Laurea Perhepaalu model won the Idea category in the local services competition

Annika Kultavirta and Anu Nordlund-Knuutila, Senior Lecturers of Social Services at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, have won the Idea category of the local service model competition organised by Kuntaliitto, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, with their Perhepaalu home-help and family services model. The winners of the competition were announced on Thursday 22 October in the Lähipalvelufoorumi local services forum in Helsinki.

In the Perhepaalu model, a guided community process is joined to home-help services and work with families in order to strengthen the families' networks. An education institution, a municipality and the third sector collaborate to provide this service and the distribution of responsibilities is agreed on separately. The structure of the service is new and particularly emphasises sense of community.

- Winning the innovation competition encourages us to start building and developing Perhepaalu further in cooperation with different actors and municipalities, says Senior Lecturer Anu Nordlund-Knuutila from Laurea.
- Our dream is to develop Perhepaalu into a structured, but still lightly built network of actors and a systematic process that supports the welfare of families.

The jury that selected the winners of the competition praised the Perhepaalu model particularly for its need-oriented and practical approach. The prize amount in the Idea category was €3,000.

- In our work, we have been discussing ways to increase the level of genuine sense of community in people's everyday life for a long time. Family is the basic unit in sense of community, and therefore the competition's theme suited our goals perfectly, says Senior Lecturer Nordlund-Knuutila.

At the moment, the service is in a pilot phase and launch of a community process with the City of Espoo services for families with children is being negotiated.

Kuntaliitto's local service competition sought new ways to implement local services particularly for families with children. The aim was to motivate new actors to generate ideas for improving the everyday life of municipal residents. This was the first time the competition was organised. It was open for everyone, and altogether 51 local service models took part. In addition to the Idea category, the competition also had a category for Products, in which the winner was Hyvinvoinnin palvelutarjotin, an online welfare services offer developed by the Kainuu joint municipal authority for social welfare and health care.

Modified 10/29/2015 10:05 AM