WHAT CAN i talk about in the apua eroon (divorce help) chat?

Topics you can discuss in the chat include ending your relationship, coping with the divorce and parenting after the divorce, as well as themes involving children. Chats are one-on-one and you can discuss your own situation or concerns you have about your children with a trained professional. You can ask questions about divorce services and where to get help. You can share your concerns and discuss any problems you’re having in the family or concerns about your children’s wellbeing.  You can also get advice on the practical arrangements you need to make after the divorce.

You don’t need to register to use the Apua eroon chat. Your discussion is anonymous.

The chat is open from Monday to Friday from 12pm to 6pm and on Saturdays from 2pm to 5pm. The chat is also open on Monday from 9am to 10am in collaboration with the Association of Single Parents.

The chat for children and teenagers offers children and teenagers a place to discuss the divorce with a professional. The chat is open from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 6pm

The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters organizes a themed chat every Tuesday evening in collaboration with Abducted Children Finland NGO. Join this chat to discuss and ask questions about international custody disputes, cultural differences, child abduction cases, or what to do if you suspect your child is at risk of being abducted. The chat is held on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm.

Apua eroon online mentors

Our online mentors are professionals from The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters and the Federation’s member associations, as well staff from our municipal and NGO collaboration partners. The Apua Eroon chat is also staffed by volunteer workers, who are divorced parents themselves. You can recognise them from the word “vapaaehtoinen” or “volunteer”.

Our online mentors are bound by professional confidentiality in accordance with current law. We adhere to ethical principles. All of our online mentors have been trained and receive guidance and support.

Confidentiality and privacy 

Your IP address will be seen by the online mentor you’re chatting with, but they won’t be able to see your information or contact details based on the IP address. We don’t store or register IP addresses, and they are removed from our server monthly.

Ethical principles

The Apua Eroon chat adheres to the ethical principles as stated by the Forum for Online Help for Youth

Client rights and responsibilities when contacting the chat

  • The client has the right to know the target age group of the service
  • The client has the right to know whether they can contact us anonymously
  • The client has the right to know to what extent the discussion is confidential
  • The client is entitled to reliable, safe, and just service.
  • We will direct the client to other services as necessary.
  • The client is entitled to information about the service and it’s organiser, data protection and data processing, as well as give feedback about the service.
  • The client is obligated to adhere to the rules of the service.

Online mentor (chat responder) rights and responsibilities

  • The service is provided by a paid employee.
  • Mentors are entitled to receive job training and regular guidance
  • Mentors have the right know whether they can remain anonymous in the service
  • Mentors are not required to put up with harassment
  • Mentors are obligated to intervene if a client is in violation of the rules
  • Mentors are obligated to act in accordance with The Federation of Mother and Child Shelter’s and its member associations’ policies and values.
  • If a client discloses they are planning or have committed a serious crime, or the mentor evaluates that a child is at risk and child protection services need to be contacted, mentors have the right to break confidentiality. If a mentor breaks confidentiality, they should inform the client when possible.
  • The mentor is present in the discussion for the client
  • The mentor doesn’t discuss their own problems
  • Guidance given by the mentor is professional and reliable. Clients are directed to other services when necessary.
  • Mentors can provide clients with alternatives, but don’t make decisions for clients
  • Mentors don’t contact clients outside of work hours

We also adhere to the ethical principles of telephone and online counselling

Anonymity: Conversations take place anonymously. Both clients and staff are anonymous. The service provider doesn’t take steps to identify the client.

Equality and respect: Telephone and online mentoring services aim to help clients. The services have no other motives. Staff treat clients with respect and dignity. Staff respect clients decisions and self-determination.

Confidentiality: Mentors are bound by professional confidentiality. Conversations between clients and mentors are confidential. In accordance with Finnish law, authorities will be notified in cases of serious crime, child abuse or neglect.

Patience: Mentors have time for clients. The client and their problems are at the forefront of the discussion. Clients are heard and understood.

Non-profit: Telephone and online mentoring are universally beneficial services and the service provider doesn’t financially benefit from the service. The only expense for clients is the cost of accessing the service.

Apua eroon -chat contact person:
Päivi Hietanen, The Federation of Mother and Child Shelters, Telephone: 0504385290 (Mon-Fri klo 9-16, please leave a text message outside of these hours) Email: paivi.hietanen@etkl.fi