The Effective Child and Family work

Welcome to the world of The Effective Child & Family work 

The Effective Child & Family (ECF) -work focuses on developing, researching and implementing practices that support child wellbeing and prevent developmental problems. The Effective Family -work is carried out in all kinds of social and health care services, as well as in early education and schools. 

Interventions, training and consultation

The Effective Child & Family work is built up around certain preventive interventions and approaches as well as through needed strategies to diffuse and implement them in everyday praxis. 

The work has spread widely in Finland and through different kinds of training packages a nationwide network of trainers has emerged. Through the trainers and specific strategies to build the infrastructures in to organisations ECF work is locally maintained and sustained.

The aim is to support the child's everyday life

The aims of ECF is to support the child's development and prevent transgenerational problems. The focus of the work is on the child's everyday life at home at home, in early education, in school, and during leisure time. 

The promotive and preventive interventions are carried out in a variety of professional environments, such as maternity care, early childhood education and schools, and various child, youth and adult services.

When the promotive and preventive work is systematically implemented in the municipality as a whole - in both child developmental contexts (early education and school) and all kinds of services - a service structure for cross-organizational and multi-professional collaboration is developed. 

The Effective Child & Family work started 2001

The ECF interventions, training packages and consultation practices have been developed since 2001, in the beginning in the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL). In its early days the focus was on paying attention to children and their needs in adult services, mainly adult specialist care. In 2010 the focus was expanded to include more basic services for both children, adolescents and adults as well early education and school systems. 

In 2014 the work got a new home base when moving to the non-governmental organisation Finnish Association for Mental Health.

The Effective Child & Family interventions

The following interventions are part of the ECF -program and its training packages:



To support the work with families some guidebooks has been developed, guidebooks to support the parents to build resiliency in the everyday life of the child (linkki oppaisiin)

The use of the interventions

The interventions are used in municipalities, in all kinds of services and among different professionals, in family-focused work in the churches, and the private sector as well as in different NGOs providing services for child and adult e.g.

  • Social and health care for children, adolescents and adults
  • Early education and school system 
  • Probation services 
  • Vocational schools (social- and health care education)
  • Reception centres and centres for minors 
  • NGOs


The Effective Child & Family -work includes a nationwide trainers network delivering the training packages through whi h they participate in the nationwide diffusion and implementation of the interventions. The training packages structured 

  • Let’s talk about Children training program: 12 hours (teachers) or 18 hours (service professionals)
  • The LTC trainers training: 5-6 days
  • The Effective Child and Family (ECF) training program: 12 days including the LTC -intervention and the ECF -family intervention 
  • The ECF trainers training: 8 days


The ECF -team offers consultation to service providers on how to develop the organisational infrastructures of ECF-work and how to establish a child- and family-centred service model. 

Consultation is provided for how to

  • Develop a LTC service model
  • Build cross-sectoral governance systems
  • Train employees and maintain know-how
  • Build a public information policy
  • Create an evaluation and feedback system


To support  the wellbeing within families some guidebooks are available. The guide book texts are written by Tytti Solantaus and the pictures are drawn by Antonia Ringbom:

How Can I help my Children? 
A guidebook for parents with mental health problems or issues.

How Can I care for my Children? 
A guidebook for parents struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.

What's up with our Parents? 
A guidebook for adolecents whose parents have mental health problems. 


Tytti Solantaus
Research Professor Emerita
The Effective Child and Family work

+358 44 039 1946Lapinlahdenpolku 8 D, 00180 Helsinki