Anchor work refers to multi-professional collaboration, the purpose of which is to promote the wellbeing of adolescents, prevent crime and put an end to any cycle of crime. Anchor work is carried out by a multi-professional Anchor team that includes professionals from the police, social services, health services and youth services, or that has access to the expertise and competence of such professionals in another way. The team meets the adolescent and their family at the earliest stage possible, so that the adolescent can be supported in their situation and referred to other help or support, where necessary.

Anchor work was launched in Hämeenlinna in the early 2000s to address the need to develop multi-professional collaboration for promoting the wellbeing of adolescents and preventing crime. Professionals and adolescents have found Anchor work to be a meaningful, effective way of pursuing collaboration between professionals from different fields. Anchor work has subsequently expanded into a national course of action through the deployment of good practices.

The purpose of this manual is to support the implementation, development and assessment of Anchor work in Finland. The aim is to steer, support and standardise Anchor work to ensure that adolescents have equal opportunities to access services nationwide, and that they are not in unequal positions with respect to the services. Anchor work is organised to address local and regional needs in relation to existing, effective practices, and is implemented flexibly in collaboration with other stakeholders in the region. As the scope and targets of Anchor work can vary, other efforts, such as preventing domestic violence, can be incorporated into it.

Anchor work focuses on promoting the wellbeing of adolescents and internal security. Considering the wide scope of the goal, its implementation calls for collaboration between all sectors. Promoting wellbeing and increasing internal security require a comprehensive, multi-sector approach, to which Anchor work can also contribute.

This manual was drawn up in collaboration with the Anchor work development group. The development group consists of representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Police Board, the Finnish National Agency for Education, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the Police University College and Anchor work.

This is the first updated version of the manual.

Common practices in Anchor work are necessary for several reasons:

  1. Adolescents and families have the right to equal services. Thanks to nationally consistent courses of action, Anchor services can be organised in similar ways in different parts of the country.
  2. Nationally consistent functions can be used to support the initiation, planning, implementation, assessment and follow-up of practical Anchor work.
  3. Consistent courses of action allow the implementation and management of multi-professional collaboration.
  4. Anchor work can be monitored, assessed and developed consistently at the local, regional and national levels.

In this manual, an Anchor work client refers to

  • a child or adolescent under the age of 18, who
  • has committed or is suspected of a crime and/or
  • has used drugs and/or substances and/or
  • shows signs of violent radicalisation or extremism and/or
  • needs multi-professional support for their situation, e.g. in cases involving domestic violence.