Social and Labour Market Board in Östersund’s municipality is criticized for requesting a forensic psychiatric investigation on the children’s mother in three so called child investigations and for how the information has been presented in the investigations.

The Social and Labour Market Board in Östersund’s municipality has within the framework of three so-called child investigations requested a forensic psychiatric investigation regarding the children’s mother from a court, with reference to the provision on the obligation to provide data in Chapter 14, Section 1 of the Social Services Act (2001:453), SoL. The Board has then presented parts of the investigation in the child investigations.

Basically, there is confidentiality between, on the one hand, the healthcare sector and forensic psychiatric activities, and on the other hand Social Services regarding data that concern a private individual’s health status or other personal conditions. This also applies between courts and Social Services in terms of the information and conditions that are found in a forensic psychiatric investigation. There is a confidentiality-breaking rule in Chapter 14, Section 1, third paragraph of SoL that states that healthcare and forensic psychiatric activities are obligated to provide data in relation to the Social Welfare Boars when it concerns information that may be important to an investigation of a child’s need for support and protection. Courts cannot be regarded as included in that provision.

In its decision, JO states that a Social Welfare Board must be especially restrictive when it considers a request for data from a forensic psychiatric investigation, since such an investigation is conducted for a certain purpose. JO finds that the Board lacked the authority to request the forensic psychiatric investigation from the court on the basis of Chapter 14, Section § of SoL. The fact that the investigation was requested on the basis of that provision gave the court the incorrect signal that it was obligated to provide the data. The Board is criticized for requesting the entire forensic psychiatric investigation from the court, and for also doing it on the basis of a provision that was not applicable in this case.

Moreover, JO states in its decision that a Social Welfare Board must in a child investigation only present data on a parent that are current and that are a decisive factor in the board’s decision. The Board is criticized for reporting detailed, private and old data on the children’s mother.

Date of decision: 2023-10-26