The City of Helsinki provides two kinds of integration services for newcomers
Helsinki Employment Services arranges integration services for people who are registered jobseekers, while the city’s social services arranges integration services for other eligible members of the international community.
Integration services from social services
The City of Helsinki’s social services arranges the second type of integration services. The rest of this section will explain about these kind of services in more detail.
Integration services from the city’s social services are available to newcomers who are working, studying or caring for their children at home. Newcomers to the country who may be outside of the job market due to a disability or retirement are also eligible. All Helsinki residents who meet the criteria qualify for an initial assessment.
The initial assessment for provided by the city’s social services helps newcomers find the assistance they need. Firstly, the city’s social services professionals carry out an assessment of the applicant’s education level, language skills and work experience. If necessary, an interpreter can be present during this initial assessment.
Secondly, if applicants already know some Finnish, the city can make arrangements for them to sit a language test. The results of the test help direct customers to suitable language training.
Personal integration plan
After this initial assessment, an assigned integration services specialist can help match customers with several kinds of information, training and services.
In most cases, the specialist and the customer will next draw up a personal integration plan together. The plan will likely include classes that help participants learn about Helsinki, everyday life in Finland, and the system of state benefits. In addition, assigned specialists can help match participants with Finnish or Swedish language classes, education and training towards a profession or other activities of interest.
As a rule, newcomers must jointly draw up their first integration plan no later than three years after they first registered their right of residence in Finland.
Integration services specialists can help:
Plan your education and career path
Address any wellbeing issues associated with your children or family
Set up appointments for general healthcare
Hook you up with suitable sports clubs, hobbies, associations or interest groups
Find support for dealing with personal trauma, crises or substance abuse
Assist customers with possible applications for family reunification