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

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

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

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

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

except those which multiple stakeholders (linked by a common interest) determine to be services best organized at the regional level. However. which can fulfil their needs in the area of social welfare. and that their accessibility is equally guaranteed to all. which can be satisfied through a variety of inter-connected and complimentary services (continuum of services). 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.• 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. 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. 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. which therefore need financial resources. they are taken away and services are organised from the republic level. Only a small number of highly specialised services can be organised at the Republic level. secured from own funds or those transferred from the Republic level. By changing legislation. local self-governments finance their citizens’ needs from their own resources. under the same conditions. It must also make sure that in case these resources are being improperly spent. which will enable covering a larger number of beneficiaries. should remain at the local level. for the needs and problems of its citizens. Regardless at which level the services are being organised. it is necessary to ensure that the state prescribes minimal rights of beneficiaries. At the same time. Only rights pertaining to permanent cash benefits should remain entirely under the jurisdiction of the Republic. as well as the provision of finances for them. 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. This will warrant an appropriate interest and responsibility of the municipality. This means that the forms and the fulfilment of those needs of citizens. The law must ensure mechanisms for local self-governments to allocate a certain amount of resources for social needs of their citizens. the system must be flexible and allow development and application of the most optimal services. 11 . at least until adequate economic and political conditions have been met. In a decentralised system services are provided primarily at the local level.

Undertaking measures to ensure that the resources provided to able-bodied citizens. which would in turn ensure transparency and efficiency of the system. technically advanced information system with a regularly updated database.3. Ensuring More Efficient Cash Benefits in Social Welfare It is necessary to achieve the level of securing an existential minimum for beneficiaries. through the provision of cash benefits. as stakeholders. they are able to partly or fully provide for themselves.• 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. Participation will enable citizens and beneficiaries. • • 2. Consolidating the work of municipal services responsible for ensuring the realisation of citizens' cash benefit rights. who do not have families or relatives able to support them. De-concentration of all forms of financial benefits in social welfare provided from the Republic budget should fully rationalise administrative procedures. in a way that.4. to actively and responsibly participate in encouraging the development and improvement of the social welfare system.e. The Provision of Quality Social Welfare Services The purpose and the aim of developing community based social services is primarily prevention. are aimed at their employment. 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. families and groups at risk do not get socially isolated and do not become permanently dependant on social services. It is necessary to create an adequate. 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. i. Their reaction to the system is therefore passive and they are not motivated for any kind of active participation in the decision making process. Quality services 12 . through their work-engagement. the creation of conditions for activating their potentials. as a means of financial security.3.3. 2. so that individuals.

day care centres. Defining and networking of services provided by different sectors and subsystems.5. enable beneficiaries to overcome risks and prevent further development of problems and conditions detrimental to their quality of life. • • • 2. The procedure preceding the actual consumption of services should be conducted in a meaningful and client-friendly manner. 4) Strategic planning and cross-sectoral co-operation. licensing. adults and the elderly. 2) Protection against abuse and neglect of children. plans and programmes. as well as within the local community. 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. Developing standards and improving the quality of services provided by social welfare institutions and agencies. and the introduction of a system for professional advancement of employees. as well as protection against domestic violence. Introducing an efficient appeal system. accreditation of new programmes and services. Creation and accreditation of educational training packages.create positive changes.3. • 13 . at all levels. Introducing new social services within existing social welfare institutions and agencies. 5) Establishment of community based social programmes and volunteer management. home care and assistance and other social welfare services. Support to and affirmation of the family as the paramount framework for protection of vulnerable groups and stimulating the development of foster care. 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. within an optimal time span. adoption. 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. 3) Foster care and adoption.

Relevant social stakeholders in the process of social welfare system reform are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The National Assembly The Government The Ministry of Labour. 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 . • 2. as well as a system for independent supervision and control of professional social work.6) 7) 8) 9) • Family mediation. 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. 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. Introduction of quality control mechanisms through monitoring. Management of social institutions and human resources in social welfare. Affirmation of general ethical principles and upgrading the standards of professional behaviour.4. Supervision and evaluation of the outcomes of professional social work. supervision and evaluation of social welfare outcomes.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 .

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

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

as well as those acts committed by minors. centres for social welfare and other relevant local stakeholders about perpetrators of criminal acts against minors.). o Establish mechanisms of cooperation to jointly implement the Law on Juvenile Perpetrators of Criminal Acts and the Legal Protection of Juveniles. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. The Ministry of Culture – The Ministry of Labour. in accordance with the law. in the areas of preventing and responding to domestic violence (creation of coordination bodies. striving to prevent the occurrence of social problems. etc. 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. • • 17 . 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.o Other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy.). multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary teams. 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. o Ensure an exchange of information between the responsible territorial organisational units of the Ministry of Interior. o Within their legal jurisdictions. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary teams. • The Ministry of Interior – The Ministry of Labour. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. The Ministry of Justice – The Ministry of Labour. 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. etc. preventing and responding to domestic violence (creation of coordination bodies. stimulate activities of informing citizens about the ways and possibilities of using resources available in the social welfare system.

with direct impact on the implementation of the Strategy. aiming to secure coordinated donor support for the implementation of the Strategy. • International authorities and organisations. etc.).• The Ministry of International Economic Relations – The Ministry of Labour. Employment and Social Policy is expected (The Poverty Reduction Strategy. 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. The Ministry of Science and Environmental Protection – The Ministry of Labour. . o Particularly cooperate on achieving the objectives outlined in the National Programme for Environmental Protection through participation in the development of relevant action plans. o The identification of priorities. implementation and funding of reform projects. etc. • • The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government – 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. with the aim of establishing functional linkages 18 . as well as in other strategies where active participation of the Ministry of Labour. 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 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 Long-term and systematic implementation of projects supported by these stakeholders. organisations and authorities of other interested countries and governments. Employment and Social Policy and the Ministry of International Economic Relations will: o Define functional channels for cooperation and information flow. international and foreign non-government organisations – The Ministry of Labour.). o Agree on the framework for cooperation and carry out other activities aimed at achieving objectives outlined in the Strategy. Employment and Social Policy is expected (The Poverty Reduction Strategy. as well as in other strategies where active participation of the Ministry of Labour.

complementary to beneficiaries’ needs. 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. 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. to the greatest possible extent. PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM REFORM Respect for and integrity of human rights is the basic principle of the reform. at the local level. non-government and private sectors. • Availability of services to beneficiaries – creating conditions and developing community based services. Providing support to beneficiaries for activating their potentials for independent fulfilment of needs. 3. while selecting those which are least restrictive for beneficiaries. while respecting human rights and dignity. as well as an improved quality of life of those citizens who. leading a productive life in the community and preventing dependence on social 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.1. Participation. o A harmonised approach. etc. whose consistent application is ensured through the harmonisation of the domestic legal system with ratified international documents and contemporary social work practices. so that citizens could primarily address their needs in their living environment. • • • 4. 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. continually and for as long as necessary.with wider reform initiatives in the Republic of Serbia. Least restrictive environment – providing support to various services primarily in the natural environment. OBJECTIVES OF SOCIAL WELFARE DEVELOPMENT 4. for various 19 .

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

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. 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. it is necessary to determine and provide the level of an existential minimum and create a more efficient and effective cash benefits system.2.) are provided within the existing social welfare system to citizens unable to secure funds for satisfying their basic needs. 4. supplementary funds for care-takers.An efficient social welfare system also implies a transformation of the existing social welfare institutions. A reformed social welfare system relies on an existing network and further develops that network of institutions. On the other hand. assistance for gaining work competency. cash benefits for people who are permanently vulnerable because they are incapable of work. In line with that. receive financial support. Reform Objectives 4. one-off benefits. should be a part of a single and complete state policy. more efficient and cost-effective coverage through programmes and services. activating their work potentials. crosssectoral networking and integration at the local level. available resources and the achieved and planned degree of societal development.065 family households which receive cash benefits. 17. 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 . All citizens who fulfil the legally prescribed criteria. etc. securing more complete. implementing a new organisation of work and guaranteeing quality of services.1. From a total number of 51. are below the existential minimum level. 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. in the form of one-off benefits. due to unemployment or temporary or permanent inability to work. with respect for their human rights. services and programmes which are continuously aligned with citizens’ and beneficiaries’ needs. Specific Objective 1.000 or 33% are headed by individuals deemed incapable of work.2. As a result of insufficient resources.1 – Securing an Existential Minimum The Current Situation Various types of financial (cash) benefits (financial support to families. Objective 1 – Improvement of Social Welfare for the Poorest Citizens Reducing the number of poor people.

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

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

Employment and Social Policy. Objective 2 – Development of a Network of Community-based Services Identifying the needs of beneficiaries at different levels (individual. 4. community). Specific Objective 2. a unique registry and more efficient procedures.Time frame: 2008 3. 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. should all contribute to a more efficient and rational use of resources. it is important to have easy access to information about the types of available services. free from reliance on social services. to receive support in obtaining the required documents.2. having a well planned and well synchronised (across various systems) development of a network of services which are territorially and functionally available to citizens. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. would also ensure easier access to services. which would be achieved through a clear separation of professional and administrative work. Creating a unique registry for financial benefits. group. as a result of a permanent inability to work. The qualitative improvement in service provision. From the beneficiaries’ point of view.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 . and to have an efficient appeal procedure. will enable the citizens to satisfy most of their needs within their local community. and the establishment of a system that would assure quality of services both at the professional and organisational level.2. with a better quality fulfilment of citizens’ needs. 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. 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. Stimulating the potentials of able-bodied beneficiaries will contribute to creating the conditions for them to lead independent lives. and transferring administration of financial benefit services out centres for social welfare.

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

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

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

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

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

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

as leading professional institutions should assume an important role in the development of the social welfare system. Furthermore. will significantly increase the efficiency and professionalism of their work.system. as well as the prospects of professional social work. a lack of control over the realisation of rights. will lead to a situation where the provided service. and working conditions. municipalities which fulfil this responsibility to the fullest extent are scarce. have created an irrational network of institutions. Professionals engaged in the provision of services and activities in social welfare. 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. The reasons for this are a constant lack of financial resources. Because of all these reasons. resulting in an improvement and maintenance of the quality of their life. research of social problems and further strategic planning of development in this field. Specific Objective 2. 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. These social welfare institutes.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. professional capacities will be gradually strengthened and increased. the insufficient development of communitybased services prompts beneficiaries to use the existing ones (which are not always the 32 . as well as insufficient resources at the local level. in an efficient and cost effective way. professional support and evaluation of practical work. improved. the coverage of citizens with existing types of services is insufficient. 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. where the beneficiaries are more satisfied with the received services. As a consequence. fulfils its purpose to the fullest extent. • 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. The establishment of social welfare institutes will provide scientific and professional support to the social welfare system. in comparison to their needs and rights. A centralised approach in the planning of accommodation capacities and the financing of rights. which does not meet the actual needs of beneficiaries and does not provide an adequate supply of services.

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

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

Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Ministry of Labour. 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. Ministry of Health. efficiency and cost effectiveness become the criteria based on 35 . Introducing tax-related and other incentives for investments and carrying out activities in social welfare. Ministry of Culture. The mixed model will. the elderly and all vulnerable groups. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Public Administration and Local SelfGovernment. the National Assembly Time frame: 2006 10. proposing and adopting the Law on Associations. Drafting. Drafting. 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. the Government. on top of what has already been mentioned.community. adults and the elderly to remain in their biological. which should be inclusive of children. kinship and other types of families. able to satisfy the various needs of the beneficiaries and citizens. create a situation where quality. as well as other regulations and measures which will invoke donations and voluntary work. persons with disabilities. local self-government Time frame: continuously 9. Employment and Social Policy. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. 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. the Government. It will enable more children. Ministry of Finance Time frame: 2006-2008 11. Ministry of Finance. Freeing capacities in institutions will create the conditions for developing new services in the social welfare system. Employment and Social Policy. Employment and Social Policy.

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

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

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

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

for a more efficient fulfilment of citizens’ needs. regional and republic level. Stable sources of funding. is to improve the status of a potential social welfare beneficiary and ensure security in terms of service provision outcomes. staff requirements and the quality of services – creating a network of services tailored to citizens’ needs. with active participation of all stakeholders and ongoing alignment of activities with the achieved changes. The factors of sustainable development of the social welfare system are: 1.e. 3. rational planning and expenditure of social welfare funds. 2. Adjustment to changes in terms of organization.5. DEVELOPMENT FACTORS OF AN EFFICIENT SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM 5.e. persons with disabilities. oriented towards greater protection of the basic human rights and more efficient care for vulnerable groups of children. Empowering beneficiaries for accepting responsibility and participating in the selection of services. A new approach and the development of an efficient social welfare system requires stability and sustainability of implemented measures and activities. 6. Legislative activity complementary to the already initiated system reforms – the adoption of adequate laws and changes and amendments to laws relevant for social welfare. through informative campaigns and education for taking on new roles in the social welfare system. 7. Sustainable Development Factors of Efficient Social Welfare The role of the state in the social security system and especially in social welfare.1. 40 . 4. with weak health and the elderly. i. Permanent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of main activities and the achievement of key objectives. as a guarantee for success and continuity of the reform processes. 5. Strengthening staff capacities for applying new professional standards and methods of organisation in social welfare and the development of resource management capacities. organisation and networking of institutions at the local. i. Coordinated action with other systems aiming to harmonise reform processes important for citizens’ protection in the social welfare system.

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

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

Pluralism of Service Providers 1. The state must ensure that these institutions have equal access to 43 . affordable services need to be introduced to improve the everyday lives of those citizens who are able to work. in line with their needs and financial capacities.Tax and other incentives for humanitarian work and investments in social welfare and related fields. . introduce licensing and systems for professional promotion. professional supervision. Work plans of centres for social welfare. 6. accreditation of programmes and services. 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. and contribute to a holistic approach to the fulfilment of citizens’ needs. operation and control of non-profit organisations.Appropriate legal acts which will rationalise the procedures for the establishment. but are daily engaged in caring for children with development risks.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.4.In order to ensure an appropriate quality of services in social welfare institutions. donations and volunteer activities). for a specific local community or region. it is necessary to introduce new standards and new methods of work organisation. and some of which are missing throughout the territory of the Republic of Serbia. are particularly important: . Various. in greater numbers. the appropriate services which would support them in living a productive and independent life in the community. Policies being initiated and implemented with the aim of developing a diversity of social services. It is therefore necessary to expand the provision of social services. . control and impact evaluation. persons with health problems and the elderly. in the best interest of the beneficiary. persons with disabilities. so that potential beneficiaries could choose. These criteria must also be fulfilled by work plans of all other social welfare institutions. Social welfare institutions should encourage an efficient inclusion of other systems and sectors in service provision. strengthen professional capacities of employees. have to be continuously improved to meet the criteria for quality of social programmes. operation and expansion of the nonprofit sector in that society. 2. Stimulate private sector development – Social welfare as a sector potentially has a very wide range of social services which may be commercialised. There are also a significant number of persons with disabilities and the elderly who live on their own. support quality social services and continuously provide information to beneficiaries on the existing social welfare programmes. through the development of a variety of services and the introduction of new services.

In this way. It is necessary to develop a whole range of services. services available to all. more children. The Continuity of Services Decentralisation of responsibilities and resources enables the development of diverse and network-based services. 6. A harmonised and holistic system of support and assistance implies coordination between the social. 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. This is accomplished through: • • • Services being used by all citizens . a continuum of support and assistance to individuals and families. and in order to minimise the impact of a situation hindering optimal development and wellbeing. Specific services and support interventions for groups who are at an increased risk. Indicated services and interventions used in situations when the negative impact of the risk has already occurred. judicial and other systems in society. regardless of the intensity of problems with which they are faced. Transformation of Institutions with Priority Development of Services and Support in the Natural Environment 1. health. kinship or other family. Social welfare beneficiaries are individuals who are especially vulnerable or at risk because of their condition. which will be able to fulfil the needs of vulnerable groups and groups at risk. 44 . of a different level and intensity. characteristics or the situation they are in. create the conditions for performing specific roles in society and deployment of social values. in accordance with the identified needs of the citizens.applying the principle of developing universal services. as a more restrictive and more expensive form of support for beneficiaries. while controlling the quality of those services.5. hence they require services to improve or sustain the quality of their lives.6. through selective services and interventions targeting marginalised social groups and families in need of support for caring after a vulnerable member. education. which will also take pressure off residential care. 6. Social welfare service providers from the public. adults and the elderly will be able to remain in their biological. It must also introduce appropriate measures for stimulating investments aimed at service provision. both at the local and other levels. in order for them to continue living in their family and in their natural environment. non-profit and private sector should be able to provide a wide range of services – ideally.resources from the budget for providing services to beneficiaries.

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

The Ministry will use internal and external resources for evaluation purposes. The evaluation will be of a participatory nature. Employment and Social Policy will periodically. 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. Predictions are that greater allocations from the Republic budget will be required for achieving strategic goals in certain phases. This will facilitate an improvement in the quality of social welfare and increase the coverage of vulnerable citizens. The Ministry of Labour. As the champion of the social welfare system reform process. funds required for initiating implementation are available both within already allocated funds and from donations.e. The Ministry of Labour. 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. the Ministry of Labour. 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. o Propose adjustments of the strategic document to fit the recognised needs. i. co-operating and decision making. 46 . in the forthcoming years. with a total allocation of resources (both at local and republic level) which will not significantly exceed the currently allocated resources. at least once in every two years. The Minister in charge of social welfare issues will determine the Ministry’s action plan for implementation of the Strategy. as well as procedures for discussing. 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. the possibility to choose the most optimal and at the same time most cost effective service to fit the needs. No additional funds in the Republic budget for 2006 are required for the implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy. conduct an evaluation of the implemented strategic activities and the accomplished results. with the aim to: o Identify strategic issues up for debate.7.

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

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

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

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

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