The Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration in Finland has published a policy brief about the wellbeing of children with a foreign background. The brief examines how parental unemployment, family poverty and structural discrimination affects children’s wellbeing and participation, and suggests solutions to these issues.
There are approximately 115 000 children with a foreign background living in Finland, representing every tenth child. The majority were born in Finland, with 27% born abroad. What affects these children’s wellbeing negatively is the socio-economic status of their family, racism in the community and other forms of discrimination.
The majority of these children come from a low income family. The percentage with an Asian (51%) or an African (58%) background is greater than those with a European or American background (both around 30%), and those living in a low income native Finnish family represent just 11% of the group.
In order to improve the wellbeing, participation and equality of children with a foreign background it is important to focus on their lived social environment, tailoring services and solutions to meet their needs and the needs of their families.
The policy brief suggests the following:
- Reduce family poverty
- Support parenthood
- Advance integration of children’s parents
- Reduce racism and unequal treatment
The Centre of Expertise in Immigrant Integration is part of the Immigrant Integration Group of the Employment and Entrepreneurship Department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.