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Child welfare officials under investigation in death of 8-year old girl

The murder trial of the father and stepmother of an eight-year old girl began last Thursday. Police are now investigating the actions of child welfare officials in the case.

Pikkulapsi seisoo kodin nurkassa itkemässä.
Image: Yle

Helsinki police announced Monday that they had launched a criminal investigation into the actions of child welfare officials in the case of an eight-year-old Helsinki girl who was killed on Mother’s Day.

The girl’s father and stepmother are on trial for her murder.

The child had previously been taken into care, but was returned to her father’s custody after a few months.

Last Thursday Helsinki district prosecutor Eija Velitski said she was considering opening an investigation into the actions of child welfare officials.

She said she intended to look into alleged reports made to child welfare officials about the treatment of the girl, and how officials followed up on the reports.

Ombudsman calls for independent inquiry

Children’s Ombudsman Maria Kaisa Aula meanwhile has called for a wide and impartial investigation into the child’s death. In addition to the criminal investigation and the trial, she called for a broad-based review of official operations and the functional cooperation.

“In my view an impartial inquiry group, such as for major accident, that would evaluate the actions of the officials,” Aula said.

According to the Ombudsman a thorough investigation could be instructive and help reform the actions of child and family services as well as professional training to ensure that similar cases do not occur.

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