Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Children and Young People Mannerheim League for Child Welfare

The Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Children and Young People was established in 2000 by the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (* see footnote). Both the League and the Foundation are non-profit-making, non-governmental organizations concerned with child welfare and child protection as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of Children and in the objectives of the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

The Foundation’s work concentrates on children and young people with chronic illnesses, injuries or psychosocial and developmental disorders and on their families. We seek to ensure that they

  • understand the nature of the challenges facing them,
  • possess the tools necessary to cope in everyday matters, and
  • have access to the level of resources and services required to secure a good life.

Family empowerment is a key objective.

Our points of departure and goals

We aim at the well-being of children and families in vulnerable growth environments, taking into account any special needs of the children such as disabilities and chronic illnesses. We work in their everyday surroundings with holistic rehabilitation as the goal.

We seek to achieve this goal by

  • relying on the existing resources of families and by seeking new means together with them,
  • maintaining and strengthening the ability of families to secure the well-being of their children, even in demanding circumstances, and by
  • enhancing interaction, relational skills, parenting, and also the social skills of the children.

Our areas of competence

Working in cooperation with child welfare authorities, we focus on family intervention and rehabilitation. We seek to strengthen and support a safe environment for growth.

We concentrate on group family rehabilitation involving several families and their children, sometimes with families and children together and sometimes separately. We also work with families individually.

Our target groups include children and young people with

  • serious disorders affecting functioning and communication such as ADHD, ADD, and the autism spectrum,
  • brain injuries
  • We also take part in cooperation and training projects and project evaluation.

Achieving our objectives

To achieve the Foundation’s objectives, we arrange courses to help families cope with the illnesses or injuries of their children and provide further training for professionals and students in social welfare, health care, education and rehabilitation.

The Foundation’s programs are funded on a contract basis by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, local authorities throughout the country, non-profit-making organizations, and insurance companies. The Finnish Slot Machine Association (RAY), which distributes its gaming profits to Finnish health and welfare organizations, also provides funding to the Foundation. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) supports research and development conducted by the Foundation.

International cooperation

We work with a number of international organizations and also take part in discussion forums.

Our workers regularly attend professional conferences and present our program and the results we have achieved.

Contact Information

Alvar Aallon tie 275, 21540 Preitilä, Finland
tel. +358 2 2777 444

Administrative coordinator
Päivi Liukkonen
tel. +358 2 2777 444 or +358 40 831 7821

*The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare is a civic organization founded in 1920 at the initiative of General Carl Gustav Mannerheim (1867–1951), who commanded the government forces during the Finnish civil war in 1918, was commander and chief of Finland’s armed forces during the Second World War and served as president of Finland (1944–46), and of his sister, Baroness Sophie Mannerheim, who received her nurse’s training at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London in the nursing school founded by Florence Nightingale, served as head nurse at the Helsinki Surgical Hospital, and played an active role in the nursing profession in Finland.

Sophie Mannerheim was keenly aware of child welfare problems and brought a number of experts together in March 1918, in the middle of the civil war. The result was a concrete plan to promote child welfare. After the war, she called her brother’s attention to child welfare, in particular to the problems caused by the conflict. Both realized that something had to be done to reunite the country – for example to address the plight of war orphans – and General Mannerheim lent the family name and his prestige to the organization.

As a non-governmental organization, the League has made a wide range of initiatives over the decades. It has developed and carried out a wide range of programs for children and families, founded hospitals, maternity and well-baby clinics, organized training for child minders, home help and public health nurses, and provided numerous other services for children and young people. Many of these programs have eventually been turned over to the public sector.