The special care units in reform schools provide comprehensive, fixed-term (max. 90 days) care and treatment in accordance with sections 71-73 of the Child Welfare Act for children aged 12 to 18 whose behaviour poses a serious risk to their own growth and development or health, and who cannot be otherwise treated.
In a special care unit, clear stabilising everyday life and a goal-oriented approach help treating young people with severe symptoms. As a form of treatment, special care is an intervention in a young person’s serious situation, which involves employees taking responsibility for the young person’s life situation, and providing the young person with a lot of care and attention. The purpose of special care is to create a strong contact between an adult and the young person, and to increase the child’s sense of security. The treatment identifies the young person’s symptoms caused by a traumatic background, and focuses on stabilisation. In addition to stabilisation, the goal of the treatment period is redirecting the child to the objectives of substitute care.
The special care units that accommodate four clients have at least two employees per each child. In addition to counsellors, the unit also employs a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a social worker. Teaching takes place in a small group under the direction of a special class teacher.