National Strategy for Children 2040
Preparation of a national strategy for children was launched in Finland in spring 2018. The goal is to generate and conduct broad-based discussion on child and family policy and to make the Finnish society more child and family-friendly. The preparation of the strategy is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We are building a more child-friendly world together!
The cross-sectoral preparation work is strongly based on research data. The objective is to strengthen the knowledge-based operating culture in the decision-making processes and service provision. In the course of the preparation work, special attention will be paid to the following issues:
- securing children’s growth, learning, wellbeing and participation in the various functions and sectors of society,
- support for families and parenthood, and
- adoption of a more family-friendly approach in working life.
The preparation of the strategy for children aims to support political actors and parties getting ready for the parliamentary elections of 2019 in forming a vision of future child policy. Another purpose is to encourage public debate on the policies that could be adopted to improve the status of children and families in the Finnish society.
The preparation process and the measures being planned focus on children and young people aged from 0 to 18.
Why do we need a strategy for children?
We already have many well-functioning practices in use within Finnish child and family services. In addition, there are many ambitious development projects underway, such as the Programme to address child and family services LAPE (2016-2018), which aims to reform services to make them better meet the needs of children, young people and families.
Child and family policy in Finland is, however, rather fragmented and short-sighted. We need a long-term strategy for children that extends beyond the present government term and is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Who is preparing the strategy?
Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Annika Saarikko are responsible for the preparation of the strategy for children. A steering group and a broad-based child forum steer the preparation. A group consisting of researchers and experts in the field works under the steering group, with responsibility for gathering relevant research data to build a knowledge base.
The child forum provides an arena for conducting cross-sectoral discussions between different experts, trade organisations, professionals in the field, and representatives of other groups in society.
The purpose of the forum is to identify and discuss the key themes that form the foundation for the upcoming strategy work.
Children will also be consulted during the preparation process in cooperation with early childhood education and care providers and schools. The international perspective on child and family policy will also be taken into consideration in the preparation of the strategy for children.
The steering group's mandate will end on 28 February 2019.