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The new welfare plan tells how the residents of Vaasa are doing

Published: 20.2.2024

Vaasa City’s welfare report and plan provide an overview of the current and future state of welfare for the residents of Vaasa. The plan is accompanied by an action list for various solutions to be implemented by 2027.

What role does the municipality play in promoting welfare now that social and healthcare services have been transferred to the responsibilities of the welfare area? The welfare plan is Vaasa City’s response to this question.

The City Council approved Vaasa City’s welfare report and plan for the years 2023–2027 at its meeting on February 19. The decision means that the entire city commits to promoting the welfare of its residents.

Welfare information has been collected from both national statistics and directly from residents

The plan analyzes residents’ welfare using a lifecycle model, taking into account various perspectives, and proposing measures to improve it.

Welfare information is based on both national statistics (e.g., school health surveys) and residents’ own experiences.

The statistics have been interpreted by expert working groups consisting of personnel and officials from the city’s various sectors, representatives from the welfare area, association representatives, government representatives, and experts by experience.

Residents’ experiences have led to actions

The welfare plan was developed in spring 2023 by involving people of different ages through workshops and a digital welfare role-playing game.

– Residents’ experiences have been invaluable and have in many cases directly led to action. For example, it emerged in the youth workshop that many find it difficult to go to school early in the morning. For this reason, the welfare plan notes that the need for school days starting at eight o’clock should be carefully assessed in education, says Director of Welfare Virve Flinkkilä.

Most residents of Vaasa are doing very well, but problems also accumulate

Based on statistics, experts, and residents’ experiences, an overview of the welfare of the residents of Vaasa today and in the future has been constructed.

The overview shows that most residents of Vaasa are doing very well. Many have a functioning daily life, supportive networks, and enjoy their living environment. However, some residents of Vaasa are not doing well, and some may even be doing very poorly.

– We have seen how problems accumulate among the same people and in the same residential areas. Exclusion and loneliness are complex problems that affect many, describes Flinkkilä.

The expert taskforces of the welfare plan highlighted how global trends, such as digitalization and the changing collective opinions on various matters, affect people’s everyday lives. This is reflected in the statistics, for example, through young people’s malaise and mental strains among working-age people.

– Modern life demands a lot from people, especially from young people, so the resilience and endurance of society and the individual become increasingly important, says Flinkkilä.

Park for young people, bedtime story package, and participation

To improve the situation, various measures have been listed for different age groups and addressing different themes.

Some of the measures are extensive, such as planning a dedicated park for young people and improving winter maintenance for pedestrian and cycle paths. Other measures are smaller, such as offering a bedtime story package at the library and introducing participatory course planning at the Alma adult education centre.

– With these measures, we want to support residents’ own ability to make good life choices, strengthen mental well-being by increasing protective factors, and increase community by strengthening group activities. The goal is to create a pleasant and activating city where everyone can feel good and be happy, summarises Flinkkilä.

The welfare plan is valid until 2027, and its implementation is monitored by age-specific follow-up groups with representatives from various professions.