Support measures in open care

Often the fear that a child will be taken away is associated with child welfare services. In reality, the services always try to help a child so that they can live in their own home with family. The basic principle is that if an intervention in the family’s affairs is necessary, the least invasive route to help the family is preferred. Such primary services are called support measures in open care. Support measures in open care are always voluntary and based on co-operation with the family. Most child welfare work is implemented as support measures in open care.

There are various support measures in open care and they differ according to municipality. Examples include:

Services at home

Services provided at home can be practical support, e.g. help with child care, cooking, washing or cleaning. It aims to promote the family’s well-being and prevent problems from arising.

Family work provides help directly at home

Family work may include discussions, guidance and support for the parents in raising their children. It may also mean that a family receives support with various everyday activities, such as running errands or with domestic chores, or it may include organising activities that support a child’s well-being.

Support person or support family

A support person or support family can be assigned to a child or a family. A support person is an adult who helps with homework, for example, or is involved in a child or family’s hobbies. A support family is an ordinary family, with whom a child can meet as agreed, for example at weekends. Support families or support individuals are trained.

Peer group activities

Peer group activities are for affected individuals to attend group sessions to meet other people in similar situations. Relatives and friends of immigrant parents often live far away, so they can meet people in different clubs and groups. Clubs and groups often provide activities; in other words, you can talk and get to know people while cooking, making crafts or during other events.

Treatment and therapy services

Treatment and therapy services supporting a child’s rehabilitation must be provided should a child need them. For example, if a child has learning difficulties, the school psychologist and school social worker can guide the child to the appropriate services.