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Social work offers support and tools for navigating the financial crisis

A sudden deterioration in financial circumstances can be caused, for example, by a divorce, a serious illness and the resulting hospital and medical bills, a substance abuse problem or mental health issues.

Through social work, you can get help when budgets are tight and the basic pillars of everyday life are shaken.

– Unless the situation is quite severe, we start by assessing the need for services. The goal is to find out what kind of support is needed and, if necessary, start a social work clientship, says Adult Social Welfare Services team manager Henna Kronlund.

Sometimes small changes, such as changing the electricity company and postponing the payment date of bills, are enough and expenses can be cut to a sustainable level. Sometimes bigger life changes are required, such as moving to a smaller and more affordable apartment.

Financial support is one of the tools of social work, but primarily we try to support clients in other ways. Social workers and counsellors provide support and can lend a helping hand when necessary, but they do not do everything for the client, only participate with them.

– We help make payment plans and request payment times for bills. We are in contact with the bank and provide guidance in managing finances. We give clients the tools so that they can learn to communicate with Kela, the bank and the electricity company, explains Kristina Maars, a social worker working in Närpiö.

One way to keep the finances on track is through a brokerage account, where the client’s agreed income is directed to an account managed by social welfare services, from which the agreed bills are handled and the client is given a working capital. Cooperation with various authorities and third sector operators is a big part of a social worker’s everyday life.

– Many times people try to survive on their own for a long time before they contact social welfare services, says Maars.

Financial advice clinics are a low-threshold service providing an opportunity to discuss everyday financial questions without booking an appointment, and you can also contact them by telephone. The financial advice clinic, Talousneuvola, can also function as a parallel service in addition to other help.

The Financial Advice Clinic – Talousneuvola

The Financial Advice Clinic is available without booking an appointment every third Thursday from 12:00 – 15:00, the next time is on 8 June, at the common services point of Kela and the City of Vaasa (Teräsenkuja 1). Check the autumn opening hours on our website. You can also call a financial counsellor on 040 482 6618.

Adult Social Welfare Services can provide support, for example, in matters concerning work, finances, studies or life management.

Info point, guidance and counselling (Kristiinankaupunki, Kaskinen, Närpiö, Korsnäs, Maalahti, Laihia) tel. 06 218 2146, leading social worker tel. 045 132 1593

Info point, guidance and counselling (Vaasa, Mustasaari, Vöyri) tel. 06 218 2146, adult social work emergency tel. 040 575 3109 from 08:00 –11:00.

Info point, guidance and counselling (Pietarsaari, Luoto, Pedersöre, Uusikaarlepyy, Kruunupyy) tel. 044 403 8573 from 10:00 – 11:00. The information desk in Pietarsaari (Strengberginkatu 1) is open daily from 09:00 – 12:00.