Courses of action and principles followed at RIKU

RIKU’s operations are in accordance with RIKU’s general courses of action and principles, the ethical principles of voluntary phone and online support, as well as the ethical principles prepared by NuSuVeFo, i.e. the forum for youth online work.

RIKU’s courses of action and principles

The aim of Victim Support Finland is to improve the position of victims of crime by influencing general attitudes, practices, decision-making and legislation. The aim of the service operations is to ease the effects of consequences for victims of crime.

Operating principles

  • Respect the victim’s right to self-determination
  • observe confidentiality
  • treat all victims of crime equally

Practices

  • to implement operations for victims of crime as professionally managed support operations based on voluntary work
  • primarily operate as a referring service
  • avoid building parallel services
  • take into account the need for regional special services
  • provide basic and further training for voluntary phone support workers and support persons
  • provide all employees sufficient work orientation and support
  • promote research related to the position of victims of crime
  • influence national and local decision-making concerning the position of victims of crime

Ethical principles of voluntary phone and online support

In its meeting on 9/11/2016, the committee of ethical principles for voluntary phone and online support agreed to the principles, which RIKU is also committed to pursuing: Ethical principles of voluntary phone and online support (in Finnish)

Ethical principles of voluntary phone and online support:

  1. An administrator community, which could be an association, foundation or religious community, is responsible for the service and its quality. The operations are of general interest and the service’s administrator community does not gain financial profit from it.
  2. The person contacting is given the opportunity to be heard in regards to matters that such service covers. The service implements confidentiality, anonymity and the respect of the person contacting.
  3. The person on-call is a voluntary or salaried person trained and selected by the service’s administrator community, whose duty is to support and guide. The person on-call has the right to remain anonymous and to not accept inappropriate treatment.

Objective of the service

The person contacting the service is given the opportunity to discuss * anonymously and on a confidential basis with a voluntary or employed person about matters related to the relevant service.

*) Discussion refers to interaction over the phone or internet.

The aim of the supporting discussion is to become heard and the experience of sharing while respecting the contacting person’s right to make his/her own decisions without pressure. If necessary, the person contacting is aimed to be referred to other services.

Contacting person's rights and obligations

The contacting person has the first and foremost right to be heard as well as the right to equal and dignifying encountering and discussion. He/she has the right to remain anonymous.

The caller’s self-determination right is supported; in case of children the age and maturity is taken into account.

The contacting person has the right to obtain information on the service’s administrator community, the service, data protection, data processing and any possible charges. The contacting person is expected to behave in an appropriate manner towards the person on-call. He/she must also take into account, what the purpose of the relevant service is intended for.

Service’s administrator community’s rights and obligations

The service’s administrator communities may be associations, foundations and religious communities. The administrator service is responsible for the service, the organisation of operations and the necessary resources. It monitors the quality of service and is responsible for it.

  •  The administrator community will select, recruit and train the on-call workers, whose copying and skills are also the responsibility of the community.
  •  The administrator community shall determine the operational form of the service as well as its target group.
  •  The administrator community shall offer the service within the limits defined by its resources.

The service’s administrator community is responsible for privacy protection and data security. The service may not create financial gain to the administrator community.

On-call worker’s rights and obligations

The on-call worker shall participate in basic and further training arranged by the administrator community. In addition, he/she has the right to continuous support and guidance in his/her work. The person on-call has the right to remain anonymous and to not accept inappropriate treatment. The on-call worker has the right to limit the duration of the contact, if necessary, according to the principles of the administrator community.

The on-call worker has the duty to commit to the operating principles of the administrator community and the service. The on-call worker is bound by confidentiality and commits to not exploit the information received from the contacting person. He/she must commit to the relevant service’s values and principles and promote them in his/her own on-call work. The on-call worker has the right to waive their confidentiality obligation for a very justified reason, if a planned crime or serious child protection concern arises. When waiving their confidentiality obligation, the on-call worker must inform this to the contacting person.

The on-call worker must not pressure the contacting person. Operating principles are justice, impartiality, tolerance and the respect of the contacting person. During the discussion, the on-call worker is there for the contacting person. He/she shall not deal with his/own personal matters during the discussions or disclose opinions of ideological questions or make decisions on behalf of the contacting party.

Ethical principles prepared by NuSuVeFo i.e. the forum for youth online work.

Contacting person's rights and obligations

  • The contacting person has the right to know the age group that the service is intended for.
  • The contacting person has the right to know whether he/she can contact anonymously.
  • The contacting person has the right to know how confidential the discussion is.
  • The contacting person has the right to reliable, safe and fair service.
  • The contacting person is referred to other services, if necessary.
  • The contacting person has the right to obtain information about the service and its organiser, data security and data processing as well as give feedback on the service.
  • The contacting person is obliged to follow the rules of the services.

Rights and obligations of an operator working online

  • The operator is a volunteer or an employed worker.
  • The operator has the right to obtain training and regular guidance for his/her duties.
  • The operator has the right to know, whether he/she can remain anonymous in the service.
  • The operator has the right to not agree to inappropriate treatment.
  • The operator is obliged to intervene in behaviour that is against the rules.
  • The operator is committed to operate according to the operating principles and values of his/her background organisation.
  • The operator has the right to waive his/her confidentiality obligation if a planned or committed serious criminal case or child protection concern arises. When waiving their confidentiality obligation, the operator must inform this to the contacting person, if possible.
  • During the discussion, the operator is there for the contacting person.
  • The operator shall not deal with his/her problems in the discussion.
  • The guidance provided by the operator is appropriate and reliable. The contacting person is referred to other services, if necessary.
  • The operator may provide options, but shall not make decisions on behalf of the contacting person.
  • The operator shall not stay in touch with the contacting people outside working hours.

Duty of notification

Alongside ethical principles, our work is guided by e.g. the Child Protection Act. Our services are primarily confidential. In some situations, the duty of notification referred to in the Child Protection Act supersedes the confidentiality obligation. In such situations, we aim to tell the customer, if it is necessary to contact the child protection authorities or the police.