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Crisis in the family

Families with children sometimes encounter unpleasant things which deviate from everyday life and which are not always possible to prepare for. In some situations, it may be necessary to seek professional help. The City of Helsinki provides services that help in crisis situations of varying degrees of seriousness. It is better to contact a party that provides assistance in advance and ask for advice than wait until the situation becomes unbearable.

A mother is cying next to a broken vase.

This section contains information on various crisis situations and services that can help you overcome them.

Many parents and families experience difficult life situations and problems with coping. Challenges both big and small should be brought up as early as possible. This way any problems can be solved more easily and require less external help. 

Families with children who are not yet attending school can bring these matters up with the nurse at their own maternity and child health clinic, for example. The nurse will help you find the support you need. Alternatively, you can contact the various services offered for families with children directly.


Services and support provided by the City

One of the places where you can get help in everyday challenges and coping is home services for families with children. This service consists of temporary support for families in their everyday life. Home services charge a fee, and you can enquire these services with the head instructor in your area. Read more about the Home services for families with children.

You can also seek help from social care work for families with children, which consists of support, guidance and advice intended for children under school age and young pupils in various life situations. Read more about the Social care work for families with children.

You can get multi-professional support and help at the Family Counselling Office in crisis situations. The service is intended for children between the ages of 0 and 17, and their families. The Family Counselling Office will provide you with help in matters regarding the development and upbringing of children and adolescents, troubling family issues or a crisis your child or family might be facing. Read more about the Family counselling offices.

If you have more extensive concerns about the situation of your own or another family, you can contact the Service needs assessment and support for families with children working group. The need for basic services and Child Welfare Services is assessed together with the child and family and as multidisciplinary collaboration. This will mean a wide-scope evaluation of a family’s situation. A plan will also be drawn up on how a family can be supported holistically. The service will provide you with guidance and advice as well as immediate support and help. Read more about the Service needs assessment and support for families with children.

If you are concerned about your substance abuse or are unsure about what substance abuse in your family means for your children and your entire family, you can contact the substance abuse outpatient clinics for families. The service is intended for families in Helsinki that have children under 18 years of age and where one or both parents have problems or concerns regarding substance abuse. Read more about the service in Finnish on webpage or from the brochure (pdf).

In case of serious concerns with suspected risk to a child’s growth and development, you can request an evaluation to assess the child welfare service needs. In both cases, you can contact your local Child Welfare Services. You can find the contact information below.

Service providers 


In acute situations taking place outside of office hours, you can contact the social emergency services, particularly with concerns regarding child welfare. 

tel. +358 (0)20 696 006

In other, non-acute crisis situations, you can call the crisis emergency services.

tel.  +358 (0)9 3104 4222

It can be difficult to ask for help. You should keep in mind that the objective of all the services intended for families with children is to safeguard children’s rights and support parents and other guardians in their child-raising duty.

More information about the social and crisis emergency services.


26.02.2021 14:39