Country profile: Finland
Total population: 5.5 million
Total children under the age of 18: ca. 1 million
Two problems haunt Finnish society: alcohol abuse and suicide. Alcohol-related deaths account for most deaths among Finnish men between the ages of 15 and 64. Alcohol is also involved in a quarter of accidental and violent deaths. The country has one of the EU's highest suicide rates, and the number of men committing suicide is particularly high.
The situation of children in Finland
Regarding child wellbeing, Finland is one of the highest-ranking EU countries – this is partly due to the universal public provision of pre-school daycare, school education, and health. Most families who receive support experience alcohol abuse and related issues; mental health problems, domestic violence, or inadequate parenting are often found in these households. Estimates suggest that one in ten children lives in family homes where alcohol abuse harms their development.
According to statistics in 2020, there are 19,000 children placed in alternative care. In the past decades, the number of children who need care outside their families has increased. The Finnish Child Welfare Act states that family-based care should be the main form of care for children placed outside their homes.
In Finland, many Christians are involved in child welfare services by being foster, adoptive, or support families.
Towards a national movement in Finland:
World Without Orphans Europe has connections with Finnish foster carers but there is as yet no known collaborative movement of Christians involved in the care of children in alternative care or preventative work. World Without Orphans Europe is open to connecting with organisations or individuals from Finland interested in improving the well-being of Finnish children at risk.
Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Finland