To accomplish its vision, the Foundation is advancing a variety of initiatives and policy positions related to child and youth well-being and mental health, as well as actively supporting ongoing research and in these essential areas.
The Foundation commissions and/or participates in special research projects in line with the vision of the foundation.
In 2016, the Haukkala Foundation initiated the Central Finland Child Strategy project that highlights aspects of child welfare for the province. The focus is to create a diverse joint commitment within the province to develop a child- and family friendly environment. The Child Strategy challenges various organizations in Central Finland to consider children in their policies, and to include child and family friendly actions in their strategies and activities. The work is part of the Finnish government’s reform for the improvement of child and family services, and has been carried out in international collaboration. The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group has also adopted the developed approach that encompasses the whole child and his or her living environment, see http://www.allianceforchildhood.eu/our_approach
The Foundation supports and encourages a variety of publications and social media aimed at the vision for children and youth. Examples of publications include commissioned reports, research papers arising from international collaboration with researchers and board members, and blog posts by board members in the area of their expertise. An updated list of publications.
Advocacy and initiative advancement
The Foundation sees itself as a significant resource for initiating and advancing discussion and activities beyond the Foundation’s work in Central Finland province, in Finland nationally, and internationally. This goal builds on the expertise of the Foundation’s board members, as well as their collaboration with other experts, and on the outcomes of the Foundation’s sponsored projects. In this role, members of the Board engage in ongoing collaboration and discussions with municipal and national government leaders. Moreover, the Foundation advocates for children’s welfare through topic-sensitive policy statements on current social, political, and educational issues.
National and international networks
The Foundation recognizes that any important aspects of child welfare and well-being are similar to those experienced in Finland and throughout the world. Hence national and international networking, and a unified understanding of the child, is of outmost importance. The goal is to establish a common language and vision about a child well-being among diverse stakeholders.
The board members are seeking out and establishing collaborative relationships with experts and organizations sharing the same goals whether in Finland or abroad. The Foundation is already partnering with the Alliance for Childhood European Network Foundation. (www.allianceforchildhood.eu)
Seminars, forums and training
The benefits of the above five activities coalesce in the Foundation’s commitment to ongoing seminars, forums, and training on topics related to child welfare. These events are aimed at professionals, academics, and governmental decision makers. One of the direct outcomes of these activities is the Foundation’s increasing visibility and advocacy for international networking and activities aimed for the benefit of children.
Annual Haukkala seminars draw together noteworthy international and Finnish speakers and local practitioners and academics for an opportunity to learn about, engage in discussion, and network regarding current trends and topics, associated with child welfare. The topics have included:
2015: The child’s right to be heard
Keynote speaker: Maria Herczog, Professor, Family, Child, Youth Association, Hungary, and former member of the UN Committee for the Rights of a Child
2016: Early childhood education and care at a turning point?
Keynote speaker: Mathias Urban, Professor and Director of Early Education Research Centre, University of Roehampton, UK
2017: For the Best of a Child
Guest speakers from the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group and its member organizations
Haukkala Forums are invitational-based annual workshops of experts on child welfare and well-being focusing on a specific theme. Previous topics include:
Forum I (2013): Parents and professionals working together for the well-being of children
Forum II (2014): Social and cultural services for children and families in Jyväskylä
Forum IV (2016): How to develop a child and family-centered service culture in Central Finland?
Training and dissemination of knowledge. The Haukkala Foundation board members regularly serve as invited speakers on topics of their expertise in various events organized by child welfare stakeholders.
Grants and awards
The Foundation awards grants for research groups and researchers to support the development of a knowledge base and training. Beginning in 2002, the biennial Lea Pulkkinen award has been granted to the most outstanding doctoral dissertation focusing on quality of life and well-being services for children and youth in Finland.
Lea Pulkkinen, the Chair of the Haukkala Foundation is a member of the Council
for the Alliance.