Taking a child into custody

When a child is taken into custody, the responsibility of arranging their care and upbringing and providing them with a safe living environment is transferred to the authorities. Child welfare services must take a child into custody if the problems in the child’s family are serious or have lasted a long time.
Photo: Kaisa Sunimento

Taking a child into custody is child welfare services’ last resort to ensure a child’s growth and development

The task of child welfare is to safeguard the rights of the child. Taking a child into custody is the last resort to ensure the child’s growth and development. When a child is taken into custody, the responsibility of arranging their care and upbringing and providing them with a safe living environment is transferred to the authorities. Child welfare services must take a child into custody if the problems in the family are serious or have lasted a long time.

Difficult decisions are always based on the child’s best interests

Child welfare professionals evaluate what is the best solution for each child individually. Sometimes they are forced to make decisions that the child or parents disagree with.

Although deciding to take a child into custody is always difficult, it aims to help the child and their family. Taking a child into custody is a long process usually prepared together with the family. Most custody decisions are carried out in agreement with the child and the family.

Keeping in touch with loved ones is important during custody

During custody, the child may live in a foster family, a professional family home or a children’s home.

A child in custody has the right to meet and communicate with their parents and other people important to them as agreed upon in the client plan. The designated social worker is responsible for the child’s affairs during custody.

Support is available even after custody

Custody is available for the child as long as necessary. The child’s custody ends at the latest when they reach the age of 18. After being taken into custody, the child or young person is entitled to aftercare support.

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