Individual services are insufficient to prevent youth exclusion — MDI included in research looking at service structures that prevent youth exclusion

MDI was involved in the process of carrying out an investigation commissioned by the Parliamentary Audit Committee to examine services related to youth exclusion prevention. The basis of the study was to examine the services and benefits structures that prevent exclusion, the financial contribution used in them and cooperation between different actors. In addition, the study examined the monitoring of the effects of public funds used to prevent exclusion. The study was conducted by the Nordic Healthcare Group in collaboration with Juvenia, the Youth Research and Development Centre of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

The study analysed the current state of the exclusion prevention service system, the allocation of resources used to prevent exclusion and the effects generated by funding. The key sources of data were the draft budget for 2020 and the financial statements of the target municipalities selected for 2019 and 2020. The study analysed both direct and indirect flows of money allocated to young people and conducted interviews with representatives of the state government as well as with young people themselves.

Well-functioning service chains and clear objectives are the most effective means

Only a small percentage of the total state budget is allocated to funding to prevent youth exclusion directly or indirectly. The effects of public funds used to prevent youth exclusion usually arise indirectly and only become visible in the long term. As a result, they are awkward to measure. Statistics should therefore be developed in order to further monitor and assess the impact of public resources used to prevent exclusion.

The overall result of the study is that individual services do not prevent young people from being excluded, while the most effective means to do so are different and, above all, relate to well-functioning chains of services. The study showed that, at present, no entity takes full responsibility for youth exclusion prevention. Cooperation at the state government level does not work well while at the municipal level the hope is to create comprehensive coordination and ownership of youth exclusion services throughout Finland.

Based on the research, it is recommended that clear and measurable objectives are recorded in the Wellbeing services county strategy, the Wellbeing services county service strategy and the welfare plan for children and families on how to effectively implement youth exclusion prevention. For those young people who have a client plan, it is recommended that the main responsible person is clearly identified. This person must be responsible for responding to the need for service, strengthening the inclusion of the young person concerned and ensuring the fulfilment of rights.


Press release:

Research report:

Recording from the briefing: