To accomplish its vision, the Haukkala Foundation is advancing a variety of initiatives and policy positions related to child and youth well-being and mental health, as well as actively supporting ongoing research in these essential areas. The strategy finds expression through concrete activities for the benefit of children.

  1. Annual Haukkala Seminars draw together noteworthy international and Finnish speakers and local practitioners and academics and provide an opportunity to discuss current trends and problems associated with child welfare.

The themes of the seminars have been:

2015:  The child’s right to be heard
Keynote speaker: Maria Herczog, Professor, Family, Child, Youth Association, Hungary, and former member of the UN Committee for the Rights of a Child

2016:  Early childhood education and care at a turning point?
Keynote speaker: Mathias Urban, Professor and Director of Early Education Research Centre, University of Roehampton, UK

2017:  For the Best of a Child
Guest speakers from the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group and its member organizations

2018: Do we have the patience to invest in childhood?
Focused on the preparation of a Children’s Programme for Central Finland.

2019: Ups and downs in early adolescence: Do we understand 13–17-year-old children?
Will be arranged in September 2019.

2. Haukkala Forums are invitation-based annual workshops for experts on child welfare and well-being to discuss a current topic or the theme presented in the annual seminar:

Forum I (2013):  Improving the well-being of children and youth through joint efforts: towards forming a community of actors in Central Finland by reducing silos

Forum II (2014):  Social and cultural services for children and families in Jyväskylä: towards the preparation of a publication to facilitate the finding of relevant service providers in Central Finland ()

Forum III (2015): The child’s right to be heard (discussion based on the seminar)

Forum IV (2016):  How to develop a child and family-centred service culture in Central Finland?

Forum V (2017): Well-being of children in Central Finland; discussion based on current research findings

Forum VI (2019): The Children’s Programme for Central Finland: discussion and comments on a draft report

3. Collaborations

The Foundation sees itself as a significant resource for initiating and advancing discussions and activities beyond the Foundation’s work in the province of Central Finland, in Finland and abroad. This goal builds on the expertise of the Foundation’s board members, as well as on their collaborations with other experts, and on the outcomes of the projects in which the members of the Board are involved.

National collaboration. The board members are seeking out and establishing collaborative relationships with experts and organizations sharing the same goals, whether in Finland or abroad, and they engage in ongoing collaborations and discussions with municipal and national government leaders.  Moreover, the Foundation advocates for children’s welfare through topic-sensitive policy statements on current social, political, and educational issues.

The Children’s Programme for Central Finland described above was prepared as part of the the Finnish Government’s key programme (2015-2018): to reform services for children and families in collaboration with the City of Jyväskylä and the Regional Council of Central Finland. Lea Pulkkinen served as the vice chair of the Scientific Committee for the Government’s key programme, and Päivi Fadjukoff as the chair of the Regional Board for the key programme.

Lea Pulkkinen is also the chair of the Board of Governors of the Niilo Mäki Foundation, and Päivi Fadjukoff the chair of the Board of this foundation.

The foundation has had close connections with the Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education with a common goal to promote children’s access to arts and culture at school.

International collaboration. The Haukkala Foundation has worked actively with the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group (AFC-ENG). The Haukkala Foundation is a partner of it, and Lea Pulkkinen has been a member of its Council since 2016. The common approach to the child and his or her well-being, as described above, and editorial work in regard to the publications of the AFC-ENG are indicators of the collaboration.

Alliance for Childhood ENG

4. Publications

Lea Pulkkinen has participated in the editorial work of the book series Improving the Quality of Childhood in Europe (volumes 5-7) by the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group, and published articles also in volumes 3 and 4.

Haukkala Foundation has published the following reports:

Pulkkinen, L. & Fadjukoff, P. (2018). Keski-Suomen lapsiohjelma: Lasten hyvinvoinnista hyvinvoivaan yhteiskuntaan.[The Children’s Programme for Central Finland: From the well-being of the child to the well-being of society. In Finnish] Jyväskylä: Haukkala Foundation.

Hallman, E. & Karhinen-Soppi, A. (2015) Lasten, nuorten ja perheiden palveluverkko Jyväskylässä 2015. [Service Network for children and youth in Jyväskylä, in Finnish] Jyväskylä: Haukkalan säätiö sr. Available at:

Publications of the Board Members, see here. 

5. Grants

The Haukkala Foundation awards a Lea Pulkkinen grant for a doctoral dissertation that deals with the improvement of the quality of childhood. The grant is given in the context of the Family Research Conferences which take place biennually:

2018: Jallu Lindblom: Significance of early family environment on children’s affect regulation : From family autonomy and intimacy to attentional processes and mental health (2017). University of Tampere, Finland

2016: Antti O.Tanskanen. Isovanhemmat, vanhempien lastenhankinta ja lasten hyvinvointi. [Grandparents and children’s well-being.] (2014), University of East Finland.

2014: Antti Kärnä. Effectiveness of the KIVA antibullying program. (2012). University of Turku.

In 2000–2012, the Lea Pulkkinen grant was awarded from private funds via the Niilo Mäki Foundation for a dissertation that represented the child’s perspective on the matter at hand. The list is available here.