The Kuusikko working group’s report, which compares child welfare services and their costs, has been released. Kuusikko is a cooperation arrangement between the six largest cities in Finland – Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku, Tampere and Oulu – which produces statistical comparisons of the cities’ social, health care and early childhood education services.
The child welfare report of the Kuusikko working group describes the services and support measures described by the Child Welfare Act. The report examines the client process, client numbers and costs of child welfare services as a whole, and specifically for outpatient care, foster care and follow-up care. The report also briefly covers the position of children who are clients of social services and require special support. Furthermore, the 2020 report describes the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare services.
As regards 2020, the comparison report on the child welfare services and costs in the six largest Finnish cities includes the following information:
• A total of 57,342 child welfare reports were submitted in the six largest cities over the course of 2020. The child welfare reports covered 8.6% of the 0–17-year-old population of the six cities. The population share of child welfare reportees increases with the transition to upper comprehensive school.
• During the emergency conditions (18 March–13 May 2020), there was primarily a decrease in the number of child welfare reports in the six largest cities compared to the previous year. In Helsinki and Tampere, the number of reports dropped the most in May (-16.5% in Helsinki and -5.6% in Tampere). The largest monthly drops in the number of child welfare reports in the spring of 2020 were seen in Turku and Espoo. There, the decrease from the previous year was one-fourth in April and one-fifth in May. In Oulu, the period of extraordinary conditions did not significantly reduce the number of child welfare reports.
• The increase in the quantity of services provided under the Social Welfare Act has also led to a need for more demanding child welfare measures. Clients who require extensive and costly support measures are referred to child welfare services. The need for particularly demanding in-patient care is also increasing as is the need for substance abuse care, especially among young people.
Working groups consisting of multidisciplinary experts release an annual report including information on the previous year. The aim of the comparison report for the six largest Finnish cities is to provide the cities with comparable information on services and their costs.
Comparison of child welfare services and costs in the six largest cities in 2020 (PDF, in Finnish)
Statistics and research data on Helsinki
Photo: Virpi Peltola © City of Helsinki.