In Finland there are over 17 000 children, who are not allowed to live in their homes with their own families. Many reasons and methods, when children are taken to protective care and away from their families, have become a serious problem in Finland as in other Nordic countries. Parents in Finland are very often deemed to be unsuitable for their children (single parents, poor parents, immigrants etc.) and children with some challenges, diagnosis, or disabilities, or who have learning difficulties, are often targeted by the social workers.

The law gives the social authorities the power to forcibly remove children from their parents, and to make this possible, the law grants the social workers more authority in Finland than it grants to a police officer. The social workers are able to place the children in foster homes and institutions, and often the children are subjected to serious neglect. An increasing problem is, that the foster families often alienate the children from their biological families.

The Child Welfare Act, for instance, obligates the police to report to the social authorities, if they find out, that the parents are quarreling in their home and they have children. The mothers are afraid to go to the medical center, because the doctor may report to the social workers if the mother is tired or depressed. The teachers are obliged to report their ”worries” concerning the pupils. The Finnish welfare system has become a system of increasing and tightening control of the citizens personal lives.

The law was targeted to protect children, who’s health or development is seriously endangered, but very often it is used arbitrarily.The Administrative Courts seldom make decisions contrary to the decisions of the social workers to take the children into care and place them in foster homes. Emergency Care Order concerns every day several children. There are in Finland app. 4.000 such cases per year.

In addition to this, 4 200 children are subjected to Supporting Measures in Open Care. Nobody knows, what Supporting Measures really means, because families can be forced to spend months in institutions during an evaluation of their parenthood. During this time, the families live under constant surveillance of a kind, which justifies the term “Social imprisonment”. This activity goes on without outer control, and nobody knows, how many millions the municipalities in Finland do pay for it, and who benefits. A company, which provides the parenthood-evaluation using it’s own facilities, delivers to the client, the municipality Social Service, a report concerning the parenthood quality, and the social services can later use this evaluation as an support for it’s decision to place the child/children in Protective Care.

The high number of children being removed from their parents has opened up a market for Child Care Business. Large sums of money are being paid to the foster families and private foster institutions, while the children and their parents are invariably traumatized.

In Finland, more children/100.000 inhabitants are taken to Protective Care than in other Nordic Countries. The numbers of children with Special Needs are also very high compared to the rest of EU. This evokes questions, why the healthiest newborn babies in the world are diagnosed to be the difficult schoolchildren of the world.

What lies behind this strong segregation of children on national level, and the practice of labeling the children and to isolate them from their own communities in both school and in Child Protection?

The Finnish non-fiction authors Maria Syvälä, Leeni Ikonen and Marleena Kajaste are deeply worried about the Child Care organization, methods and practices, which they call the Child Abuse and Family Destruction Industry.Their books will be in the center of discussions at an open meeting at Tampere main library Metso, 13.12. 2013 18.00–20.00.


The meeting, Suuri Lasu-ilta (The Great Child Protection Evening) has as sub-title

"Miksi lastensuojelusta tuli kyttäämistä ja miljardibisnestä? – Tietokirjailijat Leeni Ikonen, Marleena Kajaste ja Maria Syvälä (RADIUM-Kirjat) panisivat lasten palvelujärjestelmät täysremonttiin."

(How is it that Child Protection has transformed itself to control and a business of billions of Euros? – non-fiction authors Leeni Ikonen, Marleena Kajaste and Maria Syvälä (RADIUM-Kirjat) would like to see a total renewal of the Childen Protection Services.")


More information:


Maria Syvälä:

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Leeni Ikonen:

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Maria Syvälä: Hukassa huostassa - kertomuksia lastensuojelun runtelemista perheistä
(RADIUM-Kirjat 2013)

(Lost in Custody - stories about families, crushed by the Child Protection service
(RADIUM-Kirjat 2013)

Leeni Ikonen: Salassa pidettävä - suojeleeko laki lasta vai lastensuojelijaa?
(RADIUM-Kirjat 2013)

(Must be kept secret - Does the law protect the children or the Child Protection officials?
(RADIUM-Kirjat 2013)

Marleena Kajaste: Revitty elämä - erityislapsen matka aikuisuuteen
(RADIUM-kirjat 2012)

(Life ripped apart - the road of a child with special needs from childhood to adulthood) (RADIUM-Kirjat 2012)

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