Increased number of notifications


In 2016, the Child Welfare Services received 58 300 notifications relating to 52 100 children. This is 7 per cent more than in 2015. At the same time, fewer notifications were dismissed without starting an investigation.

A total of 54 620 children received measures from the Child Welfare Services during 2016, about 2 per cent up from the year before. However, the increase in measures is small compared to the increase in notifications and investigations during 2016.

From notification through investigation to measures

A case often starts with a notification to Child Welfare Services, which as soon as possible and within a week must decide whether to initiate an investigation or close the notification. An investigation starts as soon as possible and a decision must be made within three months on whether measures should be started or the case should be closed.

Less dismissed notifications

Only 18 per cent of the notifications were dismissed during 2016, compared to 20 in 2015. Previously, the corresponding percentage was 21.

Figure 1. Notifications to the Child Welfare Services, by conclusion

2013 2014 2015 2016
Total number of notifications 54396 52996 54396 58254
The case was dropped 10710 11029 10710 10340
For investigation 41561 41967 43686 47914

10 per cent more investigations initiated

Compared to 2015, 10 per cent more investigations were initiated in 2016 due to the rise in the number of notifications and the drop in dismissed notifications. In 2016, the Child Welfare Services initiated 47 900 investigations on 44 900 children.

Figure 2. Investigations started and children under investigation started by the Child Welfare Services

2013 2014 2015 2016
Investigations started during the year 41493 41922 43681 47865
Children with investigation started during the year 38854 39406 40946 44943

Rise in investigations closed

The Child Welfare Services closed 46 600 investigations in 2016; an increase of 6 per cent compared to 2015. In 2016, almost 41 per cent of the closed investigations had a decision on starting measures. In 1 per cent of the investigations, an application was submitted for measures to the county welfare board.

The rest of the investigations were dismissed for various reasons; 46 per cent after assessment by the Child Welfare Services, 8 per cent at the party’s request and 4 per cent due to relocation.

Increase in the number of children receiving measures by the end of 2016

A total of 39 260 children received measures from the Child Welfare Services by the end of 2016; an increase of 7 per cent. In 2016, 77 per cent of the children received assistance measures and 23 per cent received care measures; a decrease from 24 per cent in 2015. This decrease is partly due to a change in the prioritisation of care measures over assistance measures (see the footnote in StatBank for tables on children receiving measures).