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More support for asylum-seeker families and children in reception centres

Publication date 7.11.2017 12.55
Press release

The Finnish Immigration Service aims to support the well-being of asylum seeker families and the development of children in a special project called “The Let’s Talk about Children method in reception services – psychosocial support for families with children and the vulnerable”.

The project is introducing the Let’s Talk about Children intervention method to the reception system nationwide. This concerns a preventive method of supporting development, targeted at unaccompanied minors and all families seeking asylum.

The project will improve the functional capacity and competence of reception centres to take children into account as part of everyday routines. The project's target group includes families with children at reception centres, and unaccompanied minors.

The project partner is the Finnish Association for Mental Health. The two-stage Let’s Talk about Children method forms part of the Effective Child & Family approach.

The Let's Talk about Children discussion involves reinforcing parenthood, a positive child-parent relationship and the safe and smooth everyday life of children. If necessary, the discussion is followed by a counselling session, arranged whenever there is a need to strengthen the factors protecting children. The counselling involves functional networking aimed at achieving concrete actions – which help children to cope – in the everyday lives of families and children.

The project includes evaluating the usability, suitability and safety of the operating model and developing it further to suit the target group and the operating environments of reception centres.

At the beginning of the project, the Let’s Talk about Children model is being piloted in a number of reception centres for adults and families, and in units for minors. Subsequently, training sessions will be provided to introduce the operating model throughout the reception system.

The Let’s Talk About Children project has received EU funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Further information about the method

Information about research findings on the Let's Talk about Children method has been compiled in the Growth Support manual (in Finnish).

The Effective Child & Family approach and material for the Let’s Talk about Children method on the Finnish Association for Mental Health website.

Further information for the media

Virpi Valiola, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 430 431, e-mail: