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Social work of placements by the child welfare services

The clients of the social work of placements are children and young people in child custody, who live in foster families, a professional family home or in a child welfare institute.

Each placed child has an appointed personal social worker, who works with the child, his or her family and another network. The purpose is to secure the good care, education and development of the child during foster care. The social worker meets with the child and listens and supports him or her, monitors the child's physical and mental state and social interactions, in order to ensure that the placement increases the child's well-being. The social worker will monitor the quality of the care and is in charge of the customer plan concerning the child.

The customer plan dictates, for example, how the child meets and communicates with his or her family members or other loved ones. The customer plan describes the child's situation and needs and depicts the services, which are acquired in order to secure the care and development of the child. Matters concerning the child and parenthood will be agreed upon during these shared negotiations. Attempts are made to arrange these twice a year, but, at least, one must be held every year.

When compiling the child's customer plan, the child's daily caregivers, such as family caregivers or staff members from the children's home or youth home, are a very significant part of the proceedings. They communicate with the appointed personal social worker and tell what is going on.

Family caregivers have an appointed worker, who supports the family caregivers in their work and arranges support services for them when necessary.

The child's appointed social worker and his or her parent may, if they so wish, compile a so-called parent's customer plan on how and where the parent can seek help for recovery and support for parenthood. If necessary, the work is carried out in cooperation with workers from the substance abuse treatment unit, for example.


Child allowance and possible child support payments are allocated to the costs incurred due to the child's care and treatment. Part of the support payments or pensions granted to the child will be allocated to funds given to the child when he or she reaches maturity, in order to support the process of becoming independent. A customer charge may be defined for working parents, based on their income and life's situation.

Applying for the service

Finding a foster care place for a child may begin when the child and/or the parent have decided that the child can no longer live at home. The social workers of the child welfare services must also, sometimes, make these decisions for the children and the parents, if the situation is bad enough. Customership with the community care by child welfare services and the family's support measures may have lasted for years before the decision to place the child into care outside their home, or it may have to be done urgently, in order to ensure a safe environment for the child.

The customership of children in custody is transferred from the local child welfare services to the office premises at Sturenkatu or Kallio via transfer negotiations, i.e. when the official decisions and agreements on relocating the child into a foster care place are made. During this phase, the child's appointed personal social worker also changes.

Primarily, the children are placed with their relatives, with families that are part of their close network or with a foster family. Children are only placed into institutions for special reasons. An assessment on whether the child is placed with a foster family or a child welfare institute has been made, based on the application compiled by the appointed social worker.


The service is only for citizens of Helsinki.

Available languages:


Related service points and contact information:


The Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division

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