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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 24 March 2022
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  1. Governance
  2. Main public actors
  3. Cross-sectoral cooperation

The administration and governance of social inclusion policies follow the general approach to political decision-making and implementation of youth policies in Denmark (see section 1.4).

Furthermore, 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 and Senior Citizens

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens is responsible for the following policy areas:

  • Disadvantaged children and young people
  • Socially excluded adults
  • Disability policy
  • Civil society
  • Family law
  • Senior citizens
  • International collaboration and responsibility


The National Board of Social Services

The National Board of Social Services (Socialstyrelsen) is a government agency under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens.

The National Board of Social Services 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
  • Adults with social problems

The National Board of Social Services 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.

FInally, the National Board of Social Services is responsible for the National Audit Unit. The board monitors and evaluates the practices of the five municipal social supervisory authorities. The board is also responsible for supplying professional support to the five municipal social supervisory authorities, which are responsible for approving and conducting the supervision of the operational social facilities across Denmark.

The National Board of Social Services publishes an annual report on the activities of the municipal social supervision authorities. 

Furthermore, the board manages the coordination of specialised social services, which ensures a sufficient range of social facilities and dissemination of information for citizens who have very rare functional impairment, particularly complex social problems or other complex needs.

This is done by:

  • Monitoring developments in target groups, social facilities and interventions in the area of specialised social services through regular and close dialogue and collaboration with the municipalities as well as user and interest groups.
  • Ensuring the sufficient range of social facilities by identifying and announcing where there is a need for increased coordination or planning across municipalities and regions.
  • Collecting knowledge and developing instructive professional procedure descriptions for different target groups with the most special needs.

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


The National Agency for Education and Quality

The National Agency for Education and Quality (Styrelsen for Undervisning og Kvalitet)

  • Advances the quality development of educations under the ministry’s auspices
  • Supervises education programmes regarding quality
  • Supports an efficient running of the education institutions


The National Agency for IT and Learning

The National Agency for IT and Learning (Styrelsen for IT og Læring)

  • To set the direction for digital learning in order to make every student as proficient as possible
  • Professional project management that delivers within time and budget
  • Provide functioning IT solutions that satisfy the users and make them feel safe
  • Bring data and analysis in play to strengthen learning and improve both local and central decision-making


Danish Evaluation Institute

Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut, EVA. 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

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


The minister for equal opportunities

The minister for equal opportunities is 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 Danish Economic Councils

The Danish Economic Councils (De økonomiske Råd) is an independent economic advisory body. The primary objective of the institution is to provide independent analysis and policy advice to Danish policymakers.


The Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health (Sundhedsministeriet) is responsible for (list not complete):

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


The Danish Health Authority

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 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 Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment

The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR) is a national agency  responsible for implementing and following up on employment policy in Denmark, including the recruitment of necessary foreign labour.


The Ministry of Immigration and Integration

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 Immigration Service

The Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) is a national agency. Together with the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration, the Danish Immigration Service processes non-Danish applications from non-EU/EEA citizens for visits and residence in Denmark, for instance asylum, visa, family reunification, and permanent residence permit.


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

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

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 persons 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 Social Services Gateway 

The Social Services Gateway (Tilbudsportalen) contains information about foster families and municipal, regional, and private suppliers. It includes information about the suppliers’ target group, methods, and finances, as well as rates, results, and the supervision with the suppliers. The Social Services Gateway is a national system, and registration is statutory. The supervising authority approves all the information on the Social Services Gateway. The Social Services Gateway is a tool for the national caseworker (the municipalities), so it is easier to find relevant suppliers and foster families that appeal to the specific need of the citizen.


The Crime Prevention Council

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)