A 15-year-old girl’s admitted stabbing of a social worker at the juvenile care center where she was staying has raised new concerns about the safety of welfare workers in Norway. The girl has acknowledge that she killed her 30-year-old social social worker, but denies criminal responsibility.
The murder last week in Asker, west of Oslo, comes just a year after a young worker at the social welfare agency NAV was stabbed in her office by a disgruntled client. NAV statistics also show that fully 60 percent of the welfare agency’s workers have been threatened in the past year.
The 15-year-old had been placed in the child protective agency Barnevernet’s small suburban institution Små Enheter at Vollen in Asker. It resembles a house in a residential neighbourhood, aimed at caring for juveniles suffering from trauma, psychiatric problems, arrested development or past abuse.
Her defense attorney told reporters over the weekend that the girl “understands she has done something wrong.” She’s now being held under special guard at the women’s Bredtveit prison in Oslo for at least two weeks while police conclude their investigation. Police said the girl had a criminal record with a history of violence.