Some children break to a distinctive degree, from societal norms for acceptable behaviour. In cases where children commit severe and repeated criminal acts, misuse drugs/alcohol over time, or demonstrate otherwise that they have severe behavioural problems, the County Social Welfare Boards (Boards) can make a decision about the need for compulsory placement in an institution.

Compulsory placement may be implemented for a short or longer duration. The purpose of a short placement time is to observe and examine the child in order to find an appropriate program for treatment. It is possible to implement short-term treatment placement for up to 4 weeks, with the possibility of prolonging the stay for an additional 4 weeks. In cases where the purpose of the placement is long-term treatment, the board can make a decision for the placement to last for up to 1 year.  In special cases, there is an additional possibility to prolong the placement by 1 supplementary year. 

A child who has severe behavioural problems will face mandatory placement in an institution when lesser interventions, such as urine testing, guidance, or voluntary institutional stays have been implemented, but without an effective result. Compulsory measures cannot be implemented if it is not the best solution for the child.

The board is responsible for ensuring that the child is placed in an institution which is suited to provide the child with the treatment needed. All the institutions where children are placed have been approved (certified) by the Norwegian State's Child Welfare Authority, and the County Governor (In Norwegian Statsforvalteren) who supervise them. The child may also be placed in a foster home which meets the requirements to be able to assist with the child's problems.