Out-of-Home Placements and Notions of Family in Norway and in France

Aurélie Picot


àComparative welfare state research has shown that French and Nordic welfare systems provide similar high levels of support legislated for families, but differ in their treatments of the family unit. This article explores notions of family implicit in French and Norwegian child protection laws through aàcomparison of legal provisions regulating out-of-home placements. Taking as a starting point the concept of filiation bond, which designates the bond between a child and his/her parents, the analysis shows that there areàsignificant differences in how the family is conceptualized in Norway and France. While an individual notion of family is implicit in Norwegian child protection law, the notion of family underpinning French legislation tends to be more collective. The article suggests that these differences may be related to the interplay between different interest groups, and to the disciplines dominating the production of knowledge on which state interventions in theàfamily are based.



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