Support persons and support families

What do support-person and support-family activities entail?

These support activities constitute guided volunteer activities. Children's/teens’ development is supported with the skills of an ordinary person. The support person meets the child 2-4 times per month. In case of a support family, the child spends one weekend per month with the support family. A support-person and support-family coordinator counsels the support persons and families.

Who could benefit from a support person or support family?

A child or teen whose parents find parenting challenging may get a support person. Support persons also help children who have difficulties at school, at home, with friends, or in finding hobbies.

What should a support person or support family be like?

The important characteristics are: ordinariness, adulthood, and common sense. The support person’s own issues must be in order for him or her to be able to provide the child with a safe relationship. The support person counsels in everyday issues and gives time, his or her presence and positive feedback.

How to become a support person or support family?

Contact a support-person and support-family coordinator. If you are accepted in interviews, you will be given a basic course in the subject. The support-person/support-family agreement is usually drawn for 6-12 months at a time. The support persons and support families are bound by professional secrecy.

Will a support person or support family get training and peer support?

Basic courses are held in October and April. The course informs about preventive child protection, children’s development, special difficulties, and difficulties related to parenting. In addition, the course addresses the importance of interaction, the role of the support person or family, as well as challenges to support activities. Support persons and families will also be provided with peer meetings, further education, visits and refreshment.