Statement – disinformation about Swedish social services on social media

Published

Disinformation is being spread online and on social media about how Swedish social services work to ensure the wellbeing of children.

All children in Sweden are protected and cared for equally under Swedish law, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Swedish social services aim to ensure that all children have a secure childhood. Their decisions, including cases where a child is temporarily removed from its parents, always put the safety and wellbeing of the child first.

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the best interest of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning the child. A child can only be taken away from its parents, and against their will, by means of a court order. A decision to take a child away from its family is always based on a significant risk of harm to the child’s health or development. Should this happen, the working hypothesis is that the child will be reunited with its parents as soon as care is completed if this is deemed in the best interest of the child. All this is done under the care and supervision of trained professionals.

When a child needs to be placed away from home, it should in the first instance be considered whether the child can be taken in by a relative or some other closely connected person. Social services investigate whether a foster family is capable of caring for a child in their home. The investigation involves interviews, home visits and the checking of references. If a foster home is considered suitable, matching will follow, wherein the municipality checks whether the foster home is capable of taking care of the specific child whom social services need to place.

Source criticism is essential when reading online or social media posts. Always consider where the information comes from and if someone is trying to exploit people’s feelings to further their own agenda, sow confusion or increase polarisation between groups.

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