Child Indicators Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 445–470 | Cite as

Risk and Marginalization in the Norwegian Welfare Society: a National Cohort Study of Child Welfare Involvement

  • Trine StaerEmail author


This study provided a comprehensive investigation of sociodemographic background characteristics of Norwegian families involved in child welfare services (CWS) during either of the two periods 1993–1999 or 2001–2007 and examined how the strong client growth over this period was accompanied by changes in client characteristics. Child welfare clients in two distinct age groups were considered: 0–5 and 13–18 years. Data were drawn from Norwegian longitudinal population registers, and records of CWS involvement for the period 1993–2007. Each birth cohort was evaluated for differences in sociodemographic background through the use of bivariate cross-tab analyses. The unique contribution of each background factor to the odds of CWS involvement was estimated through logistic regression. Separate regression models were constructed for child welfare involvement during pre-school years (0–5) and adolescence (13–18). The results indicated distinct sociodemographic differences between child welfare clients and the general child population throughout the sample and revealed that CWS involvement risk increased with single parent status, number of children born of the mother, low parental educational level, non-Western ethnic background, household income below the poverty line, low maternal age at first birth and age. The findings also indicated a distinct decrease in the statistical influence of most parental risk factors with increasing age and increasing, although relatively moderate differences between CWS clients and the general population from the first to the second period - above all in parental education and ethnic origin.


Child welfare clients Cohort study Marginalization Risk factors Welfare society 



This research was supported by funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral DevelopmentUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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