The task of a Child Welfare Officer is to assist the parents in making an agreement and compile an executable document of the issues agreed by the parents.
The Child Welfare Officer's task is to confirm the agreement, as long as it is beneficial to the child.
The concerned contract parties of issues related to the care, housing, meeting rights and support of children are the parents. The Child Welfare Officer does not define the contents of the agreements. Instead, the negotiations are between the contract parties, i.e. the parents. Therefore, the parents have a shared appointment and the negotiations are carried out when both parents are present.
If the parents do not live together, they have to reach an agreement on with whom the child lives, how will the child meet the other parent and how the parents will take care of the child's support. An agreement on the care, housing, meeting rights and support of the child, confirmed by the Child Welfare Officer, is equal to a decision by the court of law, and is executable as such. Unpaid support payments, based on the agreement that is confirmed by the Child Welfare Officer, can be claimed through a debt recovery procedure.
If the parents require external help when planning how to agree on these issues concerning their child, they can also make an appointment with a Family Affairs Mediator before meeting the Child Welfare Officer. If the parents cannot make an agreement concerning the care, housing, meeting rights and support of the children, they may take the case to the district court.
How to book an appointment
You can book a 45-minute telephone consultation with us if you have not made official agreements relating to care, housing, meeting rights and the support of children. Consultation is provided in situations where:
- you are considering separating,
- you have already decided to separate,
- or it has been some time since you separated, but you have not yet made official agreements.
During the consultation, we will map out your family's situation, inform you about the agreements and guide you to our services. We don’t make agreements during the consultation.
After the consultation call, the child welfare supervisor can book you a 1.5-hour meeting to make agreements. The meeting can be held in person or remotely. After the consultation call, you can be directed to other services, or you can take a timeout to figure out the new situation.
You can book an appointment with a child welfare supervisor using our call-back service. Call us Mon-Thu 9.00–10.30 and leave a call-back request.
We will call you back twice, we aim to contact you within the next five business days.
To cancel your booked appointment:
You can cancel your appointment by sending an SMS to +358 50 402 0084. In your message, state your name, the exact time of the booked appointment and the name of the child welfare supervisor you had your meeting scheduled with. Cancelling your appointment affects both parents.
If you want to book a new appointment, call the appointment booking number +358 9 3104 4999.
How to prepare for a meeting with a child welfare supervisor
First, discuss the matters to be agreed upon with the other parent.
The child welfare supervisor’s task is to prepare an enforceable agreement for you on custody, living, visitation rights and maintenance support matters.
Discuss the matters to be agreed upon concerning your child together with the other parent in advance before meeting with the child welfare supervisor. You can use the parenting plan available on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health website as a tool.
A family mediator can help you reach an agreement
If it is difficult for you and the other parent to reach an agreement, you can visit a family mediator before making an appointment with a child welfare supervisor. In family mediation, you will receive guidance and counselling free of charge for resolving conflicts related to child custody and visitation rights.
You can book a consultation time for the child welfare supervisor before concluding the agreement
Once you have agreed on matters concerning the child, you can book a 45-minute telephone consultation with the child welfare supervisor if you wish. During the telephone consultation, the child welfare supervisor will map out your situation and discuss various possibilities. Note! You can book a consultation appointment only if you are coming in to prepare your first agreement.
After the consultation, the child welfare supervisor will make an appointment for you to conclude the agreement. The child welfare supervisor will prepare an enforceable document on the agreed matters at this meeting. As a rule, both parents need to be present at this meeting. The child welfare supervisor can only confirm the unanimous agreements of parents.