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Home NATIONALViolence in child care becomes growing concern
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Mon, 27 Jul, 2015 12:02:21 AM
FTimes – STT Report, July 27
 
File picture of child bullying at school. Photo Lehtikuva.
Growing threat of violence is becoming a hot topic among child welfare workers. 
 
“This threat is being increasingly discussed among employees. The number of problems faced by children and youth has increased,” said SOS Children’s Villages Child Protection Manager Anna-Liisa Koisti-Auer. She said it might become necessary in child welfare protection to take care of the youth for whom the child protection department is not the right place.
 
Based on Koisti-Auer’s assessment, the youth need more psychiatric assistance.
 
But, according to the evaluation of Jaana Metsänen, the chair of Ammatillisten perhekotien liito, an association of professional children’s homes, the threat of violence has not increased.
 
However, Metsänen said violence could be prevented by evaluating more carefully the locations of children’s homes. 
 
Photo Lehtikuva.
“I am of the opinion that family care is always the best. There are, however, children and youth who are faced with difficult life situations. During the initial assessment, an examination should be done on where to find the best placement for a child,” Metsänen said.
 
According to Koisti-Auer, foster care development should not be left to non-institutional social care. This may result in a situation where it gives the problems to accumulate severely at the time of the child’s admission. 
 
“Non-institutional social care is aimed at supporting the family for a long time, but it may give rise to damaging things happening to a child before being taken in. Not all families could be helped by non-institutional social care,” Koisti-Auer explained.
 
A male counsellor who was part of the staff at Metsola children’s care home was found killed in the early hours of Saturday in Muhos, North Ostrobothnia.
 
According to the police, it seems the residents at the care home are the suspects. The residents at the shelter home are minors.
 
A similar incident happened in the past in Pulkkila, Northern Ostrobothnia back in 2002 when inmates at a children’s care home killed a male employee.
 
A male counsellor who was part of the staff at Metsola children’s care home was found killed in the early hours of Saturday in Muhos, North Ostrobothnia. Photo – Lehtikuva.
The Metsola children’s care home is part of Pohjolakoti in one unit of which, according to the national broadcaster Yle, less severe violence had taken place in the past.
 
Kati Lehtola, the director of Pohjolakoti confirmed the matter. 
 
“The threat of violence is always there, but it has substantially increased. There has been less severe violence every now and then,” Lehtola said.
 
According to Lehtola, the employees are trained on a regular basis on violent situations and there are enough workers.
 
Child protection work is mentally demanding, thus change in employees is high, according to Koisti-Auer. 
 
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