Difficulties with a child or a young person
There are many types of help available if you have problems in the daily life of the family. Don’t delay seeking help.
Don’t stay on your own with your problems. The child welfare clinic will help you with matters concerning a child that is under school age. In matters concerning a school-age child, contact school health care.
Talk to the teacher, the school psychologist or the school social worker and the parents of the child’s classmates. Cooperation between adults often helps to get a critical situation under control.
You can contact the family workers in your municipality. You can also get counselling from family guidance clinics, from church family workers and from the services offered by different organisations, such as peer groups, emergency telephone numbers and chats.
Although the situation in the family feels hard, try to control what you say and do. Don’t be unreasonable, don’t threaten the child with abandoning him or her and don’t revert to violence.
If a child of day-care age or a small child of school age threatens to harm himself or herself or does that, do something about it straight away. Don’t pressure the child or focus on just telling the child not to do it. The child needs help immediately. Depending on the situation, contact the child welfare clinic, day-care centre, school psychologist or the emergency social services in your municipality.
If a young person harms himself of herself or threatens to commit a suicide, remain calm but act immediately or as soon as possible. The young person needs help immediately. Depending on the situation, contact the health centre or the emergency social services in your municipality. It is also a good idea to tell the staff at the education institution about what the young person has been saying.
Crisis centres or the municipal family counselling centre also provide help.
In an emergency, call 112.
Help is needed immediately if the child or the young person himself or herself has a substance abuse problem or there is a substance abuse problem or threat of violence in the family.
In an acute situation, contact the municipality's emergency social services immediately to get more detailed instructions. In the case of domestic violence, you can also contact the nearest shelter (turvakoti in Finnish). There are shelters all across Finland.
In an emergency, call 112.
It is important to find help. You can talk about the situation when you visit the child welfare clinic or school health care. The family counselling centre will also help.
If you or a member of your family has a substance abuse problem, the health centre will provide information on how rehabilitation is arranged in your home municipality. Private rehabilitation services are also available.
Ring the emergency response centre 112 and report the running away or disappearance or that you suspect it. The emergency response centre will ask you to give a precise description of your child’s appearance and other distinctive features and details of where and with whom your child has last been seen.
Contact your child’s classmates, friends and teachers and the parents of your child’s friends. Ask what they know about what your child has been doing or what they have heard your child say recently.
Find out what information can be found in the social media services used by your child. If you use social media yourself, tell people your child is missing if you feel it is appropriate. Don’t blame or threaten when you communicate about it.
If you worry that your child tries to leave the country or that someone tries to take the child out of the country, report your suspicions immediately to the emergency number 112. The police will contact the authorities at airports, ports and border stations.