Based on Article 45, Paragraph 1 of the Law on the Government (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, no.

55/05 and 71/05 – Correction) The Government adopts

THE SOCIAL WELFARE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
1. BASIC FRAMEWORK
Inclusion of the Republic of Serbia into the European integration process, aiming to accelerate economic and social progress, assumes the development of modern and efficient state institutions based on the rule of law, which in turn contributes to the quality of life of its citizens. The overall processes of democratisation, economic restructuring and social welfare policy reforms should be supplemented by an efficient social welfare system. Social welfare is aimed at improving the social status of citizens on a personal level, in the family and wider, in society. Social welfare should strengthen social cohesion and stimulate people’s independence and ability to care for themselves. An efficient social welfare system should respond to citizens’ needs under new circumstances and support vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups who are in need of organised state and community support, as well as citizens who are unable to engage in economic activities and through that, secure their livelihoods.

Our country is a member of the Council of Europe, in which all state members actively promote social cohesion, through the fulfilment of the following specific objectives: - Guarantees of an adequate level of social welfare; - Stimulation of employment, continuous improvement of competencies, and respect for the rights of workers; - Ensured protection of the most vulnerable groups in society; - Promotion of equal opportunities for all citizens; - Prohibition of social exclusion and discrimination; - European cooperation in the population migration process.

The Social Welfare Development Strategy (hereinafter: the Strategy) is an integral part of the overall changes in society. Conceptually, the Strategy is harmonised

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and synchronised with the main social transition trends and it is realistic, in comparison with the existing financial resources of the state. Ratification of a vast number of international conventions, in the area of human rights, clearly indicates our country’s readiness to enhance human rights, and therefore social rights and the right to social welfare. Although the majority of social welfare rights are already embedded in the system, in order for it to become more efficient and flexible, it must be further modernized and changed. Citizens’ rights must be enhanced and made operational, while mechanisms which would ensure their timely and cost effective implementation, must be in place. Social welfare development will be implemented through reform processes, which build on international and European objectives of overall economic and social development of society, poverty reduction and ensuring improved protection of vulnerable groups of children, persons with disabilities and the elderly, as well as marginalised groups of citizens. The reform of the social welfare system is particularly influenced by the following international documents: the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The development trends of the social welfare system are also influenced by the UN Millennium Development Goals and a UN document “A World Fit for Children”. As an active participant and a member of the UN and the Council of Europe, our country has a political obligation to implement numerous declarations adopted at specific sessions of the UN General Assembly and the Council of Europe. This primarily pertains to the recommendations from the World Summit for Social Development, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children, the UN Second World Assembly on Ageing, the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS. The Strategy is founded on the reform objectives outlined in strategic documents adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter: the Government): The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, the Employment Strategy, the National Action Plan for Children as well as numerous other developmental documents currently being drafted or in the process of being publicly debated: the Draft National Action Plan on Ageing, the Draft Law Against Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities, etc. Accounting for the country’s current development stage, the internationally defined standards which must be incorporated into the social welfare system as well as the financial resources available to the state, the Strategy foresees a development process adjusted to the realistic potentials within society. It outlines the timeframe for reaching objectives, and flags up priority activities which pertain to protection of vulnerable

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groups of children and adults. The improvement of social welfare is founded on contemporary theoretical knowledge and the domestic experiences, as well as those of other countries. The conceptualization of basic development trends in the social welfare system is founded on: A review of the relevant needs, An analysis of the current situation, The current stage of development, The identified problems and insufficiencies, and The application of international standards and recommendations.

2. SOCIAL WELFARE IN THE TRANSITION PROCESS 2.1. Activities to Date
The overall changes in the political and economic system, and changes in the system of values, coupled with unfavourable demographic movements, have led to a disrupted social balance within our society. As a consequence, there is an increase in unemployment, enhanced poverty and social stratification, as well as increased vulnerability of children, infirm and the elderly, due to a reduced capacity of the family and society to fulfil their protective roles. A realistic transition challenge is posed by the rise of various types of antisocial behaviour and new forms of crime. The social welfare system, like other social security systems, is faced with numerous problems which call for innovative adapting to changes, as well as an enhancement of the system. The essential reasons for reforming the social welfare system are the following: beneficiaries and citizens in the social welfare system are extremely passive; the network of social services is underdeveloped; social welfare services provided by the non-governmental sector (services provided by individuals and legal entities not founded by the state, nongovernmental, socio-humanitarian organisations, associations) are not sufficiently developed and utilized; the system of public social welfare institutions and services is centralised, bureaucratised, inflexible, paternalistic, inefficient and not cost effective.

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Reforms focusing on democratisation and stabilisation of a market-oriented society, striving towards European integrations, also entail the introduction of a contemporary model of social policy. The main goal of the new social policy is an efficient system of social transfers and fulfilment of basic citizens’ needs, which serves the purpose of protecting human rights. Accordingly, social welfare goals include efficient financial support and a developed network of institutions and social services, 3

which can remove or mitigate main risks to which the citizens are exposed. Social welfare reform in the Republic of Serbia was initiated in a way that recognized the existing needs of citizens for new approaches, measures and services in this field. The transition processes in the social welfare system were initiated in 2001 through the work of the Government and the responsible line Ministry, the international and the local non government organisations. Significant initiatives, assistance and support were received from the United Nations and the European Union, governments and departments of foreign countries, international and foreign non governmental organisations, through cooperation with public administration authorities, local self-governments as well as with local non government organisations. Social welfare reform initiatives were launched and developed by the responsible line ministry through the creation and work of strategic teams for social welfare system reform, blueprinting of the reform projects, and the establishment of the Social Innovations Fund (SIF) Programme.

The reform projects encompassed the necessary changes within the system of social welfare, while respecting the requirements of the contemporary theoretical model of social work, as well as the standards of the European model for developing social welfare services and agencies. The following projects are currently being implemented: 1. Development of an Integrated Social Welfare Model at the Local Level; 2. Standards and Organization in the Social Welfare Centre; 3. Transformation of Residential Institutions in the Social Welfare System and Development of Alternative Forms of Social Care; 4. The Strategy for the Development of Foster Care and Adoption; 5. Protection of Children from Abuse and Neglect. Reform processes are also supported through a range of other innovative projects, either already completed or still ongoing. Implementation of these reform initiatives and activities in the area of social welfare, in the Republic of Serbia generated valuable new knowledge, experience and skills, creating potential for wider application and dissemination to social actors who have not participated in their creation. The adoption of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper signified an important step, because this document to a large extent addresses the development of a more efficient social welfare system.

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The Key Poverty Reduction Strategy Objectives and Measures in the Area of Social Welfare
The main goal is to reduce poverty and develop more efficient social welfare: - Improved recognition and identification of the poorest citizens and greater targeting of members of society unable to earn a living; - The development of alternative forms of social welfare which support life in the community – day care centres for persons with specific needs, at-home social care and assistance, foster care; - Development of professional standards, procedures, protocols and norms; - Raising citizens’ awareness about different social welfare programmes; - Linking of all social welfare actors at the local level; - Reviewing and enhancing services for persons with disabilities; - Development of specific programmes aimed at integration of Roma, refugees and IDPs.

Simultaneously, changes are occurring as a result of political and legislative actions of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter: the National Assembly) and the Government, as well as the active engagement of the responsible line ministry in their practical implementation. Changes and amendments to The Law on Social Welfare and Social Security of Citizens were made and The Family Law was adopted. The adoption of the National Plan of Action for Children created a foundation for enhancing overall child protection. There are also ongoing efforts to create and adopt a National Action Plan on Ageing, a Law against Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities, and to secure resources for reforming services for persons with disabilities. Further development of a more efficient social welfare system requires strategic planning for the continuation of reform processes towards making underlying changes of the system, with participation of all social stakeholders. A systematic approach to reforms should continue through measures, activities and mechanisms which will ensure the most favourable outcomes for beneficiaries.

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Furthermore. The municipalities retained jurisdiction over the financing of open forms of social protection (day-care service centres. The Government took over financing and control over the realisation of all rights legally defined as “common interest rights”. as well as subsidies from the republic budget (and of the Provinces). in terms of office space and equipment as well as a small proportion of staff salaries (of those who work on the realisation of rights financed by the local self government). The existing services and forms of support have very limited prospects for 6 . the provision of rights and services in the area of social welfare was under the jurisdiction of municipalities. which secures working conditions. especially of open forms of social protection. Analyses from the Poverty Reduction Strategy.2. either as rights by origin. resulting in a very few municipalities being able to actually provide them. Explicitly. or rights transferred from the state. with insufficient resources for their further development.2. which local self governments were obliged by law. and amended nine times since then. centres for social welfare are essentially dependent on republic authorities and are not functionally tied with local authorities. This included adequate sources of financing. abolished existing social welfare funds both at the local and republic level. The network of centres for social welfare is well developed: each municipality has its own centre or a centre for social welfare department (branch office). which was impeded when the jurisdiction over residential care in all its segments (the network plan of institutions and the founding rights over them. for most citizens are complicated. were transferred under the jurisdiction of the Republic. Due to a lack of resources. as well as for the provided services). The realisation of “common interest” rights. the efficiency and quality of work is significantly reduced due to the system of double jurisdiction. the insufficient development of these services was exuberated by a lack of control mechanisms and the stimulation for encouraging the realisation of rights. guaranteed by the Republic is also bureaucratised. while the Republic. for underdeveloped municipalities. also assumes to the greatest extent. foster care. adopted in 1991. demonstrate that a 10% increase of the threshold would double the number of beneficiaries of financial support. However. until 1991. the threshold for realising rights prevents the majority of citizens within the “grey poverty zone” from realising the right to financial support. The founder of the centre is the local selfgovernment. This distances them from their primary task: the assessment of citizens’ social needs and the responsibility for fulfilling them. besides securing funds for all permanent cash benefits and residential care. The procedures and obtaining the necessary documentation. home care and assistance. The Capacities and Prospects of Social Welfare The current social welfare system rests on the existing Law on Social Protection and Social Security of Citizens. to provide. and all rights to permanent financial support. the responsibility of financing employees and supervising (monitoring) the legal and professional aspects of their work. The political trends at the time characterised by a centralization of responsibilities and finances. securing resources for building and equipping. clubs). introduced by the previously mentioned law on social protection: the founder of the centre for social welfare is the municipality. In this way. This system was characterised by intense development.

so that institutions which were originally meant for children with disabilities. are unable to independently provide for their basic needs and those of their family. and care-takers are insufficiently trained for the application of contemporary work methods. Under such conditions. a significant number of 7 . community based services are not developed in line with citizens’ needs. along with underdeveloped communitybased services. has led to an institutional isolation of many beneficiaries whose needs would be better fulfilled through other types of services. i. Financial benefits for citizens who are capable for work. even older. Fragmented decision making on the rights to these forms of financial support and their distribution through different systems leads to an enlargement of the administrative – bureaucratic apparatus. another 1. All of this raises issues regarding respect of beneficiaries’ rights. Broadly defined and applied rights to residential accommodation. alongside insufficient resources at the local level has created a bungling network of institutions that does not respond to the real needs of the beneficiaries and does not provide adequate services. Namely. between 40 and 50% of them are displaced from their original place of residence. children remain in institutions too long. Out of a total of 4. slows down the achievement of these rights. Due to insufficiently developed foster care and unequal coverage. because more than 100 municipalities do not provide guaranteed support services.overcoming poverty. children and adults ages from 4 to 50. This has resulted in a predilection for residential accommodation. are provided within different systems. These institutions are characterised by a large number of beneficiaries (from 300 to 650). upon finishing school. a vast number of adults with disabilities and elderly citizens are not able to fulfil their needs. that is.200 children without parental care and children with disabilities have been placed in institutions. leads to an absence of a unique registry and an insight into the holistic needs of the beneficiaries. even when it is not essential.e. a categorisation of institutions according to the categories of beneficiaries and an inadequate fulfilment of needs of a great number of beneficiaries. a centralised approach in planning residential capacities and financing rights. in their natural environment. Children with disabilities placed in five residential institutions are particularly vulnerable. gradually became institutions for the accommodation of adults as well. the staff structure prescribed by norms is inadequate. Additionally. leave them upon reaching adulthood. At the same time. Due to a high level of centralisation. Services provided to children without parental care in social welfare (residential) institutions are incomplete and do not empower them for independent living. The facilities are in poor condition. which exceeds the number prescribed by norms and standards. the adequacy of the measures which have been applied. They usually spend their entire life in an institution. however.900 children residing in institutions and foster families. limited funds in municipal and city budgets and consequent insufficient interest in the social welfare system. most often with no further support for independent living.

mental health issues and persons with physical disabilities. are placed in residential institutions with no adequate programs to address their needs. are insufficient. The quality of services in existing institutions is lopsided and the available support for preserving physical and mental capabilities of beneficiaries and the improvement of the quality of their life. Employment and Social Policy. children and youth with cognitive disabilities are excluded from the educational system and placed in institutions for persons with mental health issues. although. the Government. and territorially and functionally inaccessible. Such a system does not provide sufficient conditions for the development of services which would be territorially and functionally accessible to beneficiaries and therefore this Strategy is aimed at overcoming the existing weaknesses. etc. psychiatric problems and chronic diseases. is not always provided. currently accommodate 5. Therefore.3.municipalities do not have residential capacities for those who essentially need this service. Some of these institutions have waiting lists.800 beneficiaries are placed in homes for the elderly. majority of whom are displaced from their original place of residence. including persons with disabilities. children with behavioural problems often remain in shelters for unjustifiably long periods of time. 2. The lack of diversified forms of support in the natural environment. with proper support. other ministries. as well as small residential capacities. because there are no developed capacities. however they often lack adequate financial and staff capacities. Some groups of beneficiaries for whom no adequate care could be provided in their natural environments.574 beneficiaries. 8 . young persons with disabilities could be placed in institutions for the elderly. their needs could be better fulfilled in their natural environment.) resides in institutions. Beneficiaries in residential care often face social isolation to a different degree. is also noticeable among existing services for the elderly. with cognitive impairments and mental health issues. usually as a result of the lack of other community-based services (day care centres. Residential capacities for beneficiaries. small group homes. The number of citizens in need of support due to physical and mental impairments exceeds the number which. while their rights are endangered as a result of an inability to satisfy their basic needs in an adequate manner. Strategic Development Trends The social welfare system reform will be implemented through joint activities of the National Assembly. Approximately 7. as well as all relevant social welfare stakeholders in the Republic of Serbia. 17 residential institutions for persons with cognitive disabilities. even with terminal illness. while in some local communities there is no possibility for accommodation at all. the Ministry of Labour. These institutions accommodate a significant number of beneficiaries with medical conditions.

Harmonisation of activities delineated by various strategic documents aimed at promoting healthy life styles.Under the existing conditions in the system. excluded from mainstream developments . employment. education. police.1. the elderly and persons with disabilities is provided through the creation of a social welfare policy which actively prevents occurrence of social problems in society and through synchronised activities of the social and health care systems. the employment system. During a period of sudden and severe changes in society. This goal cannot be achieved solely through the social welfare system. as well as timely informing and educating them about the ways and possibilities of using available resources in the community. provision of information to and education of citizens about ways of improving the quality of their own lives. Development of harmonised strategic and action plans in specific areas primarily immanent to social welfare: e. the elderly. government councils. Development of resources to empower individuals and families belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups. victims of family violence. beneficiaries are passive. while the provided services do not adequately develop their abilities to overcome unfavourable living circumstances and satisfy their own and their families’ basic needs. etc. the Government. health care. and the mitigation or 9 . provision of information. The basic preventive mechanisms include the development of resources for preserving and enhancing the quality of citizens’ lives.3. other relevant ministries. intensified by transition processes. 2.g. police and justice. culture. to increase own self-sufficiency and independence in fulfilling their own basic needs. but through an organised and coordinated approach of various systems in society: education. the number of social welfare system beneficiaries increases. 3. aimed at reviewing and restructuring the social welfare system through: 1. Creation of New Policy and Legislative Activity • Defining a developmental social welfare policy and liaising with other systems and activities in society Timely and effective protection of children. judiciary. A delayed. They enter early into the social welfare system and stay in it for a long time. indicates the need for development of planned and organised preventive measures and programmes. persons with disabilities. Employment and Social Policy. unsynchronised and partial societal reaction to social problems. Policy development in the area of social welfare includes activities of the National Assembly. the Ministry of Labour.The key reform trends are: 2. It is imperative to establish a wide societal consensus in regard to models and directions of support to healthy live styles of citizens. local self-governments. as well as society as a whole.

The Law on Preventing Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities.3.2. social exclusion and other socially detrimental occurrences. Decentralization of the Social Welfare System Centralised management was one of the main characteristics of the political system in the previous period.). preventing multigenerational transfer of poverty. Legislative activities include: . 10 . harmonisation of legal regulations and their alignment with EU legislation. pension and disability insurance.The Law on Amendments and Additions to the Law on Social Protection and Social Security of Citizens. as well as reducing the range and intensity of socially adverse occurrences.The Law on Associations. and all other laws which regulate the areas related to or overlapping with social welfare. some are within the parliamentary procedure. or areas relevant to the realisation of social protection of citizens (health. It is necessary for municipalities and cities to regain the responsibility for social welfare of their citizens. The majority of responsibilities for determining rights. and neither is it interested in fulfilling citizens’ needs. 2. Certain laws have already been adopted. • Improvement of legislation. is to do it in their natural environment – the family and local community. . harmonisation of legal regulations and their alignment with EU legislation The development of new policy is sided with the improvement of legislation. are concentrated at the level of the Republic. . . employment. in all relevant areas. feasibly.The Law on the Children’s Ombudsman. . decision making on the way they will be realised and the necessary resources. violence.The Family Law. .The Law on the Citizens’ Ombudsman. education.eradication of their dependence on social services/agencies – by developing programmes prescribing preventive activities. and insufficient development of support programmes and services for individuals and families who are facing everyday-life difficulties. The local self-government does not have enough autonomy. through the development of a wide range of community based services.The Law on Juvenile Perpetrators of Criminal Acts and the Legal Protection of Juveniles. The lack of choices of services leads to an irrational use of financial resources. favouring institutional forms of protection through residential accommodation. The introduction and activation of the above-mentioned measures and mechanisms enables a timely and adequate reaction of society to citizens’ needs and enables citizens to assume responsibility for the quality of their own lives. while others are yet to be adopted. financed by the Republic. because the best way to efficiently. timely and rationally fulfil people’s needs. etc. .

except those which multiple stakeholders (linked by a common interest) determine to be services best organized at the regional level. this system implies that responsibility for securing the conditions for the functioning and work of centres for social welfare should be placed entirely on local self-governments. 11 . which will enable covering a larger number of beneficiaries. The diversity and cost-effectiveness of services will at the same time assure that the needs of beneficiaries are addressed in a manner which balances the demand and available financial resources. This will warrant an appropriate interest and responsibility of the municipality. Only rights pertaining to permanent cash benefits should remain entirely under the jurisdiction of the Republic. local self-governments finance their citizens’ needs from their own resources. it is necessary to ensure that the state prescribes minimal rights of beneficiaries. This means that the forms and the fulfilment of those needs of citizens. for the needs and problems of its citizens. at least until adequate economic and political conditions have been met. Regardless at which level the services are being organised.• The decentralisation of jurisdiction and resources to the local level The decentralisation process presumes that certain conditions and mechanisms are in place to ensure that local self-governments have adequate sources of funding for addressing social needs of their citizens and that they fully realise their obligation to use these resources for developing social welfare services. Only a small number of highly specialised services can be organised at the Republic level. as well as the provision of finances for them. However. Additional financial support must also be allocated from the Republic level (according to criteria defined by the Republic) to those municipalities and cities unable to secure enough funds by themselves. It must also make sure that in case these resources are being improperly spent. At the same time. which can fulfil their needs in the area of social welfare. the system must be flexible and allow development and application of the most optimal services. should remain at the local level. In a decentralised system services are provided primarily at the local level. which therefore need financial resources. and that their accessibility is equally guaranteed to all. they are taken away and services are organised from the republic level. under the same conditions. secured from own funds or those transferred from the Republic level. By changing legislation. The law must ensure mechanisms for local self-governments to allocate a certain amount of resources for social needs of their citizens. The decentralisation of social welfare to the local level will contribute to the development of a greater variety of more feasible local services in the beneficiaries’ natural environment. which can be satisfied through a variety of inter-connected and complimentary services (continuum of services).

technically advanced information system with a regularly updated database. Their reaction to the system is therefore passive and they are not motivated for any kind of active participation in the decision making process. in a way that. so that individuals. which would in turn ensure transparency and efficiency of the system. the creation of conditions for activating their potentials. • • 2. to actively and responsibly participate in encouraging the development and improvement of the social welfare system. through their work-engagement. It is necessary to create an adequate. The Provision of Quality Social Welfare Services The purpose and the aim of developing community based social services is primarily prevention. as stakeholders. Ensuring More Efficient Cash Benefits in Social Welfare It is necessary to achieve the level of securing an existential minimum for beneficiaries. Quality services 12 . are aimed at their employment. Undertaking measures to ensure that the resources provided to able-bodied citizens.• The development of mechanisms for citizens’ and beneficiaries’ participation in the decision making process regarding resources and ways of fulfilling needs The existence of a centralised social welfare system has led to a situation where citizens do not perceive social welfare at the local level as a system which can be and should be influenced. through the provision of cash benefits. 2. De-concentration of all forms of financial benefits in social welfare provided from the Republic budget should fully rationalise administrative procedures.3. i. Activities to be undertaken must be along the lines of: • Assuring the financial security for the poorest (financially most vulnerable) groups of citizens unable to earn a living due to their mental and/or physical condition.3. Consolidating the work of municipal services responsible for ensuring the realisation of citizens' cash benefit rights. as a means of financial security. who do not have families or relatives able to support them.4. families and groups at risk do not get socially isolated and do not become permanently dependant on social services.e. they are able to partly or fully provide for themselves.3. It is necessary to legally define mechanisms which would permit active participation of citizens and social welfare beneficiaries in the decision making process related to ways for satisfying social needs and securing resources. Participation will enable citizens and beneficiaries.

licensing. The procedure preceding the actual consumption of services should be conducted in a meaningful and client-friendly manner. enable beneficiaries to overcome risks and prevent further development of problems and conditions detrimental to their quality of life. as well as within the local community. • • • 2. 4) Strategic planning and cross-sectoral co-operation. accreditation of new programmes and services. 3) Foster care and adoption. Support to and affirmation of the family as the paramount framework for protection of vulnerable groups and stimulating the development of foster care. adults and the elderly. home care and assistance and other social welfare services. The provision of quality services implies: • • • Stimulating development of diverse community-based social services and inclusion of a variety of social stakeholders in the area of service provision. Defining and networking of services provided by different sectors and subsystems. Developing standards and improving the quality of services provided by social welfare institutions and agencies. day care centres.3. for educating social welfare professionals in the following areas: 1) Responsibility for the implementation of professional procedures (case management) in centres for social welfare and other service providers. Introducing an efficient appeal system. 5) Establishment of community based social programmes and volunteer management.5. as well as protection against domestic violence. at all levels. Strengthening Professional Capacities of Social Welfare Employees Increasing professional competencies of social welfare employees will be achieved through: • On going education in the application of new standards. within an optimal time span. Introducing new social services within existing social welfare institutions and agencies. Creation and accreditation of educational training packages. 2) Protection against abuse and neglect of children.create positive changes. and the introduction of a system for professional advancement of employees. plans and programmes. • 13 . adoption.

• 2. The achievement of aims and objectives defined in this document requires that relevant social stakeholders with a significant impact on social welfare are adequately engaged in the social welfare reform. Specialised programmes for specific groups of beneficiaries. Management of social institutions and human resources in social welfare. Introduction of quality control mechanisms through monitoring. as well as a system for independent supervision and control of professional social work.4. Relevant social stakeholders in the process of social welfare system reform are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The National Assembly The Government The Ministry of Labour. Supervision and evaluation of the outcomes of professional social work.under the jurisdiction of the abovementioned ministries International authorities and organisations Organisations and authorities of other interested states and governments International and foreign non government organisations 14 .6) 7) 8) 9) • Family mediation. Affirmation of general ethical principles and upgrading the standards of professional behaviour. ethical and professional accountability through the introduction of a professional code of conduct into the social welfare system. Stakeholders in the Social Welfare Reform The social welfare system reform will be implemented through participation of all relevant social welfare stakeholders in the Republic of Serbia. supervision and evaluation of social welfare outcomes. Employment and Social Policy The Ministry of Finance The Ministry of Health The Ministry of Education and Sport The Ministry of Interior The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government The Ministry of Justice The Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection The Ministry of International Economic Relations The Ministry of Culture Local self-government authorities – municipal and city assemblies The Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities Social welfare institutions and agencies Institutions belonging to other systems .

Providing the necessary inputs to each other aiming to exchange experiences and transfer knowledge relevant for further reform processes.4. Periodically evaluating previous activities conducted in one’s own area of work. non government organisations. 2.• • • • • Local non government organisations Funds. o Establish frameworks and criteria for defining specific social welfare services. that will be provided at the regional level. which will ensure active participation of local self-governments in the development of social welfare at the local level. determining needs and capacities within the local community. o Agree on local budgetary allocations for social programmes (the development of social services at the local level). obligations and responsibilities of social welfare reform stakeholders at the local level (local self-government authorities. it is necessary to work jointly in the following manner: • • • • • Cooperation and carrying out activities within the same conceptual and strategic framework. Building and developing own capacities necessary for implementing activities designated in the process of social welfare reform. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. The Necessary Cooperation and Joint Activities With the aim of successfully implementing this Strategy.).1. etc. o Define roles. o Agree on procedures for exchanging information. A clear mandate and area of responsibility for making concrete changes and improving particular parts of the social welfare system. centres for social work. Particularly important stakeholders in the reform process are: • Local self-government authorities and The Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – in cooperation with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and local self-government authorities. and the same timeframe. Employment and Social Policy will: o Agree a plan for cooperation. foundations and religious communities Economic societies and entrepreneurs Institutions for higher education and institutes Citizens and beneficiaries of social welfare rights and services. the Ministry of Labour. other social welfare institutions and agencies. 15 .

HIV/AIDS. o Co-financing of joint programmes. o Development of prevention programmes in the area of health care education and cooperation with organisations. jurisdictions and responsibilities. o Providing professional assistance in calculating and evaluating the costs of social welfare services. o Inadequate child care. o Home care and provision of health care in social welfare institutions. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Finance will agree a plan for cooperation in the areas of: o Creating a stable influx of budgetary funds for implementing the social welfare system reform activities.• The Ministry of Finance – The Ministry of Labour. children with disabilities and children without parental care). as well as the provision of support to inflicted families. o Provision of benefits guaranteed by law and other legal regulations (for children from poor families. o Co-financing of joint programmes. education and development of children. o Development of programmes for inclusive education of children with disabilities and children belonging to marginalised social groups. palliative care. in line with the social welfare system reform needs. The Ministry of Health – The Ministry of Labour. o Consulting on the rebalance of the budget. o Education and training of employees. in the area of child protection. o Joint work on combating addiction diseases (drugs. o Agreeing inter-sectoral obligations. o Development of prevention programmes. o Other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. o Other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. alcohol etc). bodies and teams in the social welfare field. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Education and Sport will agree a plan for cooperation in the areas of: o Early detection of problems in the behaviour. • • 16 . The Ministry of Education and Sport – The Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Health will agree a plan for cooperation in the areas of: o Early detection of health and developmental impairments among children. o Exchange of information regarding child neglect and abuse. o Consulting on the annual budget planning cycle.

in accordance with the law. preventing and responding to domestic violence (creation of coordination bodies. The Ministry of Justice – The Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Culture – The Ministry of Labour. • • 17 . Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Justice will: o Agree the framework for signing protocols on cooperation between centres for social welfare and other social welfare institutions and responsible judicial authorities in the areas of protecting children’s rights. • The Ministry of Interior – The Ministry of Labour. etc. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. as well as those acts committed by minors. o Develop mechanisms for an exchange of information between various judiciary authorities and centres for social welfare and other relevant stakeholders at the local level.). in the areas of preventing and responding to domestic violence (creation of coordination bodies. multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary teams.o Other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. o Ensure an exchange of information between the responsible territorial organisational units of the Ministry of Interior. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary teams. striving to prevent the occurrence of social problems. stimulate activities of informing citizens about the ways and possibilities of using resources available in the social welfare system. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Interior will: o Agree the framework for signing protocols on cooperation between centres for social welfare and other social welfare institutions and the responsible territorial organisational units of the Ministry of Interior. o Within their legal jurisdictions.). centres for social welfare and other relevant local stakeholders about perpetrators of criminal acts against minors. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Culture will: o Jointly develop action plans and mechanisms aimed at promoting healthy life styles though the media. etc. o Establish mechanisms of cooperation to jointly implement the Law on Juvenile Perpetrators of Criminal Acts and the Legal Protection of Juveniles.

aiming to secure coordinated donor support for the implementation of the Strategy. etc. international and foreign non-government organisations – The Ministry of Labour. with the aim of establishing functional linkages 18 . Employment and Social Policy is expected (The Poverty Reduction Strategy. o Agree on the framework for cooperation and carry out other activities aimed at achieving objectives outlined in the Strategy. o Secure an exchange of knowledge and information with countries whose experiences are relevant for an efficient implementation of the Strategy. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of International Economic Relations will: o Define functional channels for cooperation and information flow. • • The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government – The Ministry of Labour. etc. as well as in other strategies where active participation of the Ministry of Labour. o Long-term and systematic implementation of projects supported by these stakeholders.). Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection will: o Support long-term and systematic implementation of fundamental and applicable scientific projects within the relevant social science disciplines which present the starting point for changes envisaged by the social welfare system reform. o The identification of priorities. implementation and funding of reform projects. with direct impact on the implementation of the Strategy. o Particularly cooperate on achieving the objectives outlined in the National Programme for Environmental Protection through participation in the development of relevant action plans. . Employment and Social Policy is expected (The Poverty Reduction Strategy.). organisations and authorities of other interested countries and governments. • International authorities and organisations. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government will agree on a framework of cooperation and will carry out other activities aimed at achieving the objectives outlined in the Strategy. as well as in other strategies where active participation of the Ministry of Labour.• The Ministry of International Economic Relations – The Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy will agree with the above-mentioned stakeholders a plan for cooperation and outline responsibilities in regard to: o The design. The Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection – The Ministry of Labour.

while respecting human rights and dignity. for various 19 . leading a productive life in the community and preventing dependence on social services. Participation.with wider reform initiatives in the Republic of Serbia. OBJECTIVES OF SOCIAL WELFARE DEVELOPMENT 4. Respect for and integrity of human rights in the social welfare system reform also implies the implementation of the following principles: • Best interest of the beneficiaries – providing services which are. complementary to beneficiaries’ needs. while selecting those which are least restrictive for beneficiaries. whose consistent application is ensured through the harmonisation of the domestic legal system with ratified international documents and contemporary social work practices.1. to the greatest possible extent. The beneficiary is given an opportunity to use appropriate services on time. Continuity of protection and the possibility to choose services and providers – developing diverse services within the public. The Overall Goal The reform of the social welfare system should contribute to improved protection of the poorest citizens through an adequate establishment and provision of an existential minimum. continually and for as long as necessary. non-government and private sectors. etc. Least restrictive environment – providing support to various services primarily in the natural environment. as well as an improved quality of life of those citizens who. Providing support to beneficiaries for activating their potentials for independent fulfilment of needs. so that citizens could primarily address their needs in their living environment. at the local level. PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM REFORM Respect for and integrity of human rights is the basic principle of the reform. • • • 4. 3. o A harmonised approach. • Availability of services to beneficiaries – creating conditions and developing community based services. responsibility and independence of beneficiaries – ensuring participation of beneficiaries in decision making processes pertaining to the fulfilment of their needs along with a responsibility for selecting and utilising own potentials.

families at risk and marginalised groups.reasons. through accessible. The overall goal of the social welfare system reform is development of integrated social welfare in which social stakeholders use the existing and develop new resources in the most efficient way. services and activities specifically focused on the individual. an appropriate level of services and protection. services and activities for groups in need of specific support: children without parental care. and to empower them for leading a productive life in society. An introduction of the system of quality of services in social welfare enables the standardisation of professional service provision. they should support beneficiaries’ integration in the community. eliminate or alleviate risks or constraints and maximise the development of their potentials for leading a productive life in society. neglect and exploitation. children in conflict with the law. require assistance in fulfilling their basic needs (which cannot be fulfilled in another way). Social welfare services should be territorially and functionally available. and in accordance with identified needs of beneficiaries. adults and the elderly who are not capable for independent living.effective social welfare implies: the development of programmes aimed at preventing the occurrence and trans-generational inheritance of social problems. persons with disabilities and children and adults victims of violence. their empowerment for leading a productive life in society.respect for and integrity of human rights. It is necessary to develop services by planning. responsible parenthood and prevention of dependence on social services. expressed as . as well as permanent monitoring of the social welfare system impact. communitybased services aligned with the needs. accessibility of services selected in beneficiaries’ best interest. improve the choices and quality of residential accommodation. and the beneficiaries’ best interest. Measures. high quality and diversified services in order to preserve and improve the quality of life of vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups. participation and responsibility of beneficiaries in selecting services provided in the least restrictive environment . Building on the basic principles of the social welfare system reform. Social welfare services which consist of activities and resources. and provide urgent interventions. accessible. as well as to prevent dependence on social services. are offered to beneficiaries in order to improve their quality of life. - - 20 . through the creation of a network of diversified. Measures. at different levels.

Picture 1 – The Structure of Social Welfare System Reform Objectives INTEGRATED SOCIAL WELFARE Overall Goal Objectives IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE FOR THE POOR DEVELOPMENT OF A NETWORK OF COMMUNITYBASED SERVICES Specific Objectives Securing an existential minimum A more efficient system of financial support Integrated assessment and planning in the community System of quality Territorially and functionally available services Strategic and crosssystem planning Tasks Comprehensive assessment. planning and evaluation Development of services which support living in the community Improvement of the supply and the quality of residential accommodation Development of urgent intervention services 21 .

in which the social welfare system provides support for the most vulnerable citizens and social groups. with respect for their human rights. securing more complete. should be a part of a single and complete state policy.2. On the other hand.) are provided within the existing social welfare system to citizens unable to secure funds for satisfying their basic needs. Objective 1 – Improvement of Social Welfare for the Poorest Citizens Reducing the number of poor people. financial support provided to able-bodied beneficiaries is not an incentive for their employment and activation of their potentials for leading a productive life in the 22 . A reformed social welfare system relies on an existing network and further develops that network of institutions. it is necessary to determine and provide the level of an existential minimum and create a more efficient and effective cash benefits system.1 – Securing an Existential Minimum The Current Situation Various types of financial (cash) benefits (financial support to families. are below the existential minimum level.000 or 33% are headed by individuals deemed incapable of work. receive financial support. regardless of whether their financial vulnerability is based in unemployment or temporary or permanent inability to work. along the lines of using new methodological approaches. supplementary funds for care-takers.An efficient social welfare system also implies a transformation of the existing social welfare institutions. one-off benefits. more efficient and cost-effective coverage through programmes and services. implementing a new organisation of work and guaranteeing quality of services. 4. assistance for gaining work competency. Financial support is either provided from the Republic budget and is realised through centres for social welfare in the form of regular (ongoing) cash benefits or from local self-government budgets. etc. Reform Objectives 4. Specific Objective 1. activating their work potentials. in the form of one-off benefits.065 family households which receive cash benefits. 17. From a total number of 51. available resources and the achieved and planned degree of societal development. In line with that.2. cash benefits for people who are permanently vulnerable because they are incapable of work. services and programmes which are continuously aligned with citizens’ and beneficiaries’ needs. As a result of insufficient resources. due to unemployment or temporary or permanent inability to work. crosssectoral networking and integration at the local level.1. All citizens who fulfil the legally prescribed criteria.

the realistic capacities of the state. The reasons for this are numerous starting from a lack of information. refusal to receive assistance from the state. At the same time. i.community. while persons with disabilities could activate their work potentials in accordance with their capacities. employment agencies’ activities must contribute to the development of subsidised employment programmes for social welfare beneficiaries. Moreover.2 – A More Efficient System of Financial Support The Current Situation Financial benefits for individuals and families who are unable to independently satisfy their basic needs are provided through a variety of systems: the social welfare 23 . Activities and Mechanisms 1. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2006 2. it is necessary to intensify social welfare for children through support within the child protection system and other systems. i. employment agencies Time frame: continuously Specific Objective 1. sufficient for satisfying basic needs. index the poverty line based on living expenses and undertake measures for reaching a level of development. it is necessary to redefine the poverty line in the Republic of Serbia. Lead responsibility: The Ministry of Labour. In order for the social welfare system to truly support the most vulnerable citizens. as well as public works. Redefining the poverty line for the territory of the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the achieved level of economic development. Developing programmes for employing able-bodied beneficiaries of cash benefits. etc. a certain number of poor people do not exercise their social welfare rights. adjusting it to the achieved level of economic development. This could activate the potentials of able-bodied beneficiaries and create the conditions for cash benefits to truly become a temporary solution for overcoming crisis situations caused by a lack of financial means. Measures. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. local self-governments. Until conditions for employment of able-bodied cash benefit beneficiaries are created.e. although they fulfil the criteria. not having a permanent residence address. the realistic capacities of the state.e.

an absence of a unique registry and a lack of insight into the holistic needs of beneficiaries. Local self-governments determine the possibility for beneficiaries to receive subsidies for covering expenses incurred for electricity and public utilities. Professionals employed in centres for social welfare will continue to assess beneficiaries’ needs (which can be of a financial nature) through the application of professional methodological procedures. similarly to the way in which child protection rights are regulated. results in the growth of the administration-bureaucratic apparatus. Activities and Mechanisms 1. temporarily or permanently incapacitated to fulfil them for various reasons (poverty. while the administrative procedures for realising the right to assistance will be handled by the responsible municipal authority. would be achieved more efficiently and more rationally through a consolidated municipal administrative authority in charge of child protection and social welfare. local self-governments 24 . child support and other benefits for children and families are realised through municipal administrative authorities responsible for child and social welfare issues. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2008 2. one-off benefits and other financial benefits. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. Fragmented decision making on the beneficiaries’ entitlements to these rights (financial benefits) and their disbursement through different systems. disability). child protection and employment. In accordance with the Law on Financial Assistance to Families with Children. All rights realised exclusively through an administrative procedure based on beneficiaries’ identification documents and without the need for a professional assessment procedure. child protection and employment. Transferring the administrative procedure for realising rights to all types of cash/financial benefits outside of the centre for social welfare would create conditions for a more adequate and more efficient provision of social security for citizens. slowness in the realisation of citizens’ rights. Information exchange. based on available financial resources in the local community. These types of financial benefits rest on principles of solidarity and the creation of conditions to meet the basic needs of citizens. There lies the need to de-concentrate all forms of financial benefits in the social welfare system. as a part of delegated tasks. Financial support for families and supplementary funds for care-takers are provided through centres for social welfare who conduct activities related to these entitlements. joint planning and co-ordination of activities between that municipal administrative authority and the local centre for social work will enable timely and adequate fulfilment of beneficiaries’ needs. Drafting (developing) legal acts which regulate financial benefits in the areas of social welfare.system. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Strengthening existing service departments and integrating their activities. unemployment. Measures. which are provided from the Republic budget.

to receive support in obtaining the required documents. a closer cooperation with employment agencies and the establishment of a service department which would encompass all forms of financial assistance at the local level. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. and the establishment of a system that would assure quality of services both at the professional and organisational level. 4. From the beneficiaries’ point of view. The transfer of procedures for providing financial benefits from a centre for social welfare to a municipal administrative authority in charge of child protection and social welfare. local self-governments Time frame: 2009 Expected Impact The proposed changes should contribute to the provision of an existential minimum to beneficiaries who are not able to satisfy their basic needs. should all contribute to a more efficient and rational use of resources. group.Time frame: 2008 3. Objective 2 – Development of a Network of Community-based Services Identifying the needs of beneficiaries at different levels (individual. Creating a unique registry for financial benefits.1 – An Integrated Approach to Identifying Needs and Planning of Community-based Services Overlapping and insufficient provision of certain services occur as a consequence 25 . community). Specific Objective 2. and transferring administration of financial benefit services out centres for social welfare. having a well planned and well synchronised (across various systems) development of a network of services which are territorially and functionally available to citizens.2.2. a unique registry and more efficient procedures. which would be achieved through a clear separation of professional and administrative work. and to have an efficient appeal procedure. as a result of a permanent inability to work. would also ensure easier access to services. free from reliance on social services. Stimulating the potentials of able-bodied beneficiaries will contribute to creating the conditions for them to lead independent lives. it is important to have easy access to information about the types of available services. will enable the citizens to satisfy most of their needs within their local community. The qualitative improvement in service provision. with a better quality fulfilment of citizens’ needs.

transparency and participation of beneficiaries. i. both at the Republic and local level. impinges on the absence of a planned and partnership approach to the development of social welfare services at different levels. and impedes an adequate assessment of beneficiaries’ needs and planning of 26 . inefficient and wasteful spending of available financial resources. An analyses of beneficiaries’ needs and a forecast of the development of services at municipal and inter-municipal level should primarily contribute to the process of identifying local communities’ potentials for further development of the existing services within the area of social welfare. implies the necessity for liaison and co-operation between all service providers. they are not transparent. used in various systems. incomplete. As a result. reduction of administrative procedures to a level which ensures and guarantees the defined standards of services. the appropriate cooperation protocols which would define responsibilities and mechanisms for co-operation between different systems in regards to the assessment of citizens’ needs. A comprehensive and timely reaction to the rights and needs of citizens which have been jeopardised. do not ensure beneficiaries’ participation. that is. as well as inclusion of new service providers (non government organisations. The current record keeping and documentation filing system is often unsuitable. regions. often divergent to the primary needs of various beneficiary groups and specific features of local communities. crosssectorally coordinated planning of services at different levels The Current Situation Lack of mechanisms for identifying the needs of beneficiaries. • Task 1 – Identifying the needs of groups of beneficiaries and strategic.children and adults. In order to establish an adequate cross-sectoral co-operation it is necessary to develop. an ambiguous division of roles and responsibilities and the lack of cross-system co-operation. adopt. and there are no mechanisms for independent representation. sector institutions and private service providers).of a fragmented approach to identifying beneficiaries’ needs. The consequence of this is an inadequate network of services. These protocols are of an utmost importance for establishing an integrated model of social welfare and the development of partnerships. beneficiaries’ needs are not determined and addressed in a holistic. There is a noticeable absence of a planned approach in development of services that are adjusted both to individual and common needs of various groups of beneficiaries and aligned with the specific features of local communities. development of new services. Administrative procedures for receiving services are unwieldy. especially vulnerable groups .e. Another constraint to adequate planning is the incompatible registry. timely and rational manner. planning for and providing services.

Lead responsibility: local self-governments Time frame: 2008 4. and in line with the identified needs. social welfare institutes Time frame: continuously 2. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy. Developing strategic and action plans for the development of services at various levels. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Adopting co-operation protocols at the local level for assessing and addressing the needs of particularly vulnerable groups (children. local self-governments Time frame: 2006. it is also necessary to create strategic plans which will determine the directions for the development of the system. in the form of action plans. Establishing and developing a methodology for the identification of needs of vulnerable groups – children and adults. Founding of local Councils for Social Issues. in the longer period (three to five years). persons with disabilities. Proposing and adopting a cross-sectoral protocol on co-operation that would define the responsibilities and mechanisms of co-operation between various systems. In order to remedy these problems. both at the Republic and local level. as well as an operationalisation of strategic plans. Activities and Mechanisms 1. it is necessary to establish a methodology for the assessment of needs of vulnerable groups – children and adults. and then continuously 5. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: local self-governments Time frame: 2006 Expected Impact The identification of needs of groups of beneficiaries and citizens. Measures. elderly. For that purpose.social welfare services. as well as an objective and adequate assessment and planning of the required services. marginalised groups. social welfare institutes. abuse victims). the Government Time frame: continuously until 2008 3. adopt strategic and action plans for the development of services. Employment and Social Policy. contributes to 27 .

At the same time. stigmatises them. In this way. which includes a holistic.the achievement of the overall purpose of the social welfare system. active participation of the beneficiary him/herself. planning of services and evaluation The Current Situation In the current system of social welfare. family members and significant individuals from the beneficiary’s living environment. remain insufficiently recognised. and timely assessment. • Task 2 – A holistic assessment of beneficiaries’ needs. This service must be based on an appropriate assessment and a precise plan developed on the potentials of the beneficiary. children with developmental difficulties and persons with disabilities and the elderly. Securing a more transparent and a more efficient system by introducing: . the problem which is denoted as being dominant is not assessed holistically. needs and problems of some particularly vulnerable groups – children and adults. Beneficiaries need an open. This medical model is essentially paternalistic because it makes beneficiaries passive. emotional and financial situation of individuals and families. The main professional procedure is diagnostic and is primarily aimed at determining the “category”. well balanced. In reformed social security systems. and their scope of work is able to provide integrated support to citizens’ needs. the dominant model of professional work is based on the classic “medical approach”. along with a rational and cost-effective disbursement of available resources.Clear procedures. the fulfilment of holistic needs of the beneficiaries. It is necessary for the social welfare system to provide individualized services adjusted to the specific needs of each beneficiary. physical. and does not account for the strengths and potentials of individuals. families and society. This especially pertains to multi-problematic families. Time frame: 2006 28 . which focuses on identifying individual’s deficiencies and pathological conditions and behaviours. or characteristic groups of beneficiaries which warrant specific protection. an improvement in their quality of life. services must fulfil citizens’ needs in the most efficient way. Activities and Mechanisms 1. meaning that the competencies and responsibilities of service providers do not overlap nor leave gaps. accessible and non-stigmatising service. Measures. within the complex context of the social. as well as their active participation in the preparation and implementation process. the family and the community. in the assessment and planning of the required services.

Employment and Social Policy and social welfare institutes Time frame: 2007 Expected Impact A holistic. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. which contributes to greater independence and empowerment of beneficiaries. Employment and Social Policy. is increased. 29 . planning. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. professional accountability of specialist workers. Employment and Social Policy 2. Adopting programmes for permanent education of professional workers in the social welfare system. Employment and Social Policy and social welfare institutes Time frame: 2008 5. social welfare institutes. professional associations. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Time frame: continuously Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. monitoring and evaluation. Introducing case management in centres for social work. aimed at providing services which are individualised and adjusted to the specific needs of beneficiaries. educational institutions Time frame: continuously 6. for the outcomes of their work. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Redefining the concepts and beneficiary groups in relevant laws and other legal acts. At the same time. Introducing professional standards which pertain to assessment. their accountability and responsibility.Comprehensive provision of information to beneficiaries.. harmonised and timely assessment. Educating employees in public services on the new approach to beneficiaries’ rights and a more efficient organisation of work. Employment and Social Policy and social welfare institutes Time frame: 2007 3. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. and consistently achieves the basic principle of social welfare – “from help to self-help”. enables their active participation in the planning of welfare. Employment and Social Policy and social welfare institutes Time frame: 2006 4.

Introducing independent representation. Ongoing monitoring of outcomes – the impact of provided services. Agreed time frames for the provision and use of services. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. because the existing quality of services does not completely respond to new circumstances and citizens’ needs. Gaining quality services in the area of social welfare is achieved through the establishment of a system of quality. During the development of the social welfare system to date. social welfare institutes and the local self-government Time frame: end of 2008 3. both in the organisational and professional respect.2 – Introducing a System of Quality into Social Welfare The Current Situation A transition of a society requires an inevitable adjustment and further development of the social welfare system.e. Adopting regulations which define the standards of services. as well as through normative activity. there was a dominant intention. The establishment of standards which support the functions of service providers. primarily through the development of institutions and services within the public sector. as well as be timely. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. The existing services are mostly focused on deficiencies and singling out persons with recognised risks. 30 . Activities and Mechanisms 1. An agreement on the indicators of success. Implementing the standards of services in the social welfare system.Specific Objective 2. which is why they contribute to the creation of permanent dependency on social welfare services and lead to social isolation and stigmatisation of beneficiaries. rational (efficient) and successful (effective). produce the expected and the desired outcomes. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2007 2. to respond to the needs of beneficiaries in a comprehensive way. i. and measures for their effectiveness. both at the professional and organisational level. which encompasses: • • • • • The development of a system which is widely accepted by the service providers who participate in it. High quality services in social welfare are those services which are in the best interest of the beneficiary. Measures. They must take into account the integrity of rights and the holistic nature of beneficiaries’ needs.

Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Creating an all inclusive data base which enables monitoring of needs. Employment and Social Policy and the Secretariat for Health and Social Policy of the Province of Vojvodina Time frame: end of 2005 8. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Establishing the Institute for the Improvement of the Social Welfare System. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2006 6. Introducing accreditation and licensing into the system. Improving financial. Employment and Social Policy and the local self-government Time frame: continuously 9. 7. Establishing a system for professional promotion through consistent professional education.Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. services and outcomes at all levels. social welfare institutes and the Republic Statistics Office Time frame: 2006 Expected Impact The introduction of standards of professional work and other measures and activities which contribute to improvement of the quality of services in the social welfare 31 . Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy and social welfare institutes Time frame: 2007 10. and human resources. Adopting legal acts which regulate record keeping and the filing of documentation in the social welfare system. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2007 4. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. technical and infrastructural working conditions. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Introducing the code of professional conduct into the system. social welfare institutes and the local self-government Time frame: end of 2008. professional associations Time frame: end of 2006 5.

improved. will lead to a situation where the provided service. where the beneficiaries are more satisfied with the received services. professional capacities will be gradually strengthened and increased. • Task 1 – Developing services which support living in the community The Current Situation Although the Law on Social Protection and Social Security of Citizens defines local self-government’s authority in satisfying citizens’ social needs. Specific Objective 2. As a consequence. Professionals engaged in the provision of services and activities in social welfare. These social welfare institutes. as leading professional institutions should assume an important role in the development of the social welfare system. resulting in an improvement and maintenance of the quality of their life. Furthermore. which fall under the local self-government’s responsibility and a lack of established criteria regarding the minimal rate of budgetary funds which the municipality should allocate for social welfare.3 – Territorially and Functionally Accessible Services The existing system of institutions and services has not provided the conditions for the development of services which enable beneficiaries to fulfil their needs in their immediate living environment. A centralised approach in the planning of accommodation capacities and the financing of rights. An adequate fulfilment of citizens’ needs calls for development of a number of different services and programmes of support which encourage living in the community and enable immediate protection. which does not meet the actual needs of beneficiaries and does not provide an adequate supply of services. the coverage of citizens with existing types of services is insufficient. professional support and evaluation of practical work. the insufficient development of communitybased services prompts beneficiaries to use the existing ones (which are not always the 32 . in comparison to their needs and rights. The establishment of social welfare institutes will provide scientific and professional support to the social welfare system. as well as the prospects of professional social work. and working conditions. The improvement in the supply and quality of accommodation is focused primarily on the development of a network of foster families and institutions with smaller residential capacities. municipalities which fulfil this responsibility to the fullest extent are scarce. will significantly increase the efficiency and professionalism of their work. a lack of control over the realisation of rights. research of social problems and further strategic planning of development in this field. in an efficient and cost effective way. fulfils its purpose to the fullest extent.system. as well as insufficient resources at the local level. have created an irrational network of institutions. Because of all these reasons. The reasons for this are a constant lack of financial resources.

As a result of insufficiently developed foster care and unequally distributed network of foster families. 33 . Consequently there is an insufficient scope and variety of services provided by non-governmental organisations. Activities and Mechanisms 1. as well as a lack of diversified forms of support to families in the local community. Measures. which will create the conditions for development of a more flexible and more competitive mixed model of social welfare. the state needs to stimulate the development of existing public services and incorporate other providers into the system. The advantages of drawing on voluntary work are not sufficiently utilised. independently of whether these are public services. as well as weak linkages with services provided by the public sector in the social welfare system. This situation has been additionally influenced by the existing domination of the public sector in comparison to the non-governmental sector. In order to preserve and improve the existing resources. even partially. Furthermore. proposing and adopting a law which will prescribe the minimal rights.most adequate or most cost effective ones). a large number of local communities do not have accommodation capacities for beneficiaries who very much need such a service. This leads to lack of pluralism of both the services and the providers.e. as it is the only way for them to. satisfy their needs. but also due to the lack of incentives for service development. because more than a 100 municipalities do not have support services provided in the natural environment. private services or non-governmental organisations. Capacities for the accommodation of beneficiaries such as persons with physical or mental disabilities. a significant number of adults with disabilities and the elderly are not in a position to fulfil their own needs. while the services which would best respond to their interests do not exist in most local communities. while around 40 – 50% of children are away from their original place of residence. the lack of possibility to choose services according to needs. which have a low level of sustainability. which the local self-government is obliged to provide to its citizens. At the same time. Drafting. All this leads to irrational spending of already limited resources and not enough consideration for citizens’ interests. are not sufficient in numbers and are territorially and functionally inaccessible. and persons with mental health disorders. i. approximately 40% of children without parental care are placed in institutions. standards of services and the control of the fulfilment of rights. The state should secure an equal status of all service providers by financing rights through the system of accreditation and licensing. The services provided by the non-governmental sector (private service providers and services provided by non government organisations) are insufficiently developed as a result of their unequal position in regard to the possibility for the services to be financed from the state budget.

Ministry of Finance. the National Assembly Time frame: 2008 5. the National Assembly Time frame: end of 2008 3. Employment and Social Policy. proposing and adopting regulations pertaining to criteria for the distribution of solidarity funds for underdeveloped municipalities. centres for social welfare. Adopting regulations at the local self-government level. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: local self-government Time frame: 2009 4.Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. and specify the conditions and types of services. local self-government Time frame: continuously 6. Developing services and service departments for supporting the natural family (counselling. services with various contents provided by clubs and day centres). Employment and Social Policy. local self-government Time frame: continuously 8. which define additional rights. Drafting. visiting-nurse services. Developing institutions with limited (small) capacities which provide services for accommodating beneficiaries. Creating conditions for the utilisation of existing services in the local 34 . proposing and adopting regulations which will define a minimal rate of budget allocations which the municipality needs to set aside for social welfare. the National Assembly Time frame: end of 2008 2. etc. currently missing in the community (small homes. Drafting. local self-government Time frame: continuously 7. the Government. from the budgets of the Republic and the Autonomous Province. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. which will fulfil all the needs of the citizens. small independent/supported living units communities. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Developing various forms of foster care.). the Government. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. education. “halfway houses”. the Government.

Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. the National Assembly Time frame: 2006 Expected Impact The development of a network of services and service departments in the local community will contribute to the realisation of citizens’ rights to receive support for living in the family and in their natural environment. Introducing tax-related and other incentives for investments and carrying out activities in social welfare. Ministry of Culture. Drafting. The mixed model will. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Public Administration and Local SelfGovernment. persons with disabilities. the Government. the elderly and all vulnerable groups. kinship and other types of families.community. on top of what has already been mentioned. able to satisfy the various needs of the beneficiaries and citizens. It will enable more children. the National Assembly Time frame: 2006 10. create a situation where quality. efficiency and cost effectiveness become the criteria based on 35 . proposing and adopting the Law on Associations. Employment and Social Policy. Ministry of Health. Ministry of Labour. which should be inclusive of children. Ministry of Finance. Ministry of Education and Sports. reduce the number of children placed in institutions and reduce the need for accommodating adults and the elderly in institutions. local self-government Time frame: continuously 9. adults and the elderly to remain in their biological. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Drafting. Employment and Social Policy. Ministry of Finance Time frame: 2006-2008 11. Freeing capacities in institutions will create the conditions for developing new services in the social welfare system. proposing and adopting amendments and annexes to the Law on Social Protection and Social Security of Citizens which will ensure that budgetary resources are available under the same conditions to all accredited and licensed service providers. the Government. as well as other regulations and measures which will invoke donations and voluntary work.

the current supply of residential institutions is insufficient. since there are no existing capacities. Services provided to beneficiaries in institutions do not sufficiently facilitate the activation of their potentials. securing an improved quality of life. because of a lack of adequate programmes.e. small independent/supported living units. while in some local communities there is no possibility for accommodation at all. The number of citizens who are in need of support because of their mental and/or physical condition. Reassessment of the types and quality of accommodation services which are currently provided in the social welfare system. A lack of various forms of support in the natural environment as well as small accommodation capacities. etc. Beneficiaries are often placed in institutions far away from their original residence. exceeds the number of those residing in institutions due to a lack of other community-based services (day care. is also evident among the existing services for the elderly.). Some institutions have waiting lists. The content and the quality of services provided in institutions do not fulfil the needs of a number of beneficiaries. build their capacity for independent living. and their rights are jeopardised because of an inability to satisfy their basic living needs in an adequate manner. i. 36 . The quality of care is also decreasing as a result of the fact that certain institutions admit greater numbers of beneficiaries than those proscribed in normative acts. while those services which are being provided differ in quality and are usually not in accordance with the real needs of the beneficiaries. • Task 2 – Improving the supply and quality of services of all forms of residential care The Current Situation With regard to the types of services. The development of this model will also have a positive impact on increasing employment and selfemployment. The reform of existing accommodation services should be implemented along the lines of: • • Reassessment of the existing network of all forms of accommodation while priority is given to the development of foster care. Foster care is insufficiently developed and lacks in quality. The capacities for accommodating persons with physical or mental disabilities and persons with mental health issues are insufficient and territorially and functionally inaccessible. insufficient professional competency and an inadequate qualification structure of employees.which beneficiaries choose services which will satisfy their needs.

In order to improve the quality of protection of children. local self-governments and institutions Time frame: 2006 2. train and support them to ensure the prevention of problems and a better quality of life for children. numbers and quality of services. they leave them after coming of age. Adjusting the existing network to the process of transformation of institutions. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2006 4. Adopting specific programmes for training and improving professional 37 . In order to achieve these goals. This is why the placement of children into institutions should be reduced to a minimum. Ministry of Labour. through the implementation of foster care and adoption. while directing activities toward support to natural families and all forms of protection which enable living in a family environment. as well as individual plans for each institution.Children stay in institutions for a long period of time. in a direction towards developing other types of services and building the capacity of employees to implement new methods/forms of work. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. it is necessary to create and adopt a medium-term plan for the transformation of institutions. Employment and Social Policy. The development of residential capacities for adult beneficiaries and the elderly should in the future be steered towards the development of care within the family. Adopting a medium-term plan for the transformation of institutions. A certain part of the capacity within these institutions should be redirected towards the development of new services which would bring about improvements in the quality of life for those beneficiaries who reside in institutions. institutions Time frame: 2006 3. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. it is necessary to provide a selection of adequate families and to prepare. Activities and Mechanisms 1. The reassessment of the existing network of institutions for children implies their transformation. Employment and Social Policy. as well as towards an increase in the types. Adopting individual transformation plans for each institution. and at the same time would represent a measure for reducing the high demand for this type of service. when they complete secondary education. and in most cases without further support for leading an independent life. the building of small accommodation capacities as close as possible to the beneficiaries’ natural environment. Lead responsibility: local self-governments. Measures. at the same time as preserving and improving parental competencies and returning children from institutions back to their biological families.

skills of all stakeholders involved in the protection of beneficiaries in residential care. Furthermore. A more rational use of resources for developing services which will satisfy beneficiaries’ needs in a more adequate manner. Employment and Social Policy. It is necessary to provide the conditions for organising social services which will be available to citizens for 24 hours and which will be qualified for interventions in crisis situations. and therefore situations which require urgent protection of children. The basic preconditions for providing services in crisis situations are 24-hour on duty professionals in centres for social welfare who are trained for urgent interventions. it is necessary to ensure co-ordinated activities based on clearly defined procedures. on-call services for urgent accommodation (institutions and foster families for urgent accommodation) and SOS telephone services. social welfare institutes Time frame: 2006 Expected Impact Improvements both in the supply and the quality of protection for beneficiaries in all types of residential care. • Task 3 – Development of services for urgent intervention The Current Situation The current social welfare system does not enable citizens to use services in acute crisis situations which call for urgent interventions. aiming to resolve the crisis situation. which will bring about improvements in the quality of beneficiaries’ lives. usually a period of eight hours. along with shortening the time period children and young people reside in institutions and preparing them for independent living. adults and the elderly are not adequately responded to. 38 . Apart from a few shelters. Social welfare services are available to beneficiaries mainly during administration working hours. the social welfare system does not have services which would be at citizens’ disposal for 24 hours. The creation of conditions for an adequate fulfilment of beneficiaries’ needs. will contribute to: • • • An improvement in the quantity and quality of services in all types of residential care. by providing appropriate services. The need for urgent interventions is usually caused by complex problems. at the local level. usually to the police. while interventions of this type are mainly left to other systems. which also require specific professional skills. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour.

Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: local self-government Time frame: 2006 6. centres for social welfare Time frame: continuously Expected Impact By developing services for urgent interventions. a timely referral of beneficiaries to receive health care. associations (NGOs) Time frame: 2006 5. the Government. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy. a timely referral of beneficiaries to services provided within other systems and resources in the local community. the National Assembly Time frame: 2006 2. Introducing 24-hour on call duties for urgent interventions in centres for social welfare. Activities and Mechanisms 1. Employment and Social Policy. Drafting. adopting and signing general and specific protocols which enable a synchronised approach of all public services in providing urgent interventions. Employment and Social Policy. an immediate involvement of the social welfare system in cases where juveniles commit crimes. Lead responsibility: social welfare institutions. Ministry of Labour. 39 . Selecting and training families on call for urgent foster care of children.Measures. Drafting. Establishing and supporting SOS services. social welfare institutions. Organising shelters at the local level. proposing and adopting a law which will regulate urgent interventions. the system of social welfare becomes more effective in securing: • • • • a safe environment for children and adults who are victims of violence. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: local self-government. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2007 3. local self-government Time frame: 2007 4.

with weak health and the elderly. Stable sources of funding. Legislative activity complementary to the already initiated system reforms – the adoption of adequate laws and changes and amendments to laws relevant for social welfare. i. A new approach and the development of an efficient social welfare system requires stability and sustainability of implemented measures and activities. 3. 6. Adjustment to changes in terms of organization. DEVELOPMENT FACTORS OF AN EFFICIENT SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM 5.e. as a guarantee for success and continuity of the reform processes. 2. is to improve the status of a potential social welfare beneficiary and ensure security in terms of service provision outcomes. Empowering beneficiaries for accepting responsibility and participating in the selection of services. The factors of sustainable development of the social welfare system are: 1.1. Coordinated action with other systems aiming to harmonise reform processes important for citizens’ protection in the social welfare system. Strengthening staff capacities for applying new professional standards and methods of organisation in social welfare and the development of resource management capacities. oriented towards greater protection of the basic human rights and more efficient care for vulnerable groups of children. with active participation of all stakeholders and ongoing alignment of activities with the achieved changes. staff requirements and the quality of services – creating a network of services tailored to citizens’ needs. for a more efficient fulfilment of citizens’ needs. Sustainable Development Factors of Efficient Social Welfare The role of the state in the social security system and especially in social welfare. regional and republic level. Permanent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of main activities and the achievement of key objectives. through informative campaigns and education for taking on new roles in the social welfare system. rational planning and expenditure of social welfare funds. 5. organisation and networking of institutions at the local. 7.5. 40 .e. persons with disabilities. i. 4.

General development trends in society – If the process of overall development and democratisation of the society is not well harmonised. development. Looking over the overall territory of the Republic of Serbia. There is a demand for financial resources to implement reforms.1. in line with available resources. A beneficiary is expected to participate in the social welfare process and undertake concrete activities as well as responsibility for his/her own social security. in comparison to citizens’ needs. the beneficiary enhances his/her own well being along with the well being of his/her family.2. provision of information. etc. The following must also be taken into account . Changes brought on by reforms in systems which are inseparable with social welfare: education. progress and security. health care. especially dependents. Financial resources – The problem of insufficient and unevenly distributed resources is one of the basic limitations.5. the changes in society are headed in the direction of increasing citizens’ individual responsibility for their own life. The decentralisation of responsibilities and resources will significantly change the status of social welfare beneficiaries and will guarantee better outcomes and results of the 41 . Limitations to Social Welfare Development The reform of the social welfare system may be hindered or limited by the following factors: 1. All available professionals and employees do not posses the equal enthusiasm or knowledge. An Active Role of Service Beneficiaries At present. In this process. insufficient and incomplete awareness and understanding of potential implementers of reforms. employment. social welfare beneficiaries are expected to strengthen their own capacity and that of their family. especially for start up activities where greater investment is required. through the selection of appropriate services. the community commits itself to provide adequate support to citizens. judiciary. THE EXPECTED IMPACT OF THE SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM REFORM 6. pension and disability insurance. 2. Imbalanced professional capacities and working conditions could significantly hinder reforms. By taking on this active role. which amplifies challenges to reforms. have a significant influence. culture. at this moment there is significant disparity in the level of development of services. which calls for new investments in upgrading services in local communities. fear from losing jobs and a disparate pace of accepting changes. 6.resistance to innovations and fear of the unknown. 3. Accordingly.

The similarity of citizens’ needs. It is also necessary to ensure continuity in providing direct financial and professional support to innovative projects. in particular local communities and regions will also lead to networking of social stakeholders and joint development of services in those communities. 2. should assume an important role in the development. envisage the establishment of professional/scientific institutions – social welfare institutes. The prevailing role of the state in social welfare services provision will be reduced in time. More Efficient Institutions of Social Welfare Social welfare institutions. both in terms of space and content. and developing a connection of all social welfare stakeholders. and increases their chances for preserving family ties. together with other social stakeholders engaged in the implementation of reforms. It also helps to alleviate. 42 . being the leading professional institutions. In the initial phases of the reform. must have appropriate scientific. as a result of the development of the non-profit and private sectors. 6.2. with a view to ensure the most efficient and the most cost effective response to beneficiaries’ needs. Social welfare institutes. which will also contribute to the overall progress towards an efficient and cost effective social welfare system. The development of a network of social services – An adequate level of social cohesion may be achieved only by channelling all available financial and human resources at the local level towards networking of community-based social services. and their joint and synchronised action. All key strategic projects. their personal and cultural identity.support they have been given. 6. along with the laws which regulate social welfare. their family or community. evaluation and further strategic planning within the social welfare system. professional as well as financial support at their disposal. Local and Regional Integration 1. The main development trend for achieving efficient social welfare lies in creating a network of services. The development of community-based social services – Increasing the number and the variety of social services creates greater opportunities for beneficiaries to remain in their immediate environment. A network of services suggests a connection of social stakeholders at the local or regional level. these institutions should be engaged to the maximum extent in providing support to social welfare institutions and to all social stakeholders. which support the development of a network of social services and partnerships in local communities.3. through the activities of the Social Innovations Fund programme. even overcome problems related to social isolation of vulnerable individuals and groups of citizens. professional assistance and research.

It is therefore necessary to expand the provision of social services. in greater numbers. in line with their needs and financial capacities. have to be continuously improved to meet the criteria for quality of social programmes. control and impact evaluation. Social welfare institutions should encourage an efficient inclusion of other systems and sectors in service provision. but are daily engaged in caring for children with development risks. donations and volunteer activities). Work plans of centres for social welfare. persons with disabilities. 2. professional supervision. affordable services need to be introduced to improve the everyday lives of those citizens who are able to work. are particularly important: .Tax and other incentives for humanitarian work and investments in social welfare and related fields. the appropriate services which would support them in living a productive and independent life in the community. The state must ensure that these institutions have equal access to 43 . in the best interest of the beneficiary.Recognition and acknowledgement of a special social status of individuals and organizations for their community service work and investment in human resources (introducing acknowledgments and awards for humanitarian actions. for a specific local community or region. Policies being initiated and implemented with the aim of developing a diversity of social services. 6. so that potential beneficiaries could choose. These criteria must also be fulfilled by work plans of all other social welfare institutions. operation and expansion of the nonprofit sector in that society. Various.In order to ensure an appropriate quality of services in social welfare institutions. strengthen professional capacities of employees. persons with health problems and the elderly. support quality social services and continuously provide information to beneficiaries on the existing social welfare programmes. accreditation of programmes and services. and some of which are missing throughout the territory of the Republic of Serbia. it is necessary to introduce new standards and new methods of work organisation. There are also a significant number of persons with disabilities and the elderly who live on their own. introduce licensing and systems for professional promotion. Incentives for the development of the non-profit sector – The development and the expansion of the social and protective role of society cannot be achieved without incentives and preconditions for the establishment. Pluralism of Service Providers 1. and contribute to a holistic approach to the fulfilment of citizens’ needs. through the development of a variety of services and the introduction of new services. .4. Stimulate private sector development – Social welfare as a sector potentially has a very wide range of social services which may be commercialised. . operation and control of non-profit organisations.Appropriate legal acts which will rationalise the procedures for the establishment.

create the conditions for performing specific roles in society and deployment of social values. Indicated services and interventions used in situations when the negative impact of the risk has already occurred. kinship or other family. In this way.6.5. Reducing the pressure currently placed on residential care The development of a network of community-based services will create more favourable conditions for the fulfilment of citizens’ right to support. in accordance with the identified needs of the citizens. hence they require services to improve or sustain the quality of their lives. more children. while controlling the quality of those services. 44 . a continuum of support and assistance to individuals and families. Social welfare beneficiaries are individuals who are especially vulnerable or at risk because of their condition. 6. regardless of the intensity of problems with which they are faced. characteristics or the situation they are in. The Continuity of Services Decentralisation of responsibilities and resources enables the development of diverse and network-based services. of a different level and intensity. adults and the elderly will be able to remain in their biological. 6.resources from the budget for providing services to beneficiaries. which will also take pressure off residential care. which will be able to fulfil the needs of vulnerable groups and groups at risk. as a more restrictive and more expensive form of support for beneficiaries. in order for them to continue living in their family and in their natural environment. education. and in order to minimise the impact of a situation hindering optimal development and wellbeing. non-profit and private sector should be able to provide a wide range of services – ideally. Social welfare service providers from the public. health. This is accomplished through: • • • Services being used by all citizens . services available to all. judicial and other systems in society. It must also introduce appropriate measures for stimulating investments aimed at service provision. It is necessary to develop a whole range of services. Specific services and support interventions for groups who are at an increased risk.applying the principle of developing universal services. A harmonised and holistic system of support and assistance implies coordination between the social. both at the local and other levels. through selective services and interventions targeting marginalised social groups and families in need of support for caring after a vulnerable member. Transformation of Institutions with Priority Development of Services and Support in the Natural Environment 1.

in accordance with the needs of the beneficiaries. Reducing the number of beneficiaries in residential care institutions The development of a network of community-based services. professional services under the authority of the Republic of Serbia.2. primarily children without parental care and children with development disorders. For those beneficiaries who are unable to satisfy their multi-dimensional needs in residential institutions of a small capacity. Providing small accommodation capacities at the local level A certain number of social welfare system beneficiaries need residential care. will be developed. 3. . diverse in content and tailored to beneficiaries’ needs. This will enable a continuity of services. the fulfilment of needs within the family and the natural environment. highly specialised. currently missing in the local community. This will also create the conditions for providing a greater number of quality services to beneficiaries in need of residential care. as well as for the development of new services. will reduce the number of children. both at the local and regional level and will enable the beneficiaries to fulfil their needs in their natural environment. The building of small accommodation capacities or the transformation of services currently provided in the existing institutions will ensure the provision of the necessary services. 45 . placed in institutions.

The Ministry of Labour. The Ministry will use internal and external resources for evaluation purposes. as well as procedures for discussing.7. Employment and Social Policy will work on establishing structured and operational partnership relations with social stakeholders and will establish mechanisms for co-ordination of strategic activities. As the champion of the social welfare system reform process. THE IMPLEMENTATION AND PERIODICAL REASSESSMENT OF THE STRATEGY This Strategy represents a keystone for the social welfare system reform process and for the development of legal and other acts in the area of social welfare. 46 . The evaluation will be of a participatory nature.e. The Minister in charge of social welfare issues will determine the Ministry’s action plan for implementation of the Strategy. with the aim to: o Identify strategic issues up for debate. funds required for initiating implementation are available both within already allocated funds and from donations. This will facilitate an improvement in the quality of social welfare and increase the coverage of vulnerable citizens. co-operating and decision making. however a consistent implementation of the Strategy implies the development of better quality and more commercial services. in accordance with new circumstances and reassess the action plan and adjust it to the recognised needs. Employment and Social Policy manages the social welfare system reform process and has been and will continue to be the main champion and initiator of strategic reform activities. with a total allocation of resources (both at local and republic level) which will not significantly exceed the currently allocated resources. conduct an evaluation of the implemented strategic activities and the accomplished results. the Ministry of Labour. at least once in every two years. in the forthcoming years. Predictions are that greater allocations from the Republic budget will be required for achieving strategic goals in certain phases. i. The Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy will periodically. the possibility to choose the most optimal and at the same time most cost effective service to fit the needs. o Propose adjustments of the strategic document to fit the recognised needs. No additional funds in the Republic budget for 2006 are required for the implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy.

THE GOVERNMENT Deputy Prime Minister.8. THE PUBLISHING OF THE STRATEGY This Strategy shall be published in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”. 47 . Number: Belgrade.

and therefore social rights and the right to social welfare. secure their livelihoods. 48 . III THE EXPLANATION FOR THE PROPOSED STRATEGY An efficient social welfare system should respond to citizens’ needs under new circumstances and support vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups who are in need of organised state and community support. Paragraph 1 of the Law on the Government (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”. which in turn contributes to the quality of life of its citizens. which proclaims that through this development strategy. economic restructuring and social welfare policy reforms should be supplemented by an efficient social welfare system.EXPOSITION I LEGAL GROUNDS The legal grounds for adopting this Strategy are set in Article 45. it must be further modernized and changed. aiming to accelerate economic and social progress. the Strategy is harmonised and synchronised with the main social transition trends and it is realistic. Citizens’ rights must be enhanced and made operational. assumes the development of modern and efficient state institutions based on the rule of law. Ratification of a vast number of international conventions. no. must be in place. 55/05 and 71/05 – Correction). Conceptually. in comparison with the existing financial resources of the state. in order for it to become more efficient and flexible. as well as citizens who are unable to engage in economic activities and through that. while mechanisms which would ensure their timely and cost effective implementation. clearly indicates our country’s readiness to enhance human rights. Although the majority of social welfare rights are already embedded in the system. the Government ascertains the current situation in an area within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Serbia and defines the measures which need to be undertaken for the purpose of its development. in the area of human rights. II THE REASONS FOR ADOPTING THE STRATEGY Inclusion of Serbia into the European integration process. The Serbian Social Welfare Development Strategy is an integral part of the overall changes in society. The overall processes of democratisation.

striving towards European integrations. as well as marginalised groups of citizens. the Employment Strategy. also entail the introduction of a contemporary model of social policy. The conceptualization of basic reform trends in the social welfare system is founded on: A review of the relevant needs. which build on international and European objectives of overall economic and social development of society. An analysis of the current situation. and The application of international standards and recommendations. Accordingly. activities and mechanisms which will ensure the most favourable outcomes for beneficiaries.The development of the social welfare system will be implemented through reform processes. Accounting for the country’s current development stage. The Social Welfare System Development Strategy is founded on the reform objectives outlined in strategic documents adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia: The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. persons with disabilities and the elderly. the internationally defined standards which must be incorporated into the social welfare system as well as the financial resources available to the state. which serves the purpose of protecting human rights. towards making underlying changes of the system. social welfare goals include efficient financial support and a developed network of institutions and social services. The current stage of development. The main goal of the new social policy is an efficient system of social transfers and fulfilment of basic citizens’ needs. the document foresees a reform process adjusted to the realistic potentials within society. which can remove or mitigate main risks to which the citizens are exposed. with participation of all social stakeholders. poverty reduction and ensuring improved protection of vulnerable groups of children. the Draft Law Against Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities and other relevant documents. the National Action Plan for Children as well as numerous other developmental documents currently being drafted or in the process of being publicly debated: The Draft National Action Plan in the area of Ageing and Old Age. It outlines the timeframe for reaching objectives. and flags up priority activities which pertain to protection of vulnerable groups of children and adults. as well as those of other countries. Further development of a more efficient social welfare system requires strategic planning for the continuation of reform processes. The identified problems and insufficiencies. A systematic approach to reforms should continue through measures. The improvement of the social welfare system is founded on contemporary theoretical knowledge and the domestic experiences. 49 . Reforms focusing on democratisation and stabilisation of a market-oriented society.

e. the possibility to choose the most optimal and at the same time most cost effective service to fit the needs. through poverty reduction and a more adequate fulfilment of citizens’ various social welfare needs. which will ensure better quality of the fulfilment of their needs. in the forthcoming years. This will facilitate an improvement in the quality of social welfare and increase the coverage of vulnerable citizens. the development of community-based social services and the creation of a network of social services. This will be achieved by ensuring: An active role of beneficiaries (participation in the selection of services and sharing in the responsibility). i. Local and regional integration of all stakeholders who have a role in satisfying citizens’ social welfare needs. alongside tax exemptions and recognition and acknowledgement for community service work. Predictions are that greater allocations from the Republic budget will be required for achieving strategic goals in certain phases. that is. 50 . with a total allocation of resources (both at local and republic level) which will not significantly exceed the currently allocated resources. More reasonable procedures for the establishment and an adequate control of service providers’ activities. however a consistent implementation of the Strategy implies the development of better quality and more commercial services. - - The impact of individual strategic trends and goals is outlined in the Strategy. funds required for initiating implementation are available both within already allocated funds and from donations. More efficient work of public institutions and the provision of appropriate scientific. V THE IMPACT OF THE STRATEGY Implementation of measures outlined in the Strategy will facilitate an improvement in the quality of citizens’ lives. joint and synchronised activities within all disciplines. professional and financial support to them. and an ongoing holistic fulfilment of beneficiaries’ needs.IV FINANCIAL RESOURCES No additional funds in the Republic budget for 2006 are required for the implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy.