Children, Youth and Families
The starting point of wellbeing in society is that families in it are doing well. As Christian Democrats we want to strengthen the position of the family in the society by modifying attitudes and legislation, as well as by economic solutions. Family political solutions influence also the population development. Nativity should be raised to a level that maintains the population. Furthering the overall wellbeing of families and cutting child poverty are our other goals. Reaching these goals means increases in family subsidies as well as making it easier for families to fit together family life with work and studies.
Student subsidy is a requirement for giving all students an opportunity to study regardless of their social background. The level of the student subsidy should better correspond to the real needs of the students and to follow the general cost development.
In our opinion, the most important and urgent remedies in family policy are the following:
- In order to increase nativity and to improve the economic situation of families with children, the minimum maternity leave subsidy and parent subsidy need to be raised to the level of the basic daily allowance for the unemployed. The child allowance and the student subsidy need to be pegged to the cost-of-living index, the single parent increase and the sibling increase of the child allowance need to be raised. Also 17 year old children should be eligible for child allowance. A child increase to the student subsidy for students who support families needs to be added. Home care subsidy needs to be raised and its eligibility widened. The child allowance should not be counted as income when granting the social assistance.
- In order to make it easier to fit together family with work life, the conditions for working part time or at a distance need to be improved, as well as the possibilities for flexible working time.
- In order to minimize the incidence of divorces and the problems caused by them, the family mediation services need to be increased and mediation made a condition for divorce in marriages where the couple has common underage children. The children who live away from their parent need to be ensured conditions where they can be in regular contact with both parents.
- The overall health of children is furthered by increasing the resources of child and maternity clinics and school health care services, by increasing pre-emptive efforts and the so-called early involvement. The resource deficit of child and youth psychiatry and pediatric surgery needs to be remedied. More health education and physical education needs to be offered in schools.
- In order to prevent substance abuse problems we need to increase drug education and care counseling of young substance abusers and drug addicted mothers and a possibility needs to be provided to subject them to forced addiction treatment.
- In child protection issues, family centeredness is emphasized. In relocation of the child, family care needs to be increased for example by entitling the foster home to parent subsidy and home care subsidy.
- Pre-monitoring of video games and image programs needs to be widened in order to protect children and youth from violent and in other ways unethical content.