Located in Ostrobothnia, 10 kilometres from Jakobstad, the Lagmansgården reform school provides care and education in both Finnish and Swedish. The small departments that host 4-6 residents are located in the main building and a detached house in the school premises. There are in total 15 places of substitute care. The personal key-workers working at the departments are social and health care professionals. Two personal key-workers have been designated for each young person. These personal key-workers have the main responsibility for the young person’s matters. The young person’s growth and development is also supported by a school social worker and outsourced psychiatrist’s and doctor’s services.
It is important that the family participates in the care process in order for the young person’s treatment to be successful. Parents are involved in the young person’s care and education as equal partners. Families get an opportunity to stay overnight in Lagmansgården and they are encouraged to visit Lagmansgården regularly.
An individual educational plan is prepared for each young person at Lagmansgården comprehensive school. The school has a small group in both Finnish and Swedish. A special needs teacher or special class teacher works in both groups. In addition to teachers, the school employs special needs assistants.
The young people have an opportunity to engage in versatile recreational activities, which is taken into account in a weekly plan prepared for the departments. While a lot of the activities at Lagmansgården are organised in groups, the young people also have an opportunity for engaging in their own, individual recreational activities outside of the institution. The young people at Lagmansgården can engage in playing pool, riding horses and many kinds of physical activity both indoors and outdoors. Boating and fishing are also popular recreational activities during summers.
Lagmansgården is a small unit where the involvement and empowerment of young people are at the core of activities along with communality that supports development. Constant, goal-driven and psychiatry-oriented work is carried out at Lagmansgården. The norms and routines of daily life set a rhythm to the young person’s life and provide a framework for promoting mental health. A key goal of the work is maintaining mental development that leads to growing into adulthood as well as becoming socially independent. The most central operating principles of the work include discussion, sorting out issues, taking on matters, and a community spirit.