Child welfare measures assist the child and the family in cases where there are factors in the child’s life situation that jeopardise the child’s health, development and well-being. Factors that jeopardise the child’s well-being include parental fatigue, substance use, violence and strong conflicts in the family, among other things. Children and young people can also sometimes jeopardise their own development with substance use, among other things.
The social worker carries out child welfare work by assessing the need for child welfare services together with the child, young person and the family and arranging the necessary support and assistance. The social worker has the opportunity to support the child and the family by providing community care support as part of child welfare. These support measures include:
- financial assistance for the child’s interests and hobbies
- support in finding a job and housing
- arranging a support person or family for the child
- family work
- peer group activities
- holiday or recreational activities
- placement of the child or the entire family as a support measure of community care
- other services that support the child and the family.
For most families, community care support is enough, but sometimes the problems are so severe that it is in the child’s best interest that he or she is taken into the Social Welfare Board’s custody and placed in foster care. The child must be taken into custody if his or her health and development are at risk of being severely jeopardised and if the measures of community care are found to be insufficient or impossible to carry out and being taken into custody is found to be in the child’s best interest. This can be carried out either as an urgent or actual placement in foster care.