When there is reason for concern A child welfare issue may arise based on contact by the customer, an application or child welfare notification. Child welfare services can be contacted, even anonymously, whenever there is any concern about the welfare of one’s own child or another child living nearby; for example, when the family is faced with - problems in the care or education of children/young people - violence - substance abuse affecting family life - other crises - need for counselling and advice.
How can I contact the child welfare services? You can contact your local duty child welfare social worker during office hours. Outside office hours, you can contact the Social and Crisis Emergency Centre.
In client portal Maisa, you can submit a child welfare notification without logging in. Go to the front page of Maisa and click “Submit a Social Care Notification”. Choose Helsinki as your municipality and “Child Notification 0–17 years” as the type of notification. Fill in the notification and send it.
The Child Welfare Act imposes a particular duty of reporting on the following authorities: social and health care officials, school personnel, the police and parish personnel and those in a position of trust in the above bodies; the personnel of asylum seekers’ reception facilities and emergency operations as well as the personnel working with schoolchildren’s morning and after-school club activities. (Section 25 of the Child Welfare Act)
What happens after the initial contact/notification? A social worker will review the content of each notification within the time stipulated in the Child Welfare Act (seven working days) and contact the family and any relevant parties as required. If the need for intervention is imminent, the social worker will review the support needs in more detail. The Child Welfare Act requires any review to be completed within three months. This is where the customer relationship with child welfare services commences. Where required, the social worker must initiate immediate child welfare actions.
As a customer of child welfare services, the family can receive help from the community social welfare services according to mutually agreed objectives. Each customer will have a nominated social worker, and if the customer contact continues after the triage, a customer care plan will be drafted. Short-term support may sometimes be enough, at other times systematic and long-term cooperative support is necessary even over several years.