Denmark is perhaps the country in the world which has done most to break the social heritage. For more than 40 years the various governments have tried to give everyone equal opportunities in life. It has resulted in very little progress.
20 percent of the students leaving the general school “Folkeskole” (9 years of education. The students typically graduate at age 16) gets no further education. No high school, not business school, not anything. They line up as uneducated labor working in shops and in factories if they are not victim of mental illnesses or poverty so they cannot afford transportation to a school. The problem is big outside the major cities.
Some graduate high school with low grades which makes their exam paper worthless. Now our government has introduced new rules which make it more difficult to enter high school. A certain grade level is required.
What? In other countries they are working to get as many through high school and in Denmark they want fewer to get a good decent education? But then – it is Denmark, it is the politicians; it doesn’t need to be logic.
Then there are those who end up in foster families, group homes, residential treatment centers or therapeutic boarding schools. Does it work?
No, our government has checked all the research made in Denmark and abroad. If a research concludes that an abused child would benefit from being placed outside it biological family this research for certain has been sponsored by people in the so-called troubled teen industry.
In Denmark the conclusion is: You cannot prove that a placement outside home works. Not on the long run. Some young adults may even get PTSD as result of their stay, so the social services in Denmark are working to treat teenagers in out-patients programs.
But still: What to do with the children who have already been sent to live in a foster family or treatment facility?
The new strategy is to allow the foster families to adopt the troubled teenager.
First and most important: Adoption families don’t get paid unlike the often expensive foster families.
Secondly breaking the social heritage works poorly if the troubled teenagers return home once they are legally adults.
The children in foster care need to lose their biological family. And that is what a new law in Denmark allows the social services and foster families to do.
What are then the criteria for being allowed to keep a child?
It is not to be answered because it is the individual social worker who recommends the removal of a child based on her belief and her ability to persuade the local counsel.
If the biological family wants to launch an appeal it would take 3-4 years before there is an appeal. It is a lose – lose situation for the biological family. They have either the money or the emotional surplus to be cut off from their child for that period. They might give up right away.
So the hope is that Denmark – in some years – might have battled and defeated the social heritage but at a too high price to pay for those who are poor or on welfare.