Support services in early childhood and basic education
Early childhood and basic education support service staff are there to help if a child finds it difficult to attend school or they are struggling with learning, for example. Staff will also liaise with the child’s family, teachers and other staff at the child’s school and they are a great source of help and guidance on parenting skills.
Depending on their individual needs, children can be supported by a student welfare advisor, doctor or nurse. Their services are always offered free of charge and they are completely confidential. For doctor’s appointments, the standard health centre fee (yleinen terveyskeskusmaksu) is payable by students over the age of 18 attending upper secondary school. Support service staff will work as a multi-disciplinary team when required and will also liaise with other providers offering services to children and young people.
Student welfare advisors are there to help children who are having a difficult time with family or friends, experiencing loneliness or struggling at school, have poor attendance or are going through life events or changes that are negatively impacting on their sense of wellbeing.
School psychologists are on hand to support children in response to concerns about their mental health, behaviour or development. They will carry out an assessment to identify any additional support needs a pupil may have and ensure that any necessary adjustments and services are put in place, always in consultation with the pupil themselves and their family and teachers.
In addition to student welfare advisors and psychologists, the team also includes two psychiatric nurses who support young people aged 11–18 with drug, alcohol and mental health issues.