The family centre is a support network that helps families cope

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
2021-02-18 19:29

Family centre activities are now being developed in Western Uusimaa. Family centres provide all the wellness services for families with children smoothly, easily and at the right time. Their wide range of services includes all services promoting the well-being, health, growth and development of children and families as well as early support and care services. You can also join in and make a difference!

Support for families on all fronts

Family centres offer services on site, online and at home. Services that used to be separate – for example, from maternity clinics to family work and home service, from speech therapy and occupational therapy services to psychological services, and from family counselling to social work and child welfare supervision – are combined into a tight network in family centres.

In many places, family centre activities are already well underway. For example, there are already two family centres operating in Lohja, and family centre activities are being developed in all municipalities in Western Uusimaa.

The idea of family centres originally stemmed from the need to provide more diverse support to families with children at an earlier stage. Bringing together the services needed by the family reduces unnecessary confusion and searching. In family centres, the client’s situation is viewed as a whole, and one visit can be used to manage several things. If necessary, additional experts are brought to the joint table, or a dedicated employee can be appointed for the family to assist in assembling a support team.   

“If, for example, a visit to a child or maternity health clinic raises concerns about the family’s ability to cope, we can arrange additional help for the family at home. And if the family is not yet ready to receive additional help, we can, for example, agree that a family instructor or psychologist from home services will attend their next appointment to describe the different options available,” says Eija Tommila, Chief of Family Centres in Lohja, as an example of how family centres work.

Family knows best

Family centres handle both big and small issues when they hear what the client really needs.

“The family knows best how the family is doing. Sometimes financial problems or even piles of unwashed laundry can cause stress. Then, we work together to figure out how to get the piles levelled and make everyday life go more smoothly,” Tommila continues. 

Family centres are based on seamless cooperation not only between different services, but also between partners. Family centres are also meeting places where group activities, support and community spirit are offered to families with children. Activities are organised, for example, with day-care centres, schools, parishes, libraries, sports and exercise services as well as cultural services. Together, we can test and come up with new ideas and inform the families about the activities available in the area.

Equal services for all – electronic family centre under development

The aim for the future is to provide all families living in Western Uusimaa with equal services in family centres, at home and online.

In addition to family centre activities, electronic services are also being developed, and will be tested in autumn 2021. Electronic services can include, for example, online parenting courses, information and support for situations where there is concern about a child or young person as well as a channel through which you can request and receive assistance.

“We may not succeed on the first try but living in the moment and improving things further brings us closer to success. Our clients know what works best and what does not. That is why it is important for us to have all of the residents’ voices heard,” says Hanna Lehtinen, Project Manager. 

Would you like to join us in developing the services of the family centres?

In the Ideal Social and Health Services community, we open a group for developing family centre services in May. You can already join the community.

Read more about the Ideal Social and Health Services community

Family centres on the map: In Espoo and Kauniainen there is a network of family centre services and meeting places. In Karviainen, Kirkkonummi, Lohja and Raseborg there are family centres and meeting places. In Hanko, Ingå and Siuntio, family centres are being planned.

Picture: Family centres and meeting places in Western Uusimaa, situation in February 2021.The map presents meeting places where activities are organised by two or more partners. Family centres and meeting place activities are being developed in all municipalities in Western Uusimaa.