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Short-term placement at a reception institution

If in immediate danger, a child can be placed in short-term care out of the child's own home, at a reception institution. The placement can be carried out at any time of day. At the reception institution, the child is taken in safely and given care and aid. The family's situation is assessed as well. A personal counsellor is appointed for the child. During the placement period, work is carried out with the child and the family in order to facilitate the child's return home. The assessment process is begun immediately after the placement. The first negotiations, regarding goals, are held within five days of the placement. The child's return home or further placement should take place no later than within two months of the beginning of the placement period.

During the placement period, an assessment and a continuance plan, which concentrate on the child's needs, are compiled together. The child and their family are supported to work together in order to find solutions to change the situation. The starting point for the assessment and the plan are the child's benefit and his or her individual needs. The social worker in charge of the case, the staff of the institution and any other authorities involved take part in close co-operation with the child, the parents and any other people close to the child.

All producers of the service are bound by professional secrecy. If possible, the goal is to always place siblings of different ages into the same institution.


During office hours, the social worker responsible for the child and the client guidance social worker of the services will collaborate to determine a suitable placement unit for the child based on the available information. Outside office hours, the placement is carried out by emergency social services. Placement into an institution is possible if family care is unable to meet the child's needs or no places are available. The social worker in charge of the placement makes the decision in accordance with Section 37 or Section 38 of the Child Welfare Act.

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Social Services and Health Care Division

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