The County Social Welfare Boards (Boards) are a decision-making authority. The boards never initiate a case. In the area of child protection and child welfare, it is primarily the municipal child welfare service, the parents, or the children (who have their own rights as parties) who present cases to the board. The Board will make a ruling on the case.
The boards are under an obligation to handle cases in a satisfactory, expeditious, and confidence-inspiring manner. According to the law, the proceedings will be adapted to the nature of the case, the scope, and the level of complexity. Most cases have a negotiation meeting (In Norwegian - forhandlingsmøte) before a decision is made. This is a thorough and comprehensive type of case management, and takes time. The procedures in such cases are almost identical with the case management used by the Courts of Justice in comparable cases. In certain cases, the boards may use a simplified proceeding.
In urgent situations, where there is no time to wait for a board proceeding, the head of the municipal child welfare administration (In Norwegian barnevernlederen i kommunen), or the prosecuting authority (In Norwegian - påtalemyndigheten) may implement an interim care order (In Norwegian akuttvedtak). The conditions for adopting such temporary measures are stringent. Because such temporary measures can be the object of complaints, there are special procedural rules for these appeals. The Child Welfare Act allows probationary measures to be implemented with a selected board. An attempt to resolve some of these cases will be through an interview process (In Norwegian samtaleprosess).
Case decisions made by the boards can be overruled by the District Court (In Norwegian Tingretten). The deadline to lodge legal proceedings is 1 month. The deadline date is calculated from the date when the notification of the measure was received.