KOSKE in English

What is KOSKE?

The Centre of Excellence on Social Welfare in Central Finland (KOSKE) is a regional organization which aims to strengthen and develop the competence of Central Finland’s social welfare field. KOSKE provides and coordinates networks for professionals, municipal agents, and everyone interested in developing social welfare and wellbeing.  

KOSKE is one of 11 Centres of Excellence on Social Welfare in Finland, each of which operates out of a different region. The work community of KOSKE consists of its personnel and project developers. At KOSKE, we value openness, reliability, and equality.  

The function of Centres of Excellence is based on the Government Decree on the activities of social welfare excellence centres (13.12.2001/1230). They function on a regional level as statutory operators providing statements regarding the development of social welfare and changes in legislation. The statutory funding is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. In accordance with the Act, Centres of Excellence develop expertise and perform specialised services within the social welfare field as well as promote communication between the education, research, and practice sectors of the field. The primary activities of the Centers of Expertise are financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Download KOSKE’s brochure (pdf).

What does KOSKE do?

Kosken julkaisuja, Matara ja yhteistyö

KOSKE’s main goal is to be an adaptive and respectable regional social welfare development community for both professionals and other actors. This is achieved by…

1.  Supporting the long-term development of social welfare in the Central Finland region.

  • We ensure that developmental activities meet the needs of municipalities, the region of Central Finland, and the National Social and Health Development Program.
  • We test and develop the operational models in cooperation with different agents so that individual projects can fruitfully blossom from idea to form a successful continuum from an idea into permanent practice.  

2. Collecting, integrating, and distributing up-to-date academic and practical information about the social welfare field.

  • We organize discussion forums for professionals, researchers, and education providers, and striving to make the tacit knowledge of the field visible.  
  • We promote applied and multidisciplinary research.  

3. Strengthening professional competence in the field of social welfare.

  • KOSKE is a place for peer support and peer learning.  
  • We provide and develop working methods, consulting practices, and services in the social welfare field. 
  • We explore new trends, anticipate educational needs, and seek ways to improve expertise in co-operation with other actors in the social sector.

Services and projects

KOSKE provides services, which are: 

KOSKE has various ongoing projects in the following themes:

Contact information

Marja Heikkilä
phone: 0400 546 613
email: firstname.lastname@koske.fi (ä=a)

Sivi Talvensola
senior coordinator
phone: 0400 904 663
email: firstname.lastname@koske.fi

Matarankatu 4
40100 Jyväskylä

KOSKE as a Social Political Influencer

KOSKE’s basic activities include social policy influencing at regional and national level. Our representatives engage in health care and social welfare legislation and services reforms. KOSKE is consulted as an expert in the parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee, and we are regularly asked for opinions on social legislation. Read more about KOSKE’s latest statements here (in Finnish).

Information for the basis of structural reform work

KOSKE acts as an active voice of social welfare in the structural reform work. One of our main tool for influencing is the annual Social Ombudsman’s report, which compiles comprehensive information about residents’ social wellbeing in Central Finland and tracks changes from year to year (view reports in Finnish here). Information for the basis of social welfare development is collected by regional and national surveys. For example, through our internship reports, we can identify data gaps and quickly get results for development. To increase the effectivity and meaning of social welfare, we concentrate on communication so that the newest information is available timely through various channels. Read more about our reports and internship reports (in Finnish).

Active reviewing of current social phenomena

KOSKE brings forward and discusses current social policy phenomena. Lately, we have focused, for example, on loneliness and the risks it causes to wellbeing, and ways to alleviate loneliness (read more about Together is not alone project in Finnish). Another social policy theme that has been discussed is good practices and challenges in elderly cohousing (read more about Experiences made visible project in English). Cooperation with the third sector and the importance of civic action are significant to our operation: an example for this is the statement about “Our Health and Social Services Centre” prepared with Keski-Suomen Yhteisöjen Tuki (NGO Support in Central Finland).

Task forces and workshops

KOSKE coordinates many provincial task forces and invites professionals of the social sector to different kinds of workshops and committees.

Central Finland region has a long tradition of extensively utilizing task forces. These groups outlining the development of their own fields in the region consists of professionals in the field, and representatives from education and research. Social welfare clients and professionals from the public and private sectors and associations are committed to task forces’ activities. The intention of the task forces is to identify current skills gaps and development needs and to initiate any development measures required at the given time. 

Workshops and committees supporting the work of professionals in social welfare field are organized in Central Finland for several professional groups. KOSKE is responsible for coordinating these workshops and convening them as needed. The workshops provide updated information in the field, the exchange of regional affiliations and experiences, transfer of good practices, and peer support. Workshops are free for all attendees.  

Current themes of task forces and workshops:

  • Schools’ social work  
  • Education and research cooperation 
  • Child welfare 
  • Welfare services for intoxicant abusers and mental health care 
  • Social work  
  • Care for the disabled 
  • Welfare services for elderly people   
  • Early childhood education    

Support Association

KOSKE is maintained by a Support Association. The members of the association include almost every municipality in Central Finland, educational institutions in the field, and numerous social welfare organizations.  

KOSKE’s reports and plans (in Finnish)