Child welfare services support and advise families especially in life’s crisis situations.
All children have the right to
- a good and safe childhood
- to grow and go to school
- to play and participate
- to be protected and cared for.
Child welfare means supporting parenthood or, at its extreme, replacing it.
Child welfare services under legislation include support measures in open care, emergency placement, taking a child into care, substitute care, and after-care.
Child welfare work is confidential and employees have a duty of confidentiality.
Child welfare is always based on the best interests of the child
The primary aim is to enable the child or young person to live in their own home.
If required by the best interests of the child, it is the duty of child welfare to intervene in a situation. In other words, help is not always voluntary, but legislation stipulates that the child welfare authority must sometimes take measures to protect a child.
Social workers’ task is to especially guard children's best interests. When assessing a child's best interests, the child's wishes and opinion must be taken into account when planning and implementing child welfare measures.
What to do
Any private person can contact a child welfare worker when they are concerned about the situation of a particular child or family. The best results are achieved when the family reaches out early enough if they need help and support.
Child welfare notification
A child welfare notification can be made by anyone who is concerned about a child's wellbeing.
A child welfare notification is made to the municipal social welfare office by telephone, in writing or by visiting the social welfare office in person. A person submitting a child welfare notification must provide
- the child's personal information available to them
- the reason for the notification (grounds, reasons and events for submitting the notification)
- additionally, the person can inform whether the child or their guardian has been informed that a notification will be submitted.