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Migration and Home Affairs

Family support Sarpsborg

  • Norway
Target Audience
  • Violent extremists
  • First responders or practitioners
  • Families
key themes association
  • Family support
  • Local strategies/cities
  • 2016


Sarpsborg municipality

The municipality has received grants from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Emergency Planning Agency for staff empowerment and family support measures.

The child welfare services in the municipality have even financed reinforced foster homes and increased staff resources to follow up on cases.

The employment office service in the municipality also uses additional resources to follow up on families.

Type of Organisation: Other

Project description

Sarpsborg municipality in Norway employs a holistic and systematic approach when supporting families to prevent or reverse radicalisation processes with affected family members. All municipal services are obligated to prioritise this work.

Sarpsborg municipality focuses on consolidating user involvement, building trust and strengthening family networks. It aims to motivate change based on the individual's wishes and needs, as well as develop critical thinking. Another key goal is to ensure safe care and prevent the stigma of radicalisation for affected children in families of returnees and expelled foreign fighters.

Municipality family support objectives

  • Increase competence for first-line practitioners in the municipality and police in several areas: extremist phenomena, conspiracy theories, conversation methods to strengthen critical thinking, motivational conversation methods and comprehensive understanding of radicalisation mechanisms.
  • Provide guidance, support and expertise to key resources or practitioners on cases.
  • Secure key case workers to handle complex tasks.

Family support goals

  • Prevent violent extremism: reverse radicalisation processes in families of retired or returning foreign fighters.
  • Build trust between families and municipality services/police/police security services.
  • Prepare families by helping them contend with related stigma.
  • Prevent isolation and disengagement.
  • Reduce trauma and stress, and secure treatment for these conditions.
  • Support inclusion and mastery in school, work and leisure.
  • Support parents by providing childcare.
  • Work with family members to deradicalise individuals detained in prison for terror offences.
  • Provide exit work for returned foreign fighters in cooperation with full family units.

Miscellaneous services cooperating with Sarpsborg municipality

Child welfare services, employment services, social consultants for youth, principals and counsellors in primary schools, general practitioners, psychiatric services and municipal consultants.

Government services

Child and adolescent psychiatric services, adult psychiatric services, local police, principals and teachers in high schools, prisons, police security services.

Volunteer organisations

Elite football team administration, dialogue forum for Christians and Muslims, the Red Cross, sports clubs.

Private bodies

Psychometrics therapists

Fitness centres.

Working method and approaches

  • Trust and relationship work.
  • Empowerment work.
  • Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework for human development.
  • Comprehensive family systemic approach.
  • Family and safeguarding, by child social services.
  • Networking.
  • Insoo Kim Berg's Brief Solution-Focused Therapy.
  • Motivational interviewing, by William R. Miller and Tom Bath.
  • Trauma and stress management.
  • Systematic coordination in cases with high-intensity users.
  • Involvement and openness with families. Use of a coordinating group with family representatives and responsible services, with tailr-made plans based on respective needs and goals of the individuals concerned.

The Operational Coordination Group

The Sarpsborg municipality councillor has authorised the Crime Prevention Coordinator and local authority to coordinate matters relating to radicalisation. The group also features relevant local police contacts. All radicalisation-related police and municipality cases are assessed in this group. Practices of all employees involved in the cases are communicated to this group. Information on returning foreign fighters deemed not to pose a risk to national security is passed on from the police security service/local police go to the Operational Coordination Group.

District police have a radicalisation coordinator who will be informed in all cases of work assessment for localisation police.

Operational Coordination Group tasks

  • Receive all concerns and new issues from the police and municipality.
  • Guide and support practitioners in cases.
  • Have an overview of the methods, measures and approaches being implemented.
  • Report case statuses to municipality management and local police.
  • Assess cases in terms of risk of violent extremism.
  • Ensure that cases involving individuals in radicalisation processes, returning foreign fighters and related families be given high priority across municipality services.
  • The municipality will adopt a creative approach and employ the lowest possible level of intervention to achieve contact and trust.
  • Request guidance and support from the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, in complex cases.
  • Follow-up (in the form of two employees from each auxiliary service, selected according to qualifications) for continuity and quality in family work.
  • Close follow-up for families of retired or returning foreign fighters.
  • Operational Coordination Group evaluates work in other services and ensures continuity. The group reveals fraud zones, which are addressed by the councillor’s management team or police.
  • The Operational Coordination Group and Crime Prevention Coordinator are always available as contact points for families of returned or expelled foreign fighters.

Examples of action

  • A contact person for the family is always available.
  • Contributing to forging friendships and close relationships —preventing ostracism.
  • Leisure activities and equipment (such as training, swimming and cinema passes) are sponsored and provided at discounted rates.
  • Relationship building with helpers: café visits, home visits and trips.
  • Facilitating/providing:
    • dedicated support resources for children
    • shielded car rides for privacy
    • transport to leisure activities for children
    • family workouts
    • economic assistance for holidays and leisure activities
    • Red Cross-arranged holidays for the whole family
    • guides and schedules for vacation activities
    • football match tickets and equipment
    • financial support for driving license applications
    • financial support for purchasing children's clothes
    • dream days for children
    • homework assistance in the home after school
    • internships with close follow-up
    • education/course opportunities/job courses
    • psychomotor therapy
    • psychological trauma treatment
    • dedicated contact in schools with one-to-one discussions
    • contact with prison management
    • assistance for children during prison visits.
    • family guidance
    • networking with prisoners
    • secure family homes
    • family support in handling media attention during court cases, arrests, etc.


  • All managers, relevant services and high schools learn about radicalisation.
  • Staff at schools with affected children learn about trauma and stress.
  • 'From concern to extremism management': four-day conferences and training for local and police employees.
  • Our own project of competence enhancement with the Holocaust Centre for staff in kindergartens, elementary schools and youth schools on radicalisation, conspiracy theories and critical thinking.
  • Action plan (handbook) with new educational programmes to prevent radicalisation for kindergartens and schools in Sarpsborg municipality.
  • Employees have participated in course leader training at a violence and trauma centre on radicalization (see
  • Family support lectures for the municipality crisis team.


Training handbook, and a guideline for current work.

  • New handbook for kindergartens and schools for the prevention of anti-Semitism, radicalisation and undemocratic attitudes in the classroom, with guidance from the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities.
  • Oversee training (see via a school programme with the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities.
  • 'From concern to handling extremism': Oversee training.
  • Motivational interview training.
  • Network for practitioners from several affected municipalities.
  • Exit network with correctional services, prison, police and municipality.

Contact details


Sarpsborg commune
Boks 237, N-1702
Sarpsborg, Norway

Contact person: Tone Faale
Telephone: (+47) 98 217 686
tsfaatsarpsborg [dot] com (Email) | Website

Read the full practice

Family support Sarpsborg