Support for families

You can contact us anytime – no question is too big or too small. At your request, we will come to various meetings with you to support your family. Through our support, we want to make your family’s everyday life easier. We are here for the families. We are not a public authority.

Early support

When a child with a serious illness, intellectual disability or other special care needs is born or is about to be born into a family, we are there to offer the family support in this new situation. The aim of an early support group session (ETRI in Finnish) is to support the family when the special care need of the child is identified – during pregnancy, after birth or later on. The session is organized at the request of the family.

Early support group sessions are organized at the Women’s Hospital and at the Jorvi Hospital for the family when the special care need of the child is identified. The initiative for the session is often taken by the midwife who was present at the birth of the child or by another person involved in the birth or in the care of the family who is part of the early support group. These two hospitals have people trained in matters related to early support. The training is organized in cooperation with HUS, Käpy ry and Kehitysvammatuki 57 ry. The sessions are free of charge for the family.

Peer support

Peer support and recreational events for parents and the whole family. Being special is a lifelong journey, and it touches everyone close to the person.

We organize various peer support and recreational events for parents and the whole family. At these events, families can meet and share experiences with other families in similar situations in life. Family support events are intended for different kinds of families, and many of our events are also open to parents with adult children. We organize activities also for grandparents and siblings and hold regular information evenings on various topics. When organizing family activities, we try to take childcare into account whenever possible.

We also organize weekend courses to support family caregivers. The courses have separate programs for parents and children. Childcare is provided during the parents’ part of the program.

Some of the events are intended only for Helsinki residents, but there also events for everyone living in the Helsinki Capital Region. The target group will be indicated in the information for the event.

Some events are free of charge, while others have a participation fee. The possible participation fee will be indicated in the information for the event.

Although our peer support and events are executed in Finnish, you’re always welcomed to join no matter what your language is.

Finnish is not always necessible for participation hence many have activities with the children or are functional otherwise.

Unfortunately we don’t have an interpreter in our events unless informed otherwise.

Read more: event calendar (Link directs to The content is in Finnish.)

A carer at home

Parents, do you need a little breather, or perhaps some personal time for your hobby?

Kotiparkki (“Home Park”) is a service intended for children under the age of 20 with an intellectual disability or other similar extensive support needs. There is no age limit for people with severe disabilities living at home. The Kotiparkki service is available in Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, Tuusula and Kerava.

The Kotiparkki service provides you with a temporary carer who will come to your home to look after and support your child. The carer always takes the family’s wishes into account. The temporary carer will also look after any other siblings when they are present together with the child with special needs. For families new to the Kotiparkki service, we recommend having an orientation visit first (1–2 hours) where the family and the carer get to know each other.

Please note that some of our workers know different languages besides Finnish and some know only Finnish.

Activities for children

We also organize special theme days for children on Fridays and Saturdays. These group events are intended for children under 18 with an intellectual disability or similar extensive support needs. You need to register for these events in advance. The support needs of each participant are taken into account. You will be notified when the participants for the event have been selected. (The participation fee for children’s events is €10 or €20.)

Katja Riikonen.

Contact us

Katja Riikonen

Director of Family Support