RUNNING AWAY FROM CHILDREN’S RESIDENTIAL CARE: THE FINNISH CASE
AbstractThis article discusses the phenomenon of running away from children’s residential care in the Finnish context. In the Finnish welfare system, residential care is understood as a last-resort form of alternative care. Its aim is to secure children’s well-being, development, and safety. Our article is based on the findings of a small-scale study launched and administrated by the Central Union for Child Welfare. These findings illustrate the multidimensional nature of the topic. First, the reasons for and the consequences of running away are diverse. Second, we need implementation of more inclusive and consistent practices as well as more explicit cooperation between authorities. Finally, the importance of children’s peer relations should be taken more seriously within residential care services. In this article, these findings are discussed bearing in mind the following critical question: What is the point of child welfare if it fails to serve children and safeguard their well-being and health during the out-of-home placement?
Copyright (c) 2015 Susanna Hoikkala, and Martti Kemppainen
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