University of Oulu

Niemelä M, Kallunki H, Jokinen J, Räsänen S, Ala-Aho B, Hakko H, Ristikari T and Solantaus T (2019) Collective Impact on Prevention: Let’s Talk About Children Service Model and Decrease in Referrals to Child Protection Services. Front. Psychiatry 10:64. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00064

Collective impact on prevention : let’s talk about children service model and decrease in referrals to child protection services

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Author: Niemelä, Mika1,2,3; Kallunki, Hannu4; Jokinen, Jaana5;
Organizations: 1Center for Life Course Health, Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Clinical Neurosciences, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Joint Municipal Authority of Wellbeing in Raahe District, Raahe, Finland
5Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
6Adolescents and Families Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare Children, Oulu, Finland
7Finnish Association for Mental Health, Helsinki, Finland
8Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-30


Background: Families with parental mental health issues often have numerous problems needing multilevel measures to address them. The “Let’s Talk about Children Service Model (LT-SM)” is a community-based service approach aiming at collectively impacting population needs regarding child protection services. Three municipalities in the Raahe District (RD) of Finland requested implementation of the LT Service Model. This paper describes the model and first results.

Methods: The LT Service Model connects relevant stakeholders with families and their social networks aiming at the shared goal of supporting children’s everyday life at home, kindergarten, school, and leisure environments. Parents, teachers, and other caretakers are supported by LT interventions. An infrastructure for collaboration, decision making, monitoring, training, and feedback is established, embracing health, social and educational services, and other stakeholders. Referrals to child protection services were compared with national data before (2009–2013) and after implementation of the LT Service Model (2013—2016). Analyses were conducted using the joinpoint regression method.

Results: There was a significant decrease in the underage population referred to child protection services in RD (AAPC = −6.9; p = 0.013) between 2013 and 2016, in contrast with an increased rate nationwide (AAPC = 1.9; p = 0.020).

Conclusion: In the LT Service Model, prevention starts in children’s everyday life as the uniting, common goal for multiple stakeholders and an integrated service structure is developed to support this effort. The first results are promising, showing an appreciable decrease in referrals to child protection services, although further research with longer follow-up and across other municipalities is needed.

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Series: Frontiers in psychiatry
ISSN: 1664-0640
ISSN-E: 1664-0640
ISSN-L: 1664-0640
Volume: 10
Article number: 64
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00064
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
316 Nursing
Funding: TS has received Eminentia Scholarship 2014 from The Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2019 Niemelä, Kallunki, Jokinen, Räsänen, Ala-Aho, Hakko, Ristikari and Solantaus. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.