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Non-institutional child welfare services

Every child has the right to a safe and stable environment and special protection. The primary responsibility over a child lies with the child’s parents or guardians.

Non-institutional child welfare services support children and young people in situations where help is needed regarding social, financial, coping, or similar matters. The aim of non-institutional services is to protect a child's growing environment and enhance parenting skills and abilities. Non-institutional support measures may be implemented on a short or long-term basis. Non-institutional support measures are tailored according to the child's needs and may include, for example, enhanced family work and family rehabilitation. If necessary, a child and their family may also receive support from other social services, and the family's social network may also cooperate in the process.

Children registered with non-institutional child welfare services have an allocated social worker, who is responsible for the child's matters. Children registered with non-institutional child welfare services follow a personal client plan. The plan includes information about the conditions and issues that need to be addressed, the child's and their family's support needs, and the required services.

Do the following

You can receive guidance and advice by contacting the child welfare office during office hours.

If you and your family are already registered with child welfare services, please contact your allocated social worker (social worker responsible for the child's affairs).

Contact information

Select your municipality from the drop-down menu to see the appropriate contact details.

For whom / what terms

Non-institutional child welfare services are initiated based on a social worker’s assessment, which could be a service needs assessment. Non-institutional child welfare services are needed when a child’s health or development is at risk, or when standard social services for families with children are not enough. It could also be that standard family services are enough to deal with the situation, but the family does not want to accept the necessary services, in which case child welfare services and support measures are required.

Background and legislation

Non-institutional child welfare supports children, young people and families in situations where support is needed for social, financial and other similar reasons or because they cannot cope with everyday life. In addition to counselling and therapy, non-institutional child welfare can also provide support person and family activities, family work and rehabilitation, peer groups, and support for hobbies, holidays and recreational activities.

For example, the child and the family can receive support for improving inadequate housing conditions, school attendance and studies, and maintaining close relationships. The services are combined into a personalised service package. The wellbeing services county organises the services as necessary.