What is Itla?

Itla Children’s Foundation is an independent non-profit foundation.

What is Itla’s purpose?

The purpose of the Foundation is to promote and support the well-being, equality and position of children and families living in Finland and contribute to building a good future for them. (Section 2 of Itla’s by-laws)

What does Itla do in practice?

Together with its partners, the Foundation produces reliable, objective and open data on the effects of measures related to children’s well-being as well as the daily life and well-being of children and families.

The Foundation provides training for prominent operators in child policy, takes initiative to improve the well-being of children and families and promotes innovation in services for children and families. 

The Foundation has its eyes on the future and brings up themes concerning the future of children and families in public discourse and policymaking.

What does Itla offer to children?

Scientific data, leadership skills and innovations improve the quality of work concerning children and families, which has a positive impact on children’s lives. 

Children, young people and families are the ones who ultimately benefit from the Foundation’s work.

How is the Foundation governed?

The Foundation’s work is governed by a delegation that consists of Members of Parliament and meets twice a year. The role of the delegation is to monitor, support and promote the operations of the Foundation. The delegation elects Itla’s Board of Trustees. 

The role of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees is to define the Foundation’s strategy and policy guidelines. 

The Foundation employs 11 people (in August 2019). In addition, there may be some project or hourly workers working on reports or other tasks. 

Itla is a member of the Association of Finnish Foundations and complies with the principles laid out in the Good Governance of Foundations.

Are Itla’s operations based on legislation?

On 5 December 2017, the Parliament decided to donate EUR 50 million in capital to Itla as part of Finland’s centenary celebrations and to appoint a delegation consisting of Members of Parliament. The Act on the Appointment of the Itla Children’s Foundation’s Delegation and the Foundation’s Capitalisation (1004/2017) was issued. The Act provides for the appointment, term of office and duties of the members of the delegation as well as the Foundation’s capitalisation.

Why did the Parliament make the donation to the Foundation?

With a joint decision of all parliamentary groups, the Parliament decided to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence by supporting children’s well-being and equal development. The Parliament decided to support the Foundation because its purpose is to influence the all-round improvement of children’s position by developing and maintaining good activities that support this objective. By promoting parenting support based on scientific evidence and by networking operators in the industry, the Foundation has been able to create new competence in Finland, thus proving how important its work is for preventing children’s social exclusion and reducing their inequality. (Legislative motion LA782017 vp)

How are the Foundation’s operations funded?

The Foundation’s operations are mainly funded through returns on its own capital. Operations can also be funded through external project funding, among other things.

What kinds of operations does Itla fund? Does Itla issue grants?

Itla’s operations are not those of a traditional grant-giving foundation, but rather represent advocacy through knowledge, which is new in Finland. 

However, the Foundation may fund research projects, issue grants and participate in cooperation projects. 

Itla grants an innovation award annually.

What are Early Intervention and evidence-based interventions?

The Foundation evaluates and disseminates interventions based on scientific evidence that can be used to support children’s good growth and parenting. 

The interventions are listed on the Early Intervention web portal. The interventions are mainly intended for supporting the work carried out by professionals.

When was Itla established?

The Foundation was established in 1987, when Finland was celebrating its 70 years of independence, by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Central Union for Child Welfare. At the time, the purpose was to provide financial support for scientific research, trial and development projects concerning children and child protection.