Co-research and co-creation of child welfare social work and adolescent psychiatry in Western and Eastern Finland, research project LANUPS

The aim of the research project is to identify realized services and the service needs of those adolescents, who have been clients of both, outpatient and foster care in child welfare and adolescent psychiatric outpatient or inpatient care. We study why some adolescents do not get the kind of support and care that would benefit them in the long term, despite having repeatedly been a client in those services. The research helps to strengthen and improve the shared basis of knowledge and practices in child welfare and adolescent psychiatry.

The research task is to examine firstly, the underlying factors of these integrated service needs, secondly, adolescents’ service paths and transitions from one service to another, and thirdly, social workers’, adolescent psychiatric workers’ and adolescents’ experiences and viewpoints of the services and their development needs.

Research data consists of registers, client documents, previous studies and interviews with experts, experts by experience and young adults. By combining quantitative data from the registers and qualitative data from the documents and interviews, the research deepens understanding about these complex phenomena, intertwined problems and the problematics of the service system. To analyse the data, we use diverse methods, such as AI-based text mining.

The research is conducted in both Turku and Kuopio University Hospital specific catchment areas (erva-areas), in cooperation with the fields of social work and adolescent psychiatry in the universities of Turku and Eastern Finland and together with Turku University of Applied Sciences and regional development operators.

Development recommendations based on the results will be presented and refined into education materials and the basis for improving the services. The results will be utilized in the health and social services reform.

Sote-akatemia is responsible for communicating and disseminating the results of LANUPS.

The research project is funded by the ministry of social and health affairs. The ministry granted LANUPS a state fund for university level research for 2021–2022.

Research team

University of Turku

Merja Anis, professor, social work, responsible manager of the project

Anniina Kaittila, PhD, senior lecturer, social work, senior researcher, Turku University Hospital

Max Karukivi, adjunct professor and clinical lecturer, adolescent psychiatry, chief physician, Hospital District of Southwest Finland

Kirsi-Marja Niinimaa, M.Soc.Sc., project researcher, social work

Miia Tuominen, PhD, head of research, Sote-akatemia

Suvi Puttonen, M.Soc.Sc., project worker, Sote-akatemia


University of Eastern Finland

Riitta Vornanen, professor, social work

Tommi Tolmunen, professor, adolescent psychiatry, chief physician, Kuopio University Hospital

Siiri-Liisi Kraav, MSc., doctoral researcher

Leena Leinonen, PhD, postdoctoral researcher

Turku University of Applied Sciences, Child and family research group

Eeva Timonen-Kallio, PhD, Lic.Soc.Sc., principal lecturer and research group leader, social work

Outi Linnossuo, PhD, principal lecturer

Contact information:

Merja Anis, professor, social work, responsible manager of the project, University of Turku
+358 50 570 8673