Shadow World offers six different ways in which its visitors and registered members can find help in their difficult situation:
1. A blog
(in Finnish) that offers up to date information on topics related to the target groups’ reality;
2. A “Where Can I Get Help From?” directory
, which helps the child to identify a trustworthy adult in his/her life and offers a listing of dozens of phone numbers, links and other services they may contact, both in Finnish and Swedish
3. A printable checklist
that the child may fill out and bring along to a doctor’s appointment or a school counselor’s office, if he/she finds it difficult to verbalize the situation;
4. An anonymous, free online consultation service that offers professional answers to all kinds of questions related to substance misuse in the family. Professionals include social workers, nurses and other experts in the field (Launching soon!);
5. The most active section of Shadow World is its
6. Closed, anonymous, three-month-long peer groups that are counseled by child protection professionals. The main objective of these groups is to help and support children who suffer from parental substance use and offer them peer experiences in matters that are typically kept a secret. There have been thirteen groups so far, and over 100 individual participants. The results have been fascinating, as many children have reported an increase in self-esteem and a newfound courage to talk about their situation to outsiders.
The counselors work in three different ways: First, they create a safe, confidential environment by setting clear rules. Second, they assess each child’s individual situation through discussion and different methods/exercises that are adapted from the Finnish child protection services. After distinguishing each group member’s situation, they offer tailored service guidance and, if need be, contact face to face services and authorities on behalf of the child.