The regional centres for child and adolescent mental health and child welfare
Norway has four regional centres for child and adolescent mental health (RBUP / RKBU), which were established in the 1990s. In addition to RKBU Central Norway, these are:
- RKBU North for the northern region of the country
- RKBU West for the western region
- RBUP East and South for the eastern and southern regions.
The centres' objective is to develop, manage and provide quality assurance of knowledge about child and adolescent mental health and child care. The Norwegian Directorate of Health provides basic funding for the regional centres, and their activities are included in the national initiative to promote mental health. The centres offer expertise in psychiatry, psychology, social work, educational research, and other disciplines in the health and social sciences.
The centres are intended to support:
- mental health care for children and young people (via a specialist health service)
- municipal initiatives to promote child and adolescent mental health
- other fields of expertise relevant to child and adolescent mental health
Research and development
The regional centres contribute to scientific knowledge about child and adolescent mental health through their own research and development as well as through collaboration with other regional, national and international research communities. Research activities provide up-to-date knowledge for those in practice, which in turn offers insight into clinical, methodological or organizational issues relevant to research. The research is based on each centre's own competence, but larger projects take place in cooperation between the regional centres. Research includes the recruitment and academic supervision of PhD research fellows.
Teaching and dissemination
The regional centres are responsible for development and maintenance of relevant expertise in child and adolescent mental health and child care in practice. An additional responsibility is to contribute to specialized educational programmes by providing continuing education, courses and conferences. Some of the centres offer master's degree programmes. The centres also help to develop practitioner skills by teaching basic education programmes. They disseminate specialized knowledge through publications in journals and books, lectures at professional conferences, participation in the social debate and other communication activities.