What is Itla’s child policy knowledge?

The well-being of children, adolescents and families can be influenced by using scientific evidence. Itla produces and analyses information, publishes various reviews, maintains the Early Intervention resource and supports the implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions and practices.

Emphasis on prevention and Early Intervention

Psychosocial problems can be prevented. The best way to reinforce children’s well-being is to support the capabilities, skills and concrete means of growth communities to ensure the balanced development of children. According to epidemiological research, it is possible to identify risk groups at an early stage and provide them with evidence-based effective support and interventions.

We are aware that the reinforcement of children’s well-being requires easily accessible information on the effectiveness of early support interventions.

Supporting interventions that have been proven to be effective is profitable both from a human and an economic perspective. The early detection of psychosocial problems as well as timely support and intervention correlate strongly with well-being and the ability to function during adolescence and adulthood.

Decision-making supported by information

Making decisions and planning services that affect children, adolescents and families should be based on current and reliable information. Without strong national guidance, information does not transfer between municipalities or sectors. Often the focus is on corrective services, not the early detection or prevention of problems.

Most of the support aimed at families with children is project-based, fragmented and of varying quality. The use of scientific data can reduce the risk of allocating resources to interventions that have weak effects, are ineffective or even detrimental.

Kaksi lasta leikkii hiekkalaatikolla.

We develop the knowledge base

Scientific data serves families with children and children’s development environments equally all over the country.

Itla improves the availability and implementation of evidence-based knowledge.

Itla’s knowledge is used to produce tools that promote child policy and reform services aimed at children and families.

What does Itla’s child policy knowledge comprise?

Early Intervention

Itla evaluates the psychosocial interventions and practices that are meant to support children’s growth and that have been compiled in the Early Intervention portal. The portal provides evidence-based information on methods for workers who encounter families with children in their profession, service managers and decision-makers. Intervention evaluations are prepared in the scientific Early Intervention editorial office. Itla’s scientific council approves the evaluations.

Itla has created the Early Intervention portal on the basis of long-term Nordic cooperation with the NordicDataPrev network. The NordicDataPrev network consists of representatives of Nordic resources and aims to promote the exchange of information on evaluation criteria and other current topics. For 2019, the network has received funding to promote the exchange of information as part of the Programme for the Norwegian presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Going forward, Itla will carry out various reviews.

Topics for the reviews will be selected from, for example

  • research (epidemiology, registers, enquiries etc.) or 
  • factors that have appeared that threaten the well-being of children or families with children, where additional understanding is required.

Dissemination and implementation of interventions

Itla, together with MIELI Mental Health Finland, has disseminated and implemented effective interventions nationally since 2018. The dissemination began as part of the Programme to Address Reform in Child and Family Services (LAPE) and continues in collaboration with the LAPE Academy. An international implementation study emphasises critical phases from the adoption of interventions until the implementation and sustainment stages. Itla produces information as part of the LAPE Academy for these critical stages. 

For further information, see the implementation manual: Supporting children’s growth by evidence-based practices – how to manage implementation? 


Petra Kouvonen

Johtaja, Director, Direktör
041 455 2280
Marjo Kurki

Marjo Kurki

Ohjelmajohtaja, Programme director
044 271 0797

Marko Merikukka

Tiedeasiantuntija, Science Specialist, Tutkimusetiikan tukihenkilö, Research Integrity Adviser
040 647 5565