Introducing Study Visits: Hatanpää Family Group Home

It is late September and we are on our way to the very first Study Visit video shoot. Tampere City Cultural Affairs is in charge of the production of all the 2013 International Metropolis Conference Study Visit introduction videos. In the car, the atmosphere is nervously excited. As we pull up to a beautiful red brick building next to the Arboretum Park, we can see Lake Pyhäjärvi glistening through the autumn leaves. 

We have arrived at Villa Idman, where Hatanpää Family Group Home’s supervisor Angie Pohja is waiting for us. As the door opens, the oh so familiar scent of freshly baked sweet buns greets us.

Right away we are ushered to the kitchen and handed cups of steaming coffee and still warm baked goodies. Angie takes us to the living room and starts explaining to us what a family group home is, who is it for and what they do there. Hatanpää Family Group Home for the underage is a home away from home for the immigrant children and the young asylum seekers who have arrived to Finland without their parents or a legal guardian. The Family Group Home can accommodate twenty children and young during their asylum seeker process. 

All the kids living in the Family Group Home get help during their integration period. Each one of the underage children arriving to Villa Idman gets a personal counselor who helps and supports them in their everyday life. In addition to this, to make sure that their interests are supervised, a representative is appointed especially for the children. The representative is present, for example, during every asylum seeker interview carried out by the Immigration Services.

The children are indeed well looked after, for Hatanpää Family Group Home has its own nurse who is in charge of both the children’s physical and mental health, and if necessary, the nurse directs the children to a doctor’s consultation, to the Mental Health Services or to a specific healthcare specialist.

Each of the children in Hatanpää Family Group Home attends Finnish language courses but also helps with the chores and learns other important skills necessary for knowing how to live, learn, make friends, study, be independent and work in Tampere region. Also, their further studies are planned on individual basis according to everyone’s own hopes and interests. Angie and other counselors do their best to come up with fun free time activities, too. The kids are encouraged to try out different hobbies, sports and activities and to take part in get-togethers organized for or with the local people and organizations like the Finnish Red Cross. If and when needed, help with the possible language barriers is offered by the Pirkanmaa Interpreters Centre. 

The interview is over and we say goodbye to Angie and the rest of the staff of Hatanpää Family Group Home. While driving away, we all agree that this was the perfect start to our Metropolis Study Visit video shoots.


Marianne Luoma, B.A.

City of Tampere
Cultural Affairs



Wagtail – migratory bird

The wagtail is the provincial bird of the Tampere Region

Wagtails are small birds with long tails which they wag frequently. Wagtails are slender, often colourful, ground-feeding insectivores of open country in the Old World. They are ground nesters, laying up to six speckled eggs at a time. Among their most conspicuous behaviours is a near constant tail wagging, a trait that has given the birds their common name.

(source: Wikipedia)