• Inclusive Living

Family Relief Service: Multi-stakeholder evaluation approach ensuring high-quality service: KVPS

KVPS from Finland wins the innovation awards 2022 for their...


Name of practice: Family Relief Service: Multi-stakeholder evaluation approach ensuring high-quality service 

OrganisationService Foundation for People with Intellectual Disabilities (KVPS) 

Description of the organisation: KVPS is a Finnish NGO founded in 1992 by Inclusion Finland KVLT, which aims to promote inclusion and equal opportunities in society for people with intellectual disabilities or special needs and their families. Support is provided by establishing personalised solutions and creating high quality services throughout Finland. KVPS embodies a person-centred approach in its work to promote a good life for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The core of KVPS's work is to lobby decision-makers and legislators together with its partners, advocate for full citizenship rights of persons with disabilities, carry out development projects, and organise various types of training. KVPS also offers a wide variety of respite care services and provides homes for young people and adults with intellectual disabilities who wish to live on their own.

Country: Tampere, Finland 

Funding: The service is financed by the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health organisations and the municipalities where families live. 

Description of practice: The Family Relief Service (FRS) is a short-term care service delivered in the family's home. It consists of a family support worker going to the family's home to provide support to the family members and siblings of a person with a disability. This service gives parents and carers a moment of rest and empowers them to strengthen their own independence and their own voice. Currently, there are 190 families in approximately 50 municipalities benefiting from this service.

Impact generated by the practice: The family support service focuses on the provision of respite care, but it also promotes social inclusion by strengthening social relationships between the support staff and the persons with disability. The service offers the latter the opportunity to participate in various activities with the worker. As the focus is on finding individual solutions, the service can be tailored to meet the personalised needs of families. The goals, wishes and needs of the service are defined within the families at the beginning of the service and are discussed between the family and the worker. This service also plays a role in preventing institutionalisation by ensuring that families have the resources to care for their children with disabilities. It further strengthens the family's confidence in the future, provides them with a sense of control and encourages possibilities for independent living.

Scalability & transferability : The quality and the impact of the service is constantly evaluated and reported through discussions, evaluation processes and auditing systems. This allows for the collection of information on the realisation of the service's goals from different perspectives (service user, family, public authority) and on the short- and long-term impacts of the service. Procedures directed to strengthen capability of the staff are also in place. In terms of transferability, the service and multi-stakeholder evaluation process can be replicated. Attention should be paid to the funding of user centres as well as the provision of a sufficient numbers of qualified and available staff to ensure that families can access the service at times convenient to them. The proper handling of the multi-stakeholder evaluation process is undertaken to ensure adequate reflection of the information gathered on service provision and overall organisation.

Contact Information: 

Kirsi Konola, General Manager, KVPS.

Family Relief Service: EASPD Innovation Awards 2022 Winner