Child protection services

The aim of the Child Protection Services is to ensure that children living in unacceptable conditions or children jeopardising their own health and development receive the necessary help.

Child Protection Services makes efforts to support families in their upbringing role and to take action for the protection of children, when appropriate.

The role of the Children Protection Services is the processing of cases in accordance with the Child Protection Act, in relations to families and children protection, reviews in cases involving visitation rights and adoptions, inspections of foster families, summer stays of children and preventative measures.

During evaluation of the need to report the conditions of children and adolescents

  • Physical and emotional neglect
  • Physical, mental or sexual violence and abuse
  • Young children being left unattended or in the custody of other children
  • Older children being left unattended for long periods of time, forced to look after themselves
  • Poor school attendance, compulsory education ignored
  • Offences, aggression
  • Health care or medical attention ignored despite need
  • Repeated accidents and incidents that could have been prevented
  • Repeated injuries that a child has difficulties explaining
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor clothing and care not in accord with conditions
  • Abnormal outdoor hours and repeated violations of regulations on outdoor hours of children
  • Alcohol and/or drug use of parents
  • General incompetence of parents

Points relating especially to adolescents

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Poor school attendance
  • Repeated violations
  • Violent behaviour
  • Depression, mental problems, suicidal thoughts

Notification to the Child Protection Services

Any person who has reason to believe that a child is subject to violence or neglect is under an obligation to notify the Child Protection Committee. Also, if there is reason to believe that the conduct of an individual that has interactions with children for work reasons, is severely defective. According to the Children Protection Act in Iceland, individuals under the age of 18 are considered children. Unborn children are also in the scope of the act, e.g. if they are in danger because of the mother's drug use or violence that the mother is subjected to.

The person reporting to the Children Protection Services must give his/her name but if anonymity is requested his/her identity is only known to the staff investigating the case. The notifier is required to give his name, e-mail address and phone number so he/she can be contacted for further information.

A notification to the Child Protection Services is not a complaint, but rather it is a request for assistance for the child or family in question which the notifier considers to be in need of assistance. A report can be sent by contacting the Service Centre, use the forms on this page or send an e-mail to If you need to contact the Children Protection Services outside office hours you can call the Emergency Hotline 112.