Butterfly on summery flower meadow.

Adult social work in six largest Cities 2019

Homelessness is a problem of the large cities in particular. In 2019, there were 3,290 homeless persons living alone in the six largest cities, which is 72 per cent of all the homeless persons in Finland. The number of homeless families was 227, which is 86 per cent of all the homeless families in Finland. In the six largest cities, the number of homeless persons living alone decreased from last year in Espoo, Turku and Helsinki, while the number increased in Tampere, Oulu and Vantaa.

The core of adult social work consists of taking care of the basic needs (livelihood and economy, housing, ability to function and well-being, human relations and participation and rehabilitation) of the people. The role of adult social work is emphasised in times of crisis. During emergencies, adult social work takes care of, among other things, food supply, crisis accommodation, on-call duty during office hours and general information in social care.

In 2019, Kela granted basic social assistance to 118,701 households in the six largest cities. The municipality’s supplementary social assistance was granted to 32,228 households, preventive social assistance to 19,226 households. However, granting social assistance is not solely enough to help the clients out of difficult financial situations. In social work, this fact has given rise to a need to develop financial social work, whose objective is to strengthen the client's financial ability to function.

These are some of the results in the Kuusikko working group’s fresh publication, which describes the clientele, client process, personnel and contents of adult social work in the six largest cities. Additionally, the report deals with homelessness and housing counselling in the six largest cities and focuses on the themes of financial social work and social assistance.

Further reading (in Finnish):

Kuuden suurimman kaupungin aikuissosiaalityö ja toimeentulotuki vuonna 2019 (Adult social work and social assistance in the six largest cities 2019, Pdf)

Kuusikko working group (in Finnish)

Photograph: Marianne Saviaho, City of Helsinki Material Bank