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When should I contact child welfare services?
If you need help with stressful family life and parenting challenges, contact social guidance for families with children.
If you are concerned about the well-being of your child or any other child living nearby, please contact child welfare services. Such concerns may be caused by, for example:
- the parents’ substance abuse
- the parents’ mental health problems, exhaustion or illness
- domestic violence
- the child’s own dangerous or harmful behaviour, such as substance abuse, criminal activity or failure to attend school
- the child’s excessive responsibility for the daily life of the family due to the parent’s illness, for example.
If you are unsure whether you should submit a child welfare notification, you can ask the child welfare services for advice without revealing the child’s identity.
If you wish, you can contact us and submit a child welfare notification anonymously.
What’s most important is that you contact us without delay. Social welfare professionals will assess whether the notification will lead to urgent measures.
Submit a child welfare notification even if you think that someone else has already submitted one or if you know that the family is already a child welfare client. A new notification or multiple notifications will help the social workers better understand the family’s situation.
Who can submit a child welfare notification?
Anyone can submit a child welfare notification. A notification can be submitted by, for example:
- the child personally
- the child’s parent
- a neighbour
- anyone close to the child
- any other person concerned about the child.
What information do I need for a child welfare notification?
Please specify the following information in the child welfare notification:
- the child’s personal data, if known
- the reason for the notification
- whether the child or the guardian has been informed of the child welfare notification.
How do I submit a child welfare notification?
Submit a child welfare notification in Maisa
Submit a child welfare notification in Maisa without logging in or on the front page of Maisa under “Submit a Social Care Notification”. If your notification concerns a child living in Helsinki, please select Helsinki as the municipality and select the notification type “Child notification 0–17 years”. Complete the form and press “Submit”.
Submit a child welfare notification by calling
You can also file a child welfare notification or ask for assistance via the emergency child welfare number +358 9 310 62040(Link starts a phone call). The service is open on weekdays between 8.15 and 16.00.
In the evenings and at weekends, you can submit a child welfare notification by calling Emergency Social Services.
Submit a child welfare notification form
Alternatively, you can complete the child welfare notification form and send it by post to your local service needs assessment and support unit for families with children.
How will an employee or authority with a notification obligation file a child welfare notification?
If you are a city or hospital district employee and you have access to the Apotti information system, please file the notification via the system.
Other authorities, such as the police, can file an electronic notification via the following link:
If the matter is urgent, please contact us primarily by phone. The emergency line for authorities is available during office hours at +358 9 310 62066(Link starts a phone call).
Outside office hours, you can contact the social emergency services.
What will happen after the child welfare notification?
If the child is not a child welfare client, a social worker in the service needs assessment and support unit for families with children will investigate your notification within seven working days. The worker will contact the family and other employees familiar with the child’s situation at, for example, the daycare centre, school or child health clinic.
If the child is a child welfare client, the social worker responsible for the child’s affairs will investigate the child welfare notification.
Sometimes the child welfare social worker must take urgent measures on the basis of the notification. Sometimes it is enough to investigate the notification at a calmer pace together with the child and the family members. Very often, a service needs assessment in itself is sufficient support for the family. There are many kinds of support available for families without a child welfare client relationship.
How is the child’s and parents’ need for support assessed?
We use a uniform assessment model that allows us to assess together with the child and the parents what kind of support and help they need.
Models for assessing the need for support can be found below in different languages: