Some of the children and young people applying for asylum arrive in Finland without a guardian. For example, 112 asylum seekers, who were unaccompanied minors, were granted a residence permit in 2022. An unaccompanied minor asylum seeker is appointed a representative, who exercises the guardian’s right to be heard in matters concerning the child.
Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers arriving in Finland are placed in group homes or support accommodation for the duration of their asylum application. They may also live in private accommodation.
The aim is to process asylum applications submitted by minors as soon as possible. Most of them receive a residence permit in Finland.
Wellbeing services county and municipality are responsible for supporting unaccompanied minors
Under the Integration Act, the care and upbringing of an unaccompanied child or young person who has been issued a residence permit or admitted to Finland under the refugee quota must be arranged in a manner that meets their needs.
When an unaccompanied minor has been granted a residence permit, they will be provided with care and upbringing in a family group home or family care or in some other appropriate manner. The wellbeing services county is responsible for arranging the housing and care of unaccompanied minors.
Housing for young people who are about to reach adulthood can also be arranged as supportive accommodation. Children and young persons may be entitled to support measures until they reach the age of 25 or until a guardian for them is appointed in Finland.
As a resident of a municipality, an unaccompanied child or young person has the right to receive all the services available to other residents of the municipality. The municipality organises education, leisure, sports and cultural services for children or young people and is involved in drawing up an integration plan. The municipality and the wellbeing services county will always draw up an integration plan for unaccompanied minors together.