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Care of young people

If the parents of someone under the age of 18 cannot, for some reason, provide the young person with the support he or she needs, or if the young person her or himself lives a destructive life involving, for instance, substance abuse or criminality, it is possible for such a young person to be cared for according to the Care of Young Persons (Special Provisions) Act (LVU).

It is necessary that such social problems involve a high risk of the young person's health or development being harmed, and that the care that is necessary cannot be provided on a voluntary basis.

Care, under LVU, may come into question when voluntary solutions are not sufficient, and results in the parents' right to make decisions about the child being restricted. There are two main cases where care under LVU can come into question:

  • when deficiencies in care or some other circumstance at home involve a manifest risk that the young person's health or development will be harmed (known as 'environmental cases')
  • when the young person exposes her or himself to manifest risks through substance abuse, criminal activity or some other socially destructive behaviour (known as 'behaviour cases')

Persons under the age of 18 can receive care under LVU. A person who has attained the age of 18 but is not yet 20 can receive care under LVU in the so-called behaviour cases if this is more appropriate than other care.

The municipal social welfare committee will submit an application to the administrative court when it considers that a young person should be taken into care under LVU. The administrative court will then consider the case and decide whether the young person is to be taken into care. In emergency situations, the chair of the social welfare committee can decide on an immediate taking into care, but this must then be confirmed by the administrative court within one week from the date when the decision was made.

The trial

The court calls all parties affected to a verbal hearing. There will usually be one legally qualified judge and three lay judges to adjudicate. The majority of hearings at courts in Sweden are public, but in cases concerning compulsory care, it is common for the court to decide on so-called 'closed doors' (in camera). This means that the public and others who are not directly personally affected may not be present in the courtroom.

Read more under the menu 'Legal proceedings/Public authority decisions'.

Public counsel

If a question of compulsory taking into care of a young person arises, the young person may be allocated so-called 'public counsel'. The court grants public counsel, who will protect the young person’s interests in the case. Read more under the menu 'Legal assistance' or contact the court if you want to find out more.

What form does the care take?

The municipal social welfare committee decides how the care should be arranged and where the young person should live during the period of care. Care is always commenced outside the young person's own home. The young person may, for example, be allowed to live at a family home or at a municipal or private institution.

The social welfare committee can also request that the young person should be allocated a place at one of the National Board of Institutional Care's (SiS) special youth homes. There, the staff will review, together with the young person, his or her problems and background, and prepare an individual treatment plan. One clear difference between SiS's special youth homes and other kinds of institution is the high staff density within SiS and the access to lockable rooms.

Read more about the care of young people and about special youth homes, on Statens institutionsstyrelses webbplats (the National Board of Institutional Care website, link opened in new window).

How can I appeal?

A decision by the administrative court on taking a young person into care can be appealed against to the administrative court of appeal. No leave to appeal (permission) is required for the administrative court of appeal to deal with such an appeal.

The decision of the administrative court will state within what time and to which administrative court of appeal you may appeal. You should state in the appeal what you are dissatisfied with in the administrative court's judgment and the way in which you want it to be changed. You should always send the appeal to the administrative court that issued the judgment.

Senast ändrad: 2019-01-02