The purpose of the Finland`s National Action Plan for Safety Promotion among Children and Youth, launched in 2009, is to promote safety and to reduce the incidence of injuries, self-harming and corporal punishment systematically in the long terms. The work is geared towards improved national coordination in multi-discipline cooperation.
In Finland an average of 112 children and adolescents die as a result of an unintentional injury each year (5,5 million inhabitants). The majority of these accident fatalities (82%) involve people aged 15 to 24. Per year, an average of 13 800 persons under 25 years requires inpatient care because of accidental injuries. Each year, an average of 89 persons aged under 25 commit suicide, and about 700 persons in the same age group require inpatient care because of self-harming. Despite the legislation regulations in Finland since 1983 many children are suffering corporal punishment (incl. mental maltreatment): according to study results about third of the parents is using some kind of disciplinary violence against their children.
An evaluation of National Action Plan in 2010−2016 is shown that from the total number of 210 measures in program, 32 of them had been completed and 71 had progressed well. In 65 measures, action was still in its early stages and 20 measures had remained unimplemented. The new implementation paper for the National Action Plan in 2018−2025 is published in March 2018.
Systematic safety promotion of children and youth and action coordination will create a framework for effective work. It is particularly important to identify and provide early support and referral to treatment for those parents and families in whose backgrounds there are risk factors for injuries and suicidal tendencies as well as child maltreatment, such as mental health problems or substance abuse.