1.9 Current debates and reforms
In January 2021, the Danish government presented a new initiative called ‘The Children First’ (Børnene først). The initiative aims to ensure that children and young people from socially disadvantaged families have a better and safer upbringing by providing them with better possibilities to participate in decision-making regarding their own lives. The initiative targets particularly children and young people in need of foster care, as well as children and young people from families of non-Western origin.
A main instrument in the initiative is a bill called ‘The Child’s Law’ (Barnets lov). In the bill, the government suggests giving children from the age of 10 years legal status in specific cases, thus ensuring that children’s perspectives are the central focal point Among other things, the bill suggests allowing 10-year-old children to file a complaint over a ruling in their own case, to decline contact with their biological parents if they are in foster care and to ask to remain in foster care for the rest of their childhood.