Over 10,000 children in Finland are cared for by the state. Most of these kids live in foster families, but there still aren't enough foster parents to meet demand.
A move by many municipalities to close group homes is creating a greater need for families willing to take in children. Under pressure, many cities are now turning to private businesses to recruit foster families. Outsourcing the job is, however, more expensive than if city officials did the legwork themselves.
Pirkko Teir has trained many new foster families in Turku. She says it’s a long process that municipalities feel they can’t afford, but according to Teir officials shouldn't be allowed to flee their duties.
The city of Turku studied the foster care problem and came to the conclusion that more resources should be directed into foster care, social work, daycare workers and teachers.
“It’s a lifelong issue. Once a foster child, you remain one for life. You’ve been orphaned and that affects you for the rest of your days,” says Teir.