Child welfare is based on law

Parents or guardians are primarily responsible for a child’s care and upbringing, but they are entitled to receive help from society. This help should be available at an early stage to ensure that parents can cope with their parenting duties. If parents or guardians for some reason are unable to take care of their children’s wellbeing, Finnish society is obliged to intervene. In this case, the task of child welfare services is to guarantee the child’s wellbeing. So, help is not always voluntary, but the Child Welfare Act prescribes that child welfare authorities must act in certain situations to protect the child.

In Finland, child welfare is defined in the Child Welfare Act. This means that the activities and decisions of child welfare authorities are always based on the law. The Child Welfare Act applies to all children in Finland regardless of their background