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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Main public actors
  3. Cross-sectoral cooperation

Denmark is committed to complying with a range of international human rights conventions. Thus, Danish social inclusion policies may have their roots in international agreements, conventions, and treaties that Denmark has signed and ratified, for instance:

  • The European Human Rights Convention (1953/1992)
  • The European Social Charter (1965)
  • The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
  • The Salamanca Statement (1994)
  • The UN Convention of the Right of Persons with Disabilities (2006)
  • The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
  • The UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
  • The UN convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
  • The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965)



When it comes to the social inclusion of young people, governance involves several sector ministries. The policymaking in the field of social inclusion resembles policymaking in all other policy fields. See section 1.4 for a description of policymaking in Denmark.

Only ministries, agencies, boards, etc. with relevance for youth policy are mentioned:

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens

The Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens is responsible for the following policy areas which are relevant to young people:

  • Disadvantaged children and young people
  • Disability policy
  • Civil society
  • Family law
  • Housing policy

The Danish Authority of Social Services and Housing (Socialstyrelsen) is a government agency under the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens.

The Danish Authority of Social Services and Housing is responsible for a variety of tasks and projects in the social area, of which some are:

  • Children, young people, and families
  • Disabilities, technical aids and psycho-social initiatives

The Danish Authority of Social Services and Housing is responsible for ensuring that social and welfare policies are put into practice in Denmark’s municipalities as intended by parliament.

The board also offers comprehensive counselling to municipalities, the Danish Regions, and individual citizens on questions related to social work and by supporting the municipalities when implementing social methods and practices.

In addition, the board offers specialist consultancy and specialist assessments in complicated and specialised individual cases in the field. In such cases, the board also offers specialist consultancy to citizens.


The Agency of Family Law (Familieretshuset) is responsible for cases concerning adoption and child maintenance.

Kofoed’s School (Kofoeds Skole) plans job training and activation according to the labour market and social legislation. It performs pre-rehabilitation and rehabilitation, trains young persons with special difficulties to live on their own, and carries out apprenticeships. In addition, the school has activities for people who do not fit in with any of the above-mentioned groups, such as early pensioners or especially vulnerable groups. The school works on a very wide scale with social centres, job centres, district psychiatry centres, immigrant institutions, hospitals, prisons, other institutions, and centres for persons with special problems.

The Council for Socially Marginalised Persons (Rådet for socialt Udsatte) (See section 1.4 youth policy decision-making)

The National Council for Children (Børnerådet) (See section 1.4 youth policy decision-making.)

The National Council for Volunteering (Frivilligrådet) (See section 1.4 youth policy decision-making.)

The Danish Disability Counsel (Det centrale handicapråd) (See section 1.4 youth policy decision-making)

The Impartial Consultative Service for People with Disabilities (DUKH) is a consulting service for people with disabilities, their family, and other contact persons.

The Social Appeals Board (Ankestyrelsen) is an independent state institution. It settles complaint cases from citizens in Denmark regarding social policy and labour market policy and supervises municipalities and regions

The Social Investment Fund (Den Sociale Investeringsfond) develops and disseminates initiatives in a number of major welfare areas in order to create a better life, reduce public expenditure and form the basis for new public and private investments in welfare. One of the politically prioritised investment areas for the Social Investment Fund is vulnerable children and young people’s well-being.  

The Danish Children’s houses (De danske børnehuse) is a cross-sectoral cooperation between municipalities, hospital service and police in case of suspicion of abuse of children or young people below the age of 18.


The Ministry of Children and Education

The Ministry of Children and Education is responsible for:

  • Primary and lower secondary education (Folkeskole) (ISCED 1 and 2)
  • General and vocational upper secondary education (ISCED 3 and IVET)
  • Adult education and continuing training

Danish Evaluation Institute

EVA evaluates and develops the quality of the education system, from day care to higher education. See section 1.6

Danish Centre for Teaching Environment (Dansk Center for Undervisningsmiljø) is a national knowledge centre with focus on teaching environments.

The minister for equal opportunitiesis responsible for developing and coordinating the government’s policies on equal rights, including gender equality. Furthermore, the minister is responsible for Denmark’s equal rights work in the UN, EU, and the Nordic Councils of Ministers.

The sector ministries are responsible for the equal opportunities in their own field of work.

The Ministry of the Interior and Health

 (Indenrigs- og sundhedsministeriet) is responsible for (list not complete):

  • Healthcare in Denmark
  • Prevention of disease
  • The quality of healthcare in Denmark
  • Psychiatry

The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) is a national agency for health promotion and the treatment of diseases. The agency gives advice to municipalities and regions and offers recommendations, guidelines, and action plans. The agency sets the framework for the National Health Service and work with local health services and gives advice to citizens and patients on health-promotion initiatives and healthy living, etc.

The agency offers advice to the Danish Ministry of the Interior and Health and other governmental, regional, and municipal authorities in the area of health and elderly care. The agency collaborates with medical environments, municipalities, regions, private operators, and the civil society, and it also works across areas of expertise, systems, and sectors to find the best solutions.

Among other things, the agency deals with young people’s health, alcohol, drug and tobacco consumption, obesity, nutrition, well-being, consumption, etc.

The National Institute of Public Health (Statens institut for folkesundhed). See section 7.2

The Ministry of Employment

The Ministry of Employment (Beskæftigelsesministeriet) is responsible for:

  • Working conditions
  • Working environment and workplace injuries
  • Employment

The Ministry of Immigration and Integration (Udlændinge- og integrationsministeriet) is responsible for:

  • Immigration: Entry, residence, and asylum
  • Integration: The integration of refugees and immigrants in society, for instance the labour market and education system, Danish lessons, and tests for non-Danish citizens
  • Prevention of extremism and radicalisation
  • Honour-related conflicts and negative social control
  • Citizenship

The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration

Together with the Danish Immigration Service, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) processes applications from non-EU/EEA citizens for visits and residence in Denmark. Furthermore, the agency supports the integration measures in the municipalities, is responsible for Danish lessons and tests, coordinates the measures preventing extremism, and provides counselling about honour-related conflicts.

The National Integration Council (Det Nationale Integrationsråd) councels the minister for immigration and integration in relation to refugees, immigrants and integration.

The Danish Centre for Prevention of Extremism (Nationalt Center for Forebyggelse af Ekstremisme) is part of the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration, which answers to the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. The purpose of the centre is to strengthen Danish efforts to prevent extremism and radicalisation nationally, locally, and online. Thus, the centre supports the preventive work by municipalities, regions, crime prevention cooperation, education institutions, housing organisations, associations, etc. The centre offers advice on the development of action plans for the prevention of extremism, guidance for professionals on potential action if there is any cause for concern, and courses designed to upgrade skills, often in partnership with other stakeholders. Moreover, the centre implements a range of method development projects and offers specific tools such as mentors, parent coaches, and young dialogue facilitators.

The Ministry of Justice (Justitsministeriet) is responsible for the overall justice system, including the police and prosecution service, courts, and prisons. The ministry’s principal functions also include foundation legislation and data protection law.

As of January 2019, a Youth Crime Tribunal (Ungdomskriminalitetsnævnet) makes decisions in cases where children and young people in the 10–17-year age group are suspected of or convicted of a criminal act. The tribunal establishes the social measures necessary to change the criminal lifestyle. The tribunal is led by a judge, with additional members from the police and municipal personnel.

Youth Prison and Probation Service (Ungekriminalforsorgen): The Youth Prison and Probation Service supervises whether young people comply with the decision made by the Youth Crime Tribunal.


Main public actors


The municipalities have the full responsibility for supplying and financing measures on the social area. The local municipal council (kommunalbestyrelse) has responsibility for the assessment of citizens’ needs, ensuring relevant social measures, and the financing of the measures.

The Crime Prevention Council (Det kriminalpræventive Råd) is a publicly funded member organisation that is engaged in preventing crime and distributing information about crime. The council identifies current threats, develops evidence and knowledge-based solutions, and communicates these solutions to member organisations and local partners.

Currently, the council deals with:

  • House break-ins
  • Theft
  • IT crime
  • Violence and rape
  • Youth crime

Danish Library and Expertise Center for people with print disabilities (NOTA

Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research (Center for rusmiddelforskning)

Centre for Youth Research (CEFU)


Main non-public actors in the area of social inclusion of young people in Denmark

General distribution of responsibility

Social inclusion involves several ministries. Each ministry has its own separate remit. See above for a description of the relevant ministries.

The distribution of responsibility in the area of social inclusion resembles the distribution of responsibility on other sector areas. The ministry establishes the overall framework with laws passed in parliament, but the regions and municipalities are free to decide how local measures are designed. The local government (kommunalt selvstyre) in Denmark has a lot of room to manoeuvre for the municipalities as long as they live up to the legislation and ministerial objectives. 


Cross-sectoral cooperation

The risk of marginalisation is often a multi-faceted situation that demands a coordinated effort. Thus, social inclusion is a field that calls for a strong cross-sectoral cooperation between the ministries. Ministries may launch joint campaigns or strategies regarding social inclusion.

Furthermore, several forms of cross-sectoral municipal cooperation exist:

  • SSP: A crime preventive cooperation between the municipal social and health service, municipal school and leisure administration, and the police
  • KSP: A cooperation between the Prison and Probation Service (kriminalforsorgen), municipal social service authorities and the police in relation to the release of convicted people
  • PSP: A cooperation between the police, municipal social service authorities, and regional psychiatric authorities regarding particularly vulnerable citizens who struggle with several types of problems and therefore they do not clearly belong under one authority
  • SSD: Early preventive cooperation between the municipal social service, the school personnel, day-care personnel, after-school care personnel, and municipal health service personnel in which they can share information about socially marginalised children and young people
  • PPR: Pedagogical-psychological consulting: The cross-sectoral cooperation supports the inclusion of children with special needs in primary and lower secondary school (Folkeskole)