SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (symbolic picture)

The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe composed of 19 regions with nearly one third of the country lying within the Arctic Circle. More than 90% of Finland’s 5.5 million inhabitants are ethnically Finnish with a growing immigrant population exceeding 8%. More than 85% of the population live in urban centers with under 15% residing in rural communities. Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is also the most populous city and home to more than 650,000 people, with the surrounding urban area home to a further 1.3 million people.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Finland since the 1960s.

Children are at risk

Under-18s constitute 19% of the population. Since 1990, the number of children in out-of-home care has increased by over 180%, from 1 in 200 to 1 in 62 children. In 2021, over 17,000 children (almost 2% of all children) were placed in out-of-home care on at least one occasion. Over 12,000 children live in an alternative care setting, with almost 50% of them in residential care. Alarmingly, 1 in 10 foster homes/welfare institutions in Finland has broken the law in respect of the lack of care or mistreatment of children.
1 in 5
Young people are unemployed

Youth unemployment

While Finland has an unemployment rate around 7%, youth experience an unemployment rate around 20%, while 30% are low-income earners. In addition, almost 5% of young people aged 15-24 are not in education, employment, or training, equating to around 50,000 people. Youth unemployment is linked to long-term reductions in wages, increased chances of subsequent periods of unemployment and risk of poverty, as well as poorer physical and mental outcomes in adulthood.

Together we can make a difference for children in Finland

Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
(Picture: SOS Children’s Villages in Finland