Norway’s competence centre builds national competence for serving the Sámi indigenous community

The need for specialised welfare services for the indigenous community

While providing for improved specialised welfare services to its indigenous community, Norway also aims to improve professional competence nationally for serving this population.

The competence centre in Finnmark

In January 2022, the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Families established a national competence centre in Karashok, Finnmark, which is run for and by the Sámi indigenous community. With six fulltime employees, the centre provides child welfare services, family counselling, and a crisis centre/shelter. Services provided are based on the Sámi culture and language.

National competence building

The resources of the staff at the competence centre are an important asset, and they will conduct different sorts of training and dissemination activities, in particular, to promote culturally sensitive approaches to working with Sámi children and adults. The centre will also provide in-service training for workers at municipal levels and in residential care facilities, as well as undertake research. Given its national mandate, the centre is looking at different forms of training and outreach through online platforms.