Early interventionist parenting support: the case study of Finland

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Ella Sihvonen University of Helsinki, Finland

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This article demonstrates that parenting support represents a key feature of family policy in Finland with certain characteristics. The analysis focuses on 310 documented family projects representing the practical implementation of political programmes initiated in Finland between 2000 and 2010. This analysis revealed one significant parenting support approach in the form of early intervention. Early interventionist parenting support exclusively focuses on the parent–child relationship, which is strengthened by activating parents’ quiescent resources and inherent expertise. A central argument of this article is that the recent focus on parenting stems from changes in family support policies that encourage individualised interpretations of family problems. Moreover, this article highlights the specifics of the Finnish case, which emphasises parents’ own expertise, interpreted through the context of the post-welfare state.

Ella Sihvonen University of Helsinki, Finland

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Families, Relationships and Societies
An international journal of research and debate