Living in Finland

Cities

Mistä apua lasten ja nuorten ongelmiin?
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Where to find help for children's and young people's problems?

For children and families:

Child health clinics (lastenneuvola)

You can contact the child health clinic of your municipality if you have questions related to the health and development of your child. The clinic will refer you to other services if they are necessary. Child health clinics are staffed by nurses and doctors.

Family counselling centres and youth clinics (perheneuvola ja nuorten poliklinikka)

Family counselling centres are places where children, young people and their families can receive help for problems related to parenting, development and family relationships. You can contact a family counselling centre yourself and set up an appointment. Some municipalities also maintain counselling centres for young people, where youths and their families can receive help for various issues.

Social offices (sosiaalitoimisto)

You can also request help from your local social office. Together with a social worker, you can determine the type of help your family requires: financial assistance, child day care, domestic aid, holiday activities for children or family counselling centre services in parenting problems.

Family Federation (Väestöliitto)

The Family Federation provides information on parenting. You can contact the federation when you are faced with relationship problems, parenting or divorce. The Family Federation’s multicultural centre for expertise provides support for immigrant families. The centre for expertise also offers phone and e-mail counselling when you need to discuss issues related to parenting or family relationships. You can write to the multicultural centre for expertise in Dari, Kurdish (Sorani), Persion, Finnish, Russian, English or Swedish. The contact information is available at the Family Federation’s website.

Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (Mannerheimin lastensuojeluliitto)

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare provides various types of support for families with children. If you require support or if you would like to discuss things with another parent, you can call or write anonymously and confidentially about anything connected to parenthood.

You can write questions to Vanhempainnetti’s letter service around the clock and any day of the year.

The number of the helpline intended for parents is 0800 922 77.

Helpline hours

Mon 10 am–1 pm and 5–8 pm
Tue 10 am–1 pm and 5–8 pm
Wed 10 am–1 pm
Thu 2–8 pm

The helpline is free of change and in Finnish.

The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare maintains a number of family cafés all around the country, where families with children can spend time with others. The organisation also provides paid and temporary child care assistance.

Information on parenting is also available on the Infopankki web page Bringing up children in Finland.

linkkiMannerheim League for Child Welfare:
Support for families with childrenFinnish

linkkiVäestöliitto:
Support for multicultural familiesFinnish | Swedish | English

When parents cannot cope alone

Every child has a right to a good and safe childhood and to be protected and cared for. If the parents cannot ensure a child’s well-being, society is obliged to intervene.

The purpose of child welfare (lastensuojelu) is to ensure the well-being of children. Child welfare services and activities are founded in the law. The Child Welfare Act applies to all children living in Finland. The applicability is not dependent on their nationality, religion or culture.

In Finland, child welfare is the duty of municipalities. Within municipalities, child welfare services are provided by social workers. A child welfare case is opened when a social worker receives notification on a child who may require help. Such reports are called child welfare notifications (lastensuojeluilmoitus). Child welfare notifications can be submitted by anyone who is concerned for a child’s well-being. The notifications are submitted to the local social office (sosiaalitoimisto).

The main aim is always to help the children to continue living in their own homes and with their own families. However, if the family’s problems are too severe for the child to be safe at home and no other resolution can be found, the child is placed into care elsewhere.

Additional information on child welfare is available, for example, in the lastensuojelu.info web service, which is aimed at immigrants. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, French, Somali, Arabic, Persian and Kurdish.

linkkiThe Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters:
Contact information for mother and child homesFinnish

linkkilastensuojelu.info:
Information on child welfareFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish

For young people:

Your own school or education institution

Young people can share their problems with the nurse (terveydenhoitaja) at their school or educational institution. Most schools also have a school psychologist (koulupsykologi) or welfare officer (kuraattori) whose job is to help students with their problems. If you are having trouble with your studies, tell your teacher or student counsellor.

Family counselling centres and youth clinics (perheneuvola ja nuorten poliklinikka)

Family counselling centres are places where children, young people and their families can receive help for problems related to parenting, development and family relationships. You can contact a family counselling centre yourself and set up an appointment. Some municipalities also maintain counselling centres for young people, where youths and their families can receive help for various issues.

Family Federation (Väestöliitto)

The Family Federation provides information on matters related to the development and growth of young people, such as physical changes, dating, sex and contraception. The Family Federation hosts a separate information website for young people under 18 years of age. You can also send questions to the Family Federation's experts.

Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (Mannerheimin lastensuojeluliitto)

The online service for youths hosted by the Mannerheim League Child Welfare contains information related to the life of young people, such as friendship, dating, bullying at school and intoxicants. You can also read about the experiences of other young people.

You can call the youth helpline (nuorten puhelin) maintained by the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare if you want to talk to an adult. You can discuss any matter on your mind. You do not need to reveal your name when calling. You can call the number 116 111 every day, Mon to Fri from 2 pm to 8 pm and Sat to Sun from 5 pm to 8 pm. The service is provided in Finnish.

Youth Crisis Centre (Nuorten kriisipiste)

You can call the Youth Crisis Centre’s crisis helpline (kriisipuhelin) when you are in need of advice in problematic situations. The number of the helpline is 045 3410 583.

Youth shelters

The Finnish Red Cross’ youth shelters (nuorten turvatalo) provide help and support for young people between 12 and 19 years of age who are faced with difficult situations. You can visit a youth shelter if you would like to discuss your situation with an adult. You can also spend the night there if you have nowhere else to go. Youth shelters can also be called at any hour. They shelters are available in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku and Tampere.

Girls’ Houses

Girls’ Houses (Tyttöjen Talo) are intended for girls and young women between 10 and 28 years of age. At the Girls’ Houses, you can, for example, discuss things with adults, receive help and advice for your problems and participate in various hobby groups. Girl’s Houses are available in Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.

Boys’ Houses and Boys’ Helpline

Boys’ Houses (Poikien Talo) are intended for boys and young men between 10 and 28 years of age. At the Boys’ Houses, you can, for example, discuss things with adults, receive help and advice for your problems and participate in various hobby groups. Boys’ Houses are available in Helsinki and Oulu.

The Family Federation’s Boys’ Helpline (Väestöliiton Poikien puhelin) is a support line for boys and young men under 20 years of age. The helpline can be reached by calling 0800 94884. The Boys’ Helpline provides its services in Finnish.

More information on the rights of children and young people is available on the Infopankki page Children’s and youths’ rights and obligations and Bringing up children in Finland.

linkkiMannerheim League for Child Welfare:
Youth netFinnish

linkkiVäestöliitto:
Youth pagesFinnish

linkkiMannerheim League for Child Welfare:
Child and youth helplineFinnish

linkkiThe Finnish Red Cross:
Youth sheltersFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiSYLI -Syömishäiriöliitto ry:
Information on eating disordersFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiYouth Crisis Centre:
Crisis help for young peopleFinnish | Swedish

linkkiVäestöliitto:
Boys' HelplineFinnish

linkkiPoikien Talo:
Poikien TaloFinnish

linkkiTyttöjen talo Tampere:
Support and activities for girlsFinnish | English | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Arabic | Kurdish

linkkiTyttöjen talo Helsinki:
Support and activities for girlsFinnish

linkkiTyttöjen talo Turku:
Support and activities for girlsFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Somali | Spanish | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish

linkkiTyttöjen talo Kuopio:
Support and activities for girlsFinnish | English

linkkiTyttöjen talo Oulu:
Support and activities for girlsFinnish