Upper age limit for after-care provided to unaccompanied young people arriving in Finland raised to 25
Starting from 15 July 2020, young people who have entered Finland as unaccompanied minors and who have been granted a residence permit will be entitled to after-care until the age of 25. The President of the Republic approved the amendment to the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration on 9 July 2020.
The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration lays down provisions on the services offered to those who arrived in Finland as unaccompanied minors and who have been granted a residence permit. Until now, young people have been entitled to support until they reach the age of 21. The Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration was amended because the equivalent age limit in child welfare after-care was raised to 25 years on 1 January 2020. The amendment will enter into force on 15 July 2020.
Municipalities are responsible for providing after-care services to unaccompanied minors. Central government reimburses municipalities for the cost of providing unaccompanied children with accommodation and support. Following the legislative amendment, municipalities will be reimbursed for the cost of providing these services until the young person reaches the age of 25. Under the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration, cost reimbursement is subject to separate agreement between the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the municipality. Costs shall be reimbursed for a maximum period of ten years.
Integration promotion does not constitute grounds for child welfare services
Some revisions were also made to the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration to clarify its provisions. The previous reference in the Act to other measures equivalent to child welfare services was replaced by a reference to social services and other support services. In addition, a paragraph according to which measures to promote integration could include “child welfare after-care measures and services for those who arrived as unaccompanied minors and were granted a residence permit” was repealed.
The amendments are not intended to change the support provided to unaccompanied persons, but merely to clarify that the support provided under the Integration Act does not constitute child welfare service.
Anna Bruun, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 8254