Winners of the Father of the Year Prize represent safe and responsible parenting
Kai Rinkinen from Rovaniemi, Jere Jokinen from Kerava and Janne Pihanperä from Masku were today awarded the Father of the Year Prize. The Prize was presented by Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen
The awarded fathers have set an example of safe and responsible parenting as fathers and promoted gender equality in family life by, for example, taking time to take care of their children. They have found ways to support their children in exceptional situations, acted in the best interest of their children and raised issues related to fatherhood through their life’s work or their activities to influence matters.
In her speech, Minister Sarkkinen states that there is no one correct model of fatherhood, type of family or way of being a parent or a man. "Every father can be an educator and a role model in their own way. Every family is valuable and deserves to get support and recognition from society for who they are.”
“It is society’s duty to support and ensure that fatherhood is possible for those who desire to be fathers. The family leave reform, which entered into force in August, is one of the most important reforms during this parliamentary term. It is a historic and positive step towards more equal parenting. I am particularly pleased that with the reform we have taken a great leap forward in improving the position of fathers,” says Sarkkinen.
The family leave reform is a major investment in families with children. “While the number of earnings-related parental allowance days increases, the aim is to promote a more equal division of care responsibilities between both parents. The reform encourages particularly fathers to take more family leave.”
“It is a great pleasure to award these fathers. All three fathers meet the criteria that were set for this year’s winners,” says Development Manager Anna Kokko from the Family Federation of Finland, who is also the chair of the working group preparing the award of the 2022 Father of the Year Prize. “It will also be great to see in the coming years how equal parenting develops as a result of the reform and how fatherhood is further strengthened.”
Winners of the Father of the Year Prize 2022
Kai Rinkinen is a father of two teenage children from Rovaniemi. Rinkinen became a stay-at-home father when his children were small and later took responsibility for caring for his seriously ill child. After the divorce, the parents made the housing arrangements with their children’s best interests in mind – the children continued living in the family home while the parents took turns living there with them on alternate weeks. Rinkinen is actively involved in voluntary work. For example, he is a peer support person for men who are going through a divorce or separation and promotes gender equality both through his work and voluntary roles. Rinkinen has worked as an outreach youth worker for children and young people in need of special support.
Jere Jokinen is a father of four from Kerava. His two grown-up children live on their own and two other children primarily with their mother. Jokinen takes an active and supportive role in his children’s daily lives, including his grown-up children. After the divorce, the family made flexible housing arrangements for the children to suit the children’s needs and life situation. Although the younger children live primarily with their mother, Jokinen is present in their daily lives. Jokinen has long been actively involved in voluntary work. He is one of the founders of the MASI service designed to support the wellbeing and functional capacity of fathers, and he still takes an active part in this work. In addition, Jokinen acts as a peer support person for men going through a divorce or separation.
Janne Pihanperä is a father of three grown-up or almost grown-up children from Masku. Pihanperä has from the start taken an active role in his children’s and their friends’ daily lives and has, through his own actions, set an example of safe and responsible parenting as a father. Through his guiding approach, he has made it possible for his own children and children in the community to engage in independent leisure activities by providing facilities for day camps and recreational camps.
Father of the Year Prize
The Father of the Year Prize is awarded to a person who, through his own example and actions, has promoted recognition of the importance of fatherhood and thus increased its appreciation. The aim of the Prize is to put active fatherhood on a firmer footing in people's thinking. The goal is to strengthen fatherhood, support the reconciliation of work and family life, promote the child's best interests and boost gender equality.
The first Father of the Year Prize was awarded in 2006. A total of 43 fathers, including the winners in 2022, have received the Prize.
The Family Federation of Finland, together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and national family and other organisations, was responsible for preparing the award.
Anna Kokko, Development Manager, chair of the working group preparing the award of the Father of the Year Prize,
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