Multidisciplinary cooperation and information flow

Preventing violence requires the extensive exchange of information between different parties and a network of many actors. Violence against children can only end if different authorities and other actors work together to achieve this goal.

In the social and health care sector in particular, confidentiality and a duty of non-disclosure are emphasised on the basis of statutory obligations. However, this must not prevent the best possible handling of children’s and young people’s matters.

Multidisciplinary cooperation and the flow of information are also key issues that must be taken into account in the health and social services reform. An effort must be made to ensure that the reform shapes structures in a manner that supports cooperation.

Professionals can support protective factors and identify risk factors, for example:

  • In guidance provided to parents by child health clinics
  • By means of safety skills and sexual education in early childhood education and care and in schools.

In addition, the identification, support and treatment of both victims and perpetrators must be taken into account in the work of different professionals and in the provision of assistance to victims. The levels of prevention are primary, secondary and tertiary. They all require cooperation between different actors in

  • prevention
  • early detection
  • access to support and help
  • prevention of the recurrence of violence.

Various actors, such as social welfare and health care, professionals who help with separations, the police and the courts, need updated information on the consequences of violence and, in particular, on the forms and adverse effects of emotional violence.

There must also be clear policies in place. It would be easier for professionals from different fields to bring up violence if

  • practices were clearer
  • they had a better understanding of where to refer children at risk of violence or who have experienced violence and their families.

Examples of measures put together in the theme (10 measures)

  • A nationally comprehensive model for multidisciplinary cooperation will be created according to the European Barnahus quality standard and the LASTA/seula model. The cooperation would ensure equal opportunities for child-oriented investigation, information sharing and support regardless of the place of residence for all children and young people suspected of being the victims of assault or sexual violence.

Additional information

Mäkelä J, Bildjuschkin K, Kettunen H. & Laajasalo T. 2019. Multidisciplinary cooperation and exchange of information. Chapter 6. In: Korpilahti et al. 2019, 124–140.