Child welfare 2023

Child welfare notification filed for one out of six teenagers in 2023.

In 2023, a child welfare notification was filed on 110,269 children, which is 10.2 per cent of all children. The number of children subject to a notification increased from the previous year (+11%). The number of children subject to a child welfare notification has already been growing steadily for years while the other child welfare indicators have remained stable.

The number of children subject to a child welfare notification continued to grow the most in the age group of 13–15-year-olds – a child welfare notification was filed on as many as 15.8 per cent of children in this age group.

The child welfare notification results in an investigation of the child and his or her situation. In addition to the number of children subject to child welfare notifications, the number of notifications (214,638) also grew (+15 %) from the previous year. The client relationship with child welfare services begins only if a social worker finds that there is a special need for child welfare services.

In 2023, 38,531 children were child welfare clients in open care. The number increased from the previous year (+4%). The last time an increase in client numbers was recorded was in 2014. A legislative amendment adopted in 2015 emphasised the role of other social welfare services for families with children, which contributed to the annual decrease in client numbers between 2015 and 2022.

The number of urgent placements increased by eight per cent from the previous year. In 2023, a total of 4,873 children were subject to an emergency placement. There was a particular increase in first placements of children’s lives. Emergency placements and placements as an open care support measure are nearly equally common when a child is placed outside the home for the first time.

The number of children taken into care (11,300) remained at the same level as the previous years (-1%).  In total, there were 1,785 new cases of children taken into care, which is slightly more (+2%) than in previous years.

The number of clients in open care clients over the age of 18 (15,002) is approximately one quarter (28%) of the total number of open care clients in child welfare. However, few of those aged 18 or over were subject to placement (774 young people).

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The number of children subject to child welfare notifications is increasing, the number days in care for children has remained unchanged and the number of clients in open care has decreased.
Development of the main key figures in child welfare since 2010.


Background information

Description of statistics

The Child welfare statistics consist of child-specific and service-specific information submitted by municipalities. The statistics are published annually in June.

The Register of Child Welfare contains information collected on children and young people whose placement has been a support measure in open care, an urgent placement, a placement into care or an after-care measure. The statistics also contain the details of the child’s or the young person’s placement location and the duration of the placement. The information has been collected since 1991.

The information on open care in child welfare is received annually from municipalities as data at the level of figures (not as data on persons, such as placement details).  In addition to the number of clients, information is submitted on child welfare notifications, investigations of the need for child welfare, client plans and client relationships that have ended. The information has been collected since 2008. The statistics also contain child welfare information from the statistics on time limits and the statistics on social welfare activities.

The information is mainly received comprehensively from the entire country.


Lastensuojelu 2023
Barnskydd 2023
Child welfare 2023

Statistical report 19/2024, 2nd May 2024.
Official Statistics of Finland, Child Welfare. THL. OSF-logo

Further information

Martta Forsell
Tel. +358 29 524 7974

E-mail address: [email protected]