Page updated 11.1.2018

Developing child welfare training

The kick-off meeting of the project “Empowering Social Pedagogic Child Welfare training in Finland and Japan” took place at Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) in November 2017.

Among others, Professor Juha Hämäläinen from the University of Eastern Finland, Professor Takeo Matsuda from Nakamura Gakuen University and Principal Lecturer Eeva Timonen-Kallio from Turku University of Applied Sciences participated in the research planning.

The Empowering Social Pedagogic Child Welfare training in Finland and Japan (SOCPEDA) project studies the differences and similarities in the contents of the child welfare training in Finland and Japan. The project focuses on student and teacher exchange that aims to prepare the future training collaboration particularly in the development of the reaching and practices of social pedagogical child welfare work.

Vesa Taatila, Rector and President at TUAS, is concerned about the population ageing in both countries. According to Taatila, the SOCPEDA project is extremely topical and may help both countries intervene in defects relating to the welfare of children with new measures.

Need for development of child welfare work

Japan and Finland share an interest in the development of child welfare work. The new concept by the government of Japan, “Society 5.0”, describes the future society as a functional society that can offer correctly timed human growth and well-being services with the correct contents to its citizens.

There is an exciting vision of a plan of action for the society that works as an integrating platform for digital and artificial intelligence services by different service providers, also in the field of social and health care.

In Finland, the service integration of different systems in child and family services is implemented through the Finnish government’s key project.

Child welfare work study module as objective

Nakamura Gakuen University, the University of Eastern Finland and TUAS are keen on developing the training of child welfare work. The Japanese society with its state-of-the-art technical expertise and the Finnish welfare state offer an interesting setting for the project.

Professor Takeo Matsuda and doctoral candidate Akiko Kosaka from Nakamura Gakuen University, Professor Juha Hämäläinen from the University of Eastern Finland, and Principal Lecturer EevaTimonen-Kallio, Senior Lecturer Outi Linnossuo, Assistant Ayu Pratiwi, International Relations Officer Hanna Peussa and RDI Coordinator Laura Harikkala from TUAS started the project planning.

"In this project, our objective is to compare and map the differences, child welfare innovations, defects in child welfare work and prerequisites for good practices in both countries. On the basis of our findings, we will develop a higher education study module for child welfare work that promotes multidisciplinary teaching and strengthens the social pedagogical orientation in the child welfare training", explains Eeva Timonen-Kallio, who coordinates the SOCPEDA project.

Child and family services as well as the user-centricity and innovativeness of digital service platforms are evaluated in cooperation with local working life partners.

During the kick-off meeting, the project group considered the set expectations and the practical actions. In addition to the study module, the project involves student and teacher exchange between the two countries. Two Finnish groups leave for Japan, and two Japanese groups will arrive in Finland.

"We also discuss how our operations and results are communicated between the countries. During the project, we already plan our future research project", Timonen-Kallio concludes.