October 26, 2020, at 8.00 AM EET – Nixu, a cybersecurity services company, has initiated a corporate collaboration with the child welfare organization SOS Children’s Villages Finland. This cooperation allows SOS Children’s Villages Finland to further develop its digital services as well as other aspects of its operations. At the same time, Nixu will be able to provide its expertise to help the most vulnerable children and families.
In 2020, Nixu has provided its expertise to SOS Children’s Villages Finland. As part of this cooperation, Nixu’s information security experts carried out a comprehensive information security audit for a web application called Polku (Path in English).
Polku is an application developed by SOS Children’s Villages Finland for the Finnish foster care system. Its purpose is to provide new ways of supporting goal-oriented work in foster care. With the Polku app, the status of each child who has been placed under foster care is mapped at the time of their placement, and goals are set for the placement period. These goals focus on, for example, their schooling, hobbies, social relationships, health status and personal relationships.
The Polku app has been designed with long-term goals in mind, and its purpose is to ensure that each child under foster care can be provided with the best possible starting point for their lives. The aim for each placed child is that they complete comprehensive school with an average grade of at least 7 (on a scale of 4–10) and achieve an upper secondary degree. The development work helped discover the impact indicators that can be used to predict the risk that a child will become socially excluded when they reach adulthood. Successfully completing comprehensive school improves a child’s chances of accessing further education, which in turn impacts their employment and career prospects. In accordance with the deployment plan for the app, SOS Children’s Villages Finland employees will begin using the Polku app together with the children they are responsible for, their closest networks, and social workers in 2020.
Providing a safe path for children without compromising information security
Small actors, such as NGOs and non-profits, often save on expensive specialist work, as their limited resources and financial investments must be channeled into the core task itself. Nixu wanted to support SOS Children’s Villages Finland by donating its expertise to help ensure that the Polku app is a secure tool for processing children’s data.
No app should be connected to the internet without ensuring its information security first. Privacy protection and information security become especially important when handling any confidential information, such as personal data concerning children and their placement in foster care.
“The effects of the pandemic are particularly visible in the everyday lives of families who were already facing numerous challenges even before the coronavirus crisis. We share the concern of the well-being of these children and families, which is why we support the work that SOS Children’s Villages Finland is doing for these vulnerable families,” explains Valtteri Peltomäki, Finland Market Area Leader at Nixu. “We believe that our efforts are best placed in the area that we know best. With the help of our experts, we ensure the appropriate information security of such an important app.”
“A child may live in a SOS Children’s Villages foster family for years, or even the entirety of their childhood. The key goals when working with children change according to the child’s growth and development, as well as their networks and relationships. Systematic and goal-oriented work that help secure the prerequisites for a good childhood and healthy adulthood form the key components of the work done in the foster care services provided by SOS Children’s Villages Finland,” explains Tiina Rihti, Development Manager at SOS Children’s Villages Finland.
“The Polku app makes it easy to set clear goals and mark them when they are achieved. It is vitally important that we identify the support-oriented needs of each child in foster care and find the solutions that will best help improve their situation. We owe it to these children that we pursue what is best for them,” notes Rihti.