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Housing and care arrangements

A municipality may establish a family group home or other residential unit intended for children and young persons. The municipality may also, at its discretion, contract a private service provider for the maintenance of the housing unit. The establishment of a housing unit always begins with an agreement between the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the service provider, based on the need for services depending on the number of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. 

The municipality where the housing unit is established must also have an agreement with the ELY Centre on the reception of beneficiaries of international protection and a valid integration programme. The agreement is a condition for the municipality to receive compensation from the central government.

If the municipality does not have an agreement on the reception of beneficiaries of international protection or an integration programme in place, the municipality shall agree on their preparation and timetable with the ELY Centre. The municipality and the ELY Centre shall also agree on the placement of children and young people in the established units, the provision of services to promote integration and compensation for the costs incurred by the measures.

Child Welfare Act governs the family group homes

The facilities and the upbringing environment offered by a family group home or other residential units as well as the number of children and young people receiving care at any one time and the number of staff at these units are regulated by the Child Welfare Act.

A child has the right to a safe environment in which to grow up, to balanced and well-rounded development and to special protection. A child’s care and upbringing must be arranged in such a way that their privacy is respected. The residential unit must have adequate and appropriate facilities and operating equipment.  

The staffing of family group homes is also specified in the Child Welfare Act. One residential unit may house a maximum of seven children or young people at one time. A maximum of 24 children or young people may be placed in one building. In general, each residential unit must have at least seven employees involved in care and upbringing duties. If there are several residential units in the same building, each unit must have at least six employees involved in care and upbringing duties.

As regards the qualifications of the personnel, each unit must have a number of professional social welfare and other personnel that is sufficient with regard to the care and upbringing required by the children and young people, as provided in the Child Welfare Act, and the personnel must have the qualifications as referred to in the Act on Qualification Requirements for Social Welfare Professionals (272/2005).

Read more:
Child Welfare Act (in Finnish)