Children’s trustee services in child welfare and criminal matters
A substitute trustee in child welfare matters
Usually, the child’s guardian is also their trustee who exercises the child’s right to speak in the matters concerning the child. However, according to the Child Welfare Act, a trustee (substitute trustee) can be assigned to the child in child welfare matters to use the child’s right to speak on behalf of the guardian, if:
1) there is a well-founded reason to believe that the guardian is unable to oversee the child’s best interest in the matter, and
2) assigning a trustee is necessary for reviewing the case or otherwise securing the child’s best interests.
The child’s situation is always somehow special if assigning a substitute trustee is necessary. In these special circumstances, the child needs the support of an unbiased adult who is an outsider to the child’s situation and who ensures that the child’s voice can be heard in the process concerning them and that the child is aware of how the matters are processed and how the different decisions will affect the child’s life.
The duty of the substitute trustee is to advocate for the child’s best interests unbiasedly in situations where the guardian is not able to do so. Such situations may occur when the guardian’s own interests and those of the child are in conflict.
An application for assigning a trustee can be submitted by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, the competent body in charge of social welfare or the guardian themselves. The court will make the decision about assigning a trustee. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency can also assign a trustee if both the guardian and the body in charge of social welfare apply for one together.
A trustee in criminal matters
According to the Criminal Investigation Act, a court of justice must assign a trustee for an under 18-year-old party of a preliminary investigation, if there is a well-founded reason to assume that the guardian, trustee or other legal representative of the party in question cannot unbiasedly supervise their interests in the matter or if assigning the trustee is not clearly unnecessary.
A typical example of a situation that requires a trustee in a criminal matter is when the child’s guardian is suspected of a crime targeted at the child. In such situations, the possible other guardian cannot exercise the child’s right to speak in an unbiased manner, even if they are not suspected of a crime. This also applies to situation where other people close to the child are suspected of a crime targeted at the child.
VAT (24%) is added to all prices.
Children’s trustee services in child welfare matters
95 € /h