Health education and social advice for low-income families with young children

P4 Skilled and socially inclusive region

4.1. More people benefiting from stronger Central Baltic communities

Central Baltic

01.04.2016 - 31.03.2018

€261 460

€207 757

Project Summary:

EmpowerKids addresses social exclusion and inadequate health information and social advice among the children in low-income families in Estonia, Finland and Latvia. Currently, health and social workers lack methods and approaches for promoting daily healthy choices for young children in families with low socio-economic status.  There is need for more appealing methods to improve the situation in vulnerable families, which can be found in cooperation between the cities and universities.

Traditionally, low income families and young children are considered a difficult target group to be reached with the health information, even if they need support the most. Research confirms that socioeconomic status of the family is directly correlated with the experienced health of its members, as well as with social inclusion and participation in the labour market. People with lower education and income experience poorer health, their social participation is lower, and they are more often excluded from the labour market. Their children’s health, social inclusion and future socioeconomic prospects are strongly affected.

To improve matters, the project will be working with an interview-based interactive tool that facilitates health and social advices for children and their families. The EmpowerKids Tool, developed by all partners with the methodological support of University of Turku, will utilize targeted counselling and interventions, according to the real needs. The cross-border cooperation will allow partners to learn from each other, share experiences and support each other with their specific expertise.
The project results will be widely distributed through the existing and developing networks in Central Baltic and beyond. The results include children who are able to make healthy choices in their daily lives, improved quality of health promotion, social work in participating municipalities, enhanced social inclusion of children from vulnerable groups, increased knowledge of health care personnel, social workers and kindergarten teachers about the empowering tools and methods. 

Lead Partner

Itämeren alueen Terveet Kaupungit ry

Country: FI


Partner budget: 81.905 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 61.429 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Turun yliopisto

Country: FI


Partner budget: 62.931 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 47.198 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Ülikooli Rakvere College

Country: EE


Partner budget: 59.008 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 50.157 EUR ERDF

Jūrmalas pilsētas dome

Country: LV


Partner budget: 0 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 0 EUR ERDF

Jūrmalas pilsētas domes Labklājības pārvalde

Country: LV


Partner budget: 57.616 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 48.974 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Improved community

EmpowerKids - a tool to improve well-being and healthy living of small children

EmpowerKids developed an Internet-accessible tool that promotes healthy living habits and well-being to small children. The tool was developed in close cooperation with health care workers, social care workers and children. The aim of the tool is to supports professionals in consultations regarding physical activity, nutrition, family resources and daily activities, by providing children an easily-approachable and attractive way to receive and reflect on such information. 

In addition, the project organised workshops for children and their parents. Topics included healthy eating, sandplay therapy sessions, physical activities and good sleeping habits. 

Experiences gained from using the tool and the workshops were gathered into a collection of good practices.

Altogether, 628 children participated in project activities. Approximately 300 of the participating children came from low-in-come families and thus the target of 180 was exceeded. In total, 45 health care and social workers participated in the project, topping the goal of 30.