A wellbeing services county may establish a family group home or other residential unit intended for children and young persons. The wellbeing services county may also conclude an agreement on the maintenance of the residential unit with a private service provider. The establishment of a residential unit always starts with an agreement with the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), which is based on the number of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers and the resulting need for accommodation. The wellbeing services county must consult the municipality before establishing a family group home or other residential unit.
The municipality where the residential unit will be located must also have an agreement with the ELY Centre on the reception of beneficiaries of international protection and a valid integration programme. The agreement will enable the central government to pay compensation to the municipality.
If the municipality does not have an agreement on the reception of beneficiaries of international protection or an integration programme, the municipality will agree on their preparation and schedule with the ELY Centre. The wellbeing services county also agrees with the municipality and the ELY Centre on the placement of children and young people in the established units and on the organisation of services that promote their integration.
Premises and personnel of family group homes
Provisions contained in the Child Welfare Act apply to the facilities of group family homes or other residential units, the circumstances in which the residents are brought up in them, the number of children and young persons cared for together in them and their personnel.
The child has the right to a safe growth environment, a balanced and well-rounded development and special protection. Child care and upbringing must be arranged in a way that guarantees the privacy of the children is respected. The residential unit must have adequate and appropriate facilities and operating equipment.
The staffing levels of family group homes will be in accordance with the Child Welfare Act.
A maximum number of seven children or young people may be cared for in a residential unit. A maximum of 24 children or young people may be placed in one building. In general, each residential unit must have at least 7 employees working in care and upbringing tasks. If there is more than one residential unit in the same building, there must be a minimum of six employees in care and upbringing work in a residential unit.
In accordance with the Integration Act, the provisions of the Child Welfare Act also apply to the qualification requirements of personnel so that the unit has a sufficient number of social welfare professionals and other personnel referred to in the Act on Qualification Requirements for Social Welfare Professionals (817/2015) in relation to the care and upbringing needed by children and young people.