The Faroe Islands has its own Children Act. The purpose of the law is to ensure that children who live under conditions that are harmful to their health and development, receive help and care, so that they can grow up safely.
The Children Act regulates the work done by the Child Welfare Services, as well as the measures available to assist children in need of protection.
In the Faroe Islands, child protection policies and regulations rely on three main principles:
1. The best interests of the child
The best interests of the child is a fundamental consideration in actions and decisions that affect children. The Child Welfare Services must base its actions on the best interests of the child. In cases where the child’s best interests conflict with those of the parents, the child’s rights must take precedence.
According to the Faroese Children Act a child has the right to be heard and to participate in decisions and actions that affect them and to have those views taken into consideration. Ensuring a child is heard and able to participate in decisions falls under the responsibility of the Child Welfare Services.
2. The biological principle
The biological principle underlines the importance of family ties. This means that the state has a duty to facilitate the child’s development, preferably within its own family.
3. The principle of ‘the least intrusive’ form of intervention
When there is a concern for the wellbeing of a child, the least intrusive form of intervention shall be implemented. The child may be placed out of the home only as a last resort and when homebased assistance has proved to be insufficient.