Noora Kivioja

University of Helsinki, Finland

Portrait of Noora Kivioja


Studying the dynamics of transnational child welfare in Finland. The case of child returnees from conflict areas.

Start/end of the project

February, 2023 – December, 2026

Background for the project

This study examines the transnational child welfare issue of child returnees, focusing on the experiences of professionals who have worked with returnees and on the actualization of children’s rights. The existing literature implies that the reintegrative work is demanding. The societal environment concerning this work in Finland has also been characterized by discursive battles, especially regarding the risk of radicalization of these children and their right to receive support. Previous literature on returnees and an understanding of social work as a human rights profession inform this research. In addition, children’s rights, nationality, and securitization are relevant concepts for the research.

Aim/research question and method

The sub-studies of the research project focus on child welfare professionals’ role in the formation of the legal basis of repatriations as well as in the actual repatriation processes, multi-professional co-operation in working with returnees, and on the special characteristics of this transnational child welfare issue. This research will produce information that can be made use of when planning and developing social services. An important scientific intention is also to broaden social work knowledge by providing information on transnational child welfare practices, a field still with little research and theory. Data is gathered from open sources and by interviewing professionals who have worked with returnees. It is analysed using qualitative methods.