Children's Rights Day – apologies to people who have been maltreated in substitute care

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 4.11.2016 8.30 | Published in English on 7.11.2016 at 12.57
Press release 193/2016

Institutions and foster families working for child welfare are responsible to ensure that children placed in care have a good and safe childhood. We know now that this duty has sometimes been neglected.

On Children’s Rights Day, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will arrange an event where Juha Rehula, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, will on behalf of the Finnish Government apologise to persons who have been subject to maltreatment, shortcomings or violence during their stay in child welfare substitute care.

Last April the Ministry published an interview survey on shortcomings, maltreatment and violence in child welfare substitute care in 1937–1983 when the first Child Welfare Act was in force. According to the survey carried out by the University of Jyväskylä, maltreatment and violence occurred in all forms of child welfare substitute care.  

The event on Children’s Rights Day will give opportunities to openly discuss the failures of child welfare substitute care so that they will not be repeated. Maltreatment of children must not occur anymore, and child welfare services aim to give a good and safe childhood for children placed in care.

Among the speeches during the day, experts by experience will be presenting their views on child welfare. Plans to develop child welfare further will also be discussed. The event will be hosted by artist Sinikka Sokka.

Anyone interested is welcome to join the event organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and it can also be followed as live broadcast. Registrations to the event can be sent by 14 November at the latest to: http://stm.fi/tapahtumat/2016-11-20/lapsen-oikeuksien-paivan-tilaisuus

Inquiries

Marjo Malja, Ministerial Counsellor for Social Affairs, tel. +358 2951 63581
Eeva Salmenpohja, Special Adviser to Minister Rehula, tel. +358 2951 63110
Päivi Voutilainen, Director, tel. +358 2951 63403

Appendices

Shortcomings, maltreatment and violence in child welfare substitute care