Assessment of the need for child welfare and special support

In a stressful family situation, you may need child welfare or family social work services. The services are preceded by an assessment for the need of the services.

If your family's life situation is significantly stressful and you think that your children and family need support, please contact us through Maisa or by coming in to visit us.

A loved one, a school or another authority may also report you, after which we will contact your family.

When assessing the need for child welfare and special support, we will find out which of the services you may need. If you need special support, you will become a customer of family social work.

If you need child welfare services, you will become a customer of child welfare. Sometimes, the support received during the assessment is sufficient for the family, and no other services are needed.

To access the service, please contact us through Maisa. You can do this without logging in from the Maisa homepage through "Submit a social care notification".

You can also call our on-call number +358 9 310 62040 during office hours (weekdays 8:15-16).

The on-call number for authorities during office hours is +358 9 310 62 066 (weekdays 8:15-16).

Our on-call number also provides advice and counselling on child welfare matters.

You can also visit our service points during office hours (weekdays 8:15-16).

Our service points are Itäkatu, Kallio, Lassila, Malmi, Maunula and Vuosaari.

In urgent situations in the evenings and at weekends, you can call the social emergency service at +358 206 96006.

What is the assessment process like?

The assessment begins on the basis of a child welfare notification, a contact made for the child in accordance with the Social Welfare Act (done by an authority with the customer) or on the basis of the child and/or guardians' own application.   

The regional working group for the assessment of the need for child welfare and special support will investigate and decide whether to start the assessment of the need for child welfare and special support. We process every notification, application and contact within seven business days and contact the family by telephone or mail.   

When we contact you, we will let you know our solution of the assessment of the need for the service and how we will continue to process the notification.  

What happens in the assessment?  

During the assessment of the need for child welfare and special support, we will examine the situation of the child and their family and the need for support with the family.  

When determining the need, we jointly assess what the child's growing conditions are, as well as the capability of the parents and other adults in the child's environment to meet the child's age-specific needs.  
During the assessment, the child and family can receive short-term help and support, which can be, in addition to guidance and counselling, for example, home services for families with children, family and educational counselling, financial support, as well as a survey of the parents' need for psychological care.  
During the service need assessment, the child is not a customer of child welfare. 

Assessment of service needs includes meetings with different sets of people. Usually, the assessment also includes a meeting with the child and their involvement in the assessment and in determining the need for support. Several different professionals may be involved in the assessment. 

The assessment usually includes 1–5 meetings and lasts up to three months. A written summary of the service need assessment, which is a record of the solution that was reached in the service need assessment, is prepared for you.  

The meetings and support included in the service needs assessment are often sufficient help and support for the family, in which case no other services are needed.

If we find that there is no reason to assess the child's need for child welfare or special support, we can refer the child welfare notification or care notification to social guidance for families with children, who will then contact the family.   

If, on the basis of the assessment of the need for services, the child is estimated to be in need of special support, they will become a customer of family social work and a social worker will be appointed for them.   
The result of the assessment may also be that the child is in need of protection. In that case, they become a customer of child welfare, and will be appointed a social worker responsible for their affairs.   

Who carries out the needs assessment for child welfare and special support?  

A social worker from the regional working group is responsible for assessing the child's need for child welfare and special support. The assessment also involves a pair, either from the working group or some other professional who knows the child's issue.  

Each working group has a senior social worker, multiple social workers, and one or more social counsellor.  
In addition, the working groups include a adult social work social counsellor, psychiatric nurse, family counselling psychologist and social worker from family counselling.  

Each region also has an outreach social counsellor as a part of the working group.  

Service points