With the child all the way
Ministry of Children and Family Affairs
Graphic illustration of the project
For the first time, a youth committee was involved in producing a public report for the government. Halogen helped the young people make their mark on the report.

The historic report, which is a so-called NOU (Norwegian Official Reports), was handed over to ministers Kjersti Toppe and Ingvild Kjerkhol in the fall of 2023. The report, entitled "With the child all the way", is a proposal for what the government should do to improve the lives of children in child welfare institutions. 

The report was compiled by professionals and experts in the field. What is special about this particular report is that, in addition to a selection of adult experts, a youth committee was also appointed. The youth committee consisted of seven people who have lived or are living in a child welfare institution. Their role was to use their experience to advise the adults. Halogen supported the secretariat to use clear language to put together a meaningful and understandable report. 

Read the report at regjeringen.no: With the child all the way.

We also supported the young people in making their mark on the comprehensive report. We helped the youth committee sort out their thoughts and formulate them into clear points. Together, we came up with ways to communicate these points so that the children's voice was a common thread throughout the report.

It's been great to have Halogen on the team - both as strong professional contributors and enthusiastic cheerleaders. The work we've done here is groundbreaking, and I'm very proud of what we've achieved together. Halogen has undoubtedly contributed to making this a better and clearer NOU, which I am convinced will leave a lasting impression.

- Erik Stene, chair of the committee

For the youth

An NOU is a large and heavy document, often several hundred pages long. It can be difficult to understand, even for people who work in the field. To make the report accessible to the people it is about, namely the children in child welfare institutions, Halogen helped the Youth Committee to write a special greeting to the reader. The greeting, which is at the beginning of the report, summarizes what the committee came up with in a clear outline and accessible language.

Story continues after the image.

Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
The NOU consisted of five parts, each with its own illustration. In addition to serving as a respite, the illustrations help to evoke emotions in the reader. This illustration belongs to part 2, Holistic efforts and shared responsibility.

This project shows that when we combine expertise from content design, management design and graphic design, we can communicate large, complex processes in a clear and concise story. 

- Åsmund Eikenes, Head of Content Design at Halogen.

Realistic illustrations

When working on the report, it was important to have an emotional appeal without compromising the factual presentation of feasible measures. Illustrations are an effective tool, and it was important to the youth committee that the line was not too naive or unrealistic. Together with the young people, we came up with an expression that is hand-drawn and intimate, and that conveys the seriousness of what they are trying to say.

In a 400-page text, it is important to make things visual. However, this is not a common approach in an NOU. I think both the adult and youth committees have been brave to take these steps to ensure that the report reaches more people. I hope others will be inspired to push the boundaries of what an NOU can be. 

- Eila Rishovd, designer at Halogen.

The motifs in the illustrations are the result of a workshop we held with the youth committee. In this workshop, the young people created illustrations by cutting images and sentences from magazines and gluing them together on a poster. The posters became the starting point for the illustration work, and in this way the young people have been involved in all stages of the illustrative process.  

Story continues after the image.

Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
The illustrations in the report With the child all the way are based on the posters created by the young people in this workshop.

Glimpses of the future

The illustrations eventually took the form of five glimpses of the future, which are distributed throughout the report. The glimpses are young people's descriptions of how they envision future institutional facilities, and are designed to remind the reader of what the youth committee would like to see. 

The glimpses consist of an illustration and a short description of concrete and positive situations. They are placed on a green background to distinguish them from the rest of the text. The glimpses also correspond to the conditions that both the youth and adult committees believe need to be improved.  

The future flashes have the following titles: 

  • I feel that the institution is my home. 
  • I get to use what I'm good at. 
  • I have freedom and experience normality. 
  • I meet adults who care and support me. 
  • I am heard and have a say in the decision-making process. 

The report was well received and widely read, partly due to its good structure, accessible language and strong illustrations. The hope is that the work done by the Youth Committee will leave a lasting impression and improve the lives of children in child welfare institutions. 

As the adult committee itself writes in its foreword: (...) society must have the highest ambitions for these children. There are not many of them, but they need us. 

Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
The glimpse of the future I feel that the institution is my home is an example of a motif based on workshops with the youth committee. The glimpse illustrates the hope that the institution is perceived as a home for those who live there, where you can express yourself as you wish and leave your mark on the house you live in.

Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
Male employee writes with dry erase marker on whiteboard in meeting room
Åsmund Eikenes
Leader for Content Design
Would you like to know more? Contact us!
Åsmund Eikenes
Leader for Content Design
+47 480 34 223aasmund@halogen.no