books, 2014).

Gilbert N. , Parton N. and Skivenes M. (eds.), Child Protection Systems, International Trends and Orientations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Goldson B. , “The Demonization of Children: from the Symbolic to the Institutional” in Foley P. , Roche J. and Tucker S. (eds.), Children in Society. Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice (Basingstoke: Palgrave, The Open University, 2001).

Hallinto-oikeuksien ratkaisut 2013. Suomen virallinen tilasto, Tilastokeskus, Oikeus 2014:

Hiitola J. , Hallittu vanhemmuus [Governed parenthood]. Sukupuoli, luokka ja etnisyys huostaanottoasiakirjoissa. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 2026 (Tampere: Tampereen yliopisto, 2015).

Hiitola J. and Heinonen H. , Huostaanotto ja oikeudellinen päätöksenteko. [Care order and juridical decision making]. Raportti 46. (Helsinki: thl, 2009).

Kuokka P. , Lastensuojelun asiantuntijuus hallinto-oikeuksien päätöksenteossa [The child protection expertise in administrative court context]. Master’s Thesis. (Tampere: University of Tampere, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2015).

Kuokka P. , Pösö T. , “Huostaanotot hallinto-oikeudessa sosio-legaalisena päätöksentekona [Care orders in the administrative courts as socio-legal decisions]” in Enroos R. , Heino T. and Pösö T. (eds.), Huostassa [In care] (Tampere: Vastapaino, 2016).

Križ K. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. , “The right of the child to be heard: the critiques of state party practices by the Committee on the Rights of the Child and state parties’ responses(in preparation).

Laakso M. , Marjomaa P. and Peltoniemi K. , Lastensuojelun edunvalvoja – se on minua varten. Lasten ja edunvalvojien kokemuksia edunvalvojasta lastensuojelussa ja rikosprosessissa. [Spokesperson in child welfare – it is for me. Children’s and spokesperson’s experiences in child welfare and criminal cases.] Report 19. (Helsinki: Pelastakaa Lapset ry, 2012).

Magnussen A. and Skivenes M. , “The Child’s Opinion and Position in Care Order Proceedings”, The International Journal of Children’s Rights 2015, (23(4)), 705723. doi: 10.1163/15718182-02304001.

Marjomaa P. and Laakso M. (eds.), Lastensuojelun edunvalvonta – lapsen oikeus osallisuuteen häntä koskevassa päätöksenteossa. Käsikirja lastensuojelun edunvalvonnasta. [Representing the child – child’s right to participate in decision-making relevant in his/her life. The handbook of representing the child in child welfare.] Report 15. (Helsinki: Pelastakaa Lapset ry, 2010).

Parkers A. , Shore C. , O’Mahony C. and Burns K. , “The rights of the child to be heard? Professional experiences of child care proceedings in the Irish district court”, Child and Family Law Quarterly, 2015, (26(4)), 423444.

Pösö T. , Combatting Child Abuse in Finland: From Family to Child-Centered Orientation” in Gilbert N. , Parton N. and Skivenes M. (eds.), Child Protection Systems. International Trends and Orientations (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Pösö T. and Huhtanen R. , “Removals of children in Finland: a mix of voluntary and involuntary decisions” in Burns K. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. (eds.), Child welfare removals by the state: a cross-country analysis of child welfare systems (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Pösö T. , Skivenes M. and Hestbaeck A. , “Child protection systems within the Danish, Finnish and Norwegian welfare states – time for a child centric approach?”, European Journal of Social Work 2014 (17(4)), 475490. doi: 10.1080/13691457.2013.829802.

Prior L. , Using Documents in Social Research (Sage, London, 2004).

Skivenes M. and Søvig K. , “Norway: Child welfare decision-making in cases of removals of children”, in Burns K. , Pösö T. and Skivenes M. (eds.), Child welfare removals by the state: a cross-country analysis of child welfare systems (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

Thomson L. , McArthur M. and Camilleri P. , “Is it ‘fair’? Representation of children, young people and parents in an adversarial court system”, Child & Family Social Work 2015. Doi: 10.1111/cfs.12226.

Toimiva lastensuojelu. [Functioning child welfare.] Report 19 (Helsinki: Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, 2013).


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 15 15 8
Full Text Views 7 7 6
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0