Social services ombudsman
The social ombudsmen of the social competence centre Verso serve Päijät-Häme (Asikkala, Hartola, Heinola, Hollola, Iitti, Kärkölä, Lahti, Myrskylä, Orimattila, Padasjoki, Pukkila and Sysmä) and Eastern Uusimaa (Askola, Lapinjärvi, Loviisa, Porvoo).
The social ombudsman is an impartial body that provides guidance on matters vis-a-vis the status and rights of a social care client. The social ombudsman service is free of charge.
The Social Ombudsman’s area of responsibility is private and public social services and early childhood education.
- advises and gives guidance to public and private social care clients on issues related to the application of the Social Welfare Client Act
- advises and, if needed, assists in making a reminder in accordance with the Client Social Care Act
- informs about customers’ rights and works to promote and enforce them
- monitors the development of the customer’s status and rights, reporting annually to the municipal government
The social ombudsman does not provide social services, nor does the social ombudsman supervise service activities or issue operating instructions to employees.
The purpose of the Social Welfare Customer Act (812/2000) is to promote customer orientation, the confidentiality of the customer relationship and the customer’s right to good service and treatment in social care.
Read more: https://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/ajantasa/2000/20000812
What can you do if you are not satisfied with the social service received?
If you are not satisfied with the social service you have received or how you have been treated in the service, please contact the service unit first. Direct feedback to the employee or their supervisor can resolve the issue quickly.
You can also provide free-form feedback through the customer feedback system of that service unit / organization.
Links to municipalities/joint authority’s feedback system pages:
You can contact a social ombudsman who can advise you on matters relating to the status and rights of social service clients and the use of legal remedies.
Decision review procedure
Applicants for social welfare services have the right to receive a motivated decision in writing. If you are dissatisfied with the decision on social security service or benefit, you have the right to appeal against the decision. The decision must always be accompanied by instructions on how to appeal. Please note that an appeal must be turned in within the time given.
The social welfare client can make a reminder to the person responsible of the operational unit or to the supervisory authority on the complaint if he or she is dissatisfied with the service or treatment he or she has received in the service.
The purpose of the reminder procedure is to process the client’s case as near as possible to the service process and by a person who can contribute to the correction of the detected defects.
The client has the right to receive a written response to his reminder within a reasonable time. The issuance of a reminder does not affect the client’s right to appeal against decisions concerning social welfare or the right to complain to the social welfare authorities.
The reminder is sent to the social and health registry of the municipality / joint authority in question. The reminder is made with free format or by filling in a reminder form.
Forms are found here:
The client of social welfare may file a complaint with the regional administrative agency, Valvira, the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice of the Government about any maladministration, ill-treatment, illegal official actions or negligence of the authority in social welfare services. With the help of a complaint, it is possible to bring to the attention of the authority supervising the activities of social welfare the grievance experienced in the social care service. The complaint procedure cannot be used to alter the content of the service decision. The right to turn in a complaint is not limited to the complainant’s own affairs but rather can be turned in by anyone.
In the absence of a reminder, the supervisory official may refer the complaint to the relevant operational unit or to a senior social welfare officer. This presupposes that the official considers it most appropriate to deal with the complaint as a reminder.
Complaints regarding matters older than two years will not be investigated without special reason. The complaint is made in free format or with a complaint form.
Verification of social welfare personal register data
According to the EU Data Protection Regulation, you have the right to check what personal data about you is stored in the social care client data registry. The right to inspect is free once a year.
The request for verification of the data is made directly to the keeper of the personal registry data and is sent to the registry of the municipality / joint authority in question. In the review request, provide your name and contact information and specify the information you want to review. Also tell us what time period you want the data for and in what format you want the data. Some municipalities / joint authorities have an information request form that allows them to make a request.
The forms can be found here:
Data Protection Supervisor