A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Research-Based Social Work Profession in the Finnish Welfare State (2021)

Lähteinen, S., & Matthies, A.-L. (2021). Research-Based Social Work Profession in the Finnish Welfare State. In M. Laging, & N. Žganec (Eds.), Social Work Education in Europe : Traditions and Transformations (pp. 43-63). Springer International Publishing. European Social Work Education and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69701-3_3

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsLähteinen, Sanna; Matthies, Aila-Leena

Parent publicationSocial Work Education in Europe : Traditions and Transformations

Parent publication editorsLaging, Marion; Žganec, Nino



Journal or seriesEuropean Social Work Education and Practice



Publication year2021

Pages range43-63

Number of pages in the book231

PublisherSpringer International Publishing

Place of PublicationCham

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Persistent website addresshttps://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-69701-3_3

Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access


This chapter examines the Finnish model of social work education from the perspective of the European system of higher education. The analysis is framed by the fast development of the social-democratic welfare state. Formalised social worker education started in 1942 as a two-year bachelor's degree that was vocationally oriented with the purpose of providing municipalities a sufficient labour force. From the 1970s onwards, social work education started its process of academisation, and in 1994 social work became its own scientific discipline. Currently, Finnish social work education places strong emphasis on research and research-based understanding of social work. Social work education is organised at the university level only. The qualification requirement for a social worker's position is the completion of bachelor's and master's degrees (total of 300 European Credit Transfer System points), with the main subject being social work.

Keywordssocial worksocial workerseducation and trainingtertiary educationhigher education (teaching)welfare state

Free keywordssocial work education; Finnish social work education; Finland

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 20:25