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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• 2. ethical and professional accountability through the introduction of a professional code of conduct into the social welfare system. supervision and evaluation of social welfare outcomes. Specialised programmes for specific groups of beneficiaries.6) 7) 8) 9) • Family mediation. Management of social institutions and human resources in social welfare. Relevant social stakeholders in the process of social welfare system reform are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The National Assembly The Government The Ministry of Labour. Affirmation of general ethical principles and upgrading the standards of professional behaviour. as well as a system for independent supervision and control of professional social work. Supervision and evaluation of the outcomes of professional social work.4.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 . 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. 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. 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. centres for social work.4. o Agree on local budgetary allocations for social programmes (the development of social services at the local level). 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. A clear mandate and area of responsibility for making concrete changes and improving particular parts of the social welfare system. foundations and religious communities Economic societies and entrepreneurs Institutions for higher education and institutes Citizens and beneficiaries of social welfare rights and services.• • • • • Local non government organisations Funds. etc. o Define roles. and the same timeframe. non government organisations. Periodically evaluating previous activities conducted in one’s own area of work. Employment and Social Policy will: o Agree a plan for cooperation. which will ensure active participation of local self-governments in the development of social welfare at the local level. The Necessary Cooperation and Joint Activities With the aim of successfully implementing this Strategy. the Ministry of Labour. it is necessary to work jointly in the following manner: • • • • • Cooperation and carrying out activities within the same conceptual and strategic framework. obligations and responsibilities of social welfare reform stakeholders at the local level (local self-government authorities. 15 .). determining needs and capacities within the local community. Providing the necessary inputs to each other aiming to exchange experiences and transfer knowledge relevant for further reform processes. o Perform other necessary activities aimed at achieving the goals of this Strategy. o Agree on procedures for exchanging information. Building and developing own capacities necessary for implementing activities designated in the process of social welfare reform. that will be provided at the regional level. other social welfare institutions and agencies.1. o Establish frameworks and criteria for defining specific social welfare services.

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

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

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

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

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

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 .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.

along the lines of using new methodological approaches. 17. A reformed social welfare system relies on an existing network and further develops that network of institutions. it is necessary to determine and provide the level of an existential minimum and create a more efficient and effective cash benefits system. 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 . securing more complete. in the form of one-off benefits. are below the existential minimum level. more efficient and cost-effective coverage through programmes and services. activating their work potentials. crosssectoral networking and integration at the local level.1. In line with that. 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.An efficient social welfare system also implies a transformation of the existing social welfare institutions. All citizens who fulfil the legally prescribed criteria. implementing a new organisation of work and guaranteeing quality of services. one-off benefits. supplementary funds for care-takers. As a result of insufficient resources.2. etc.) are provided within the existing social welfare system to citizens unable to secure funds for satisfying their basic needs. On the other hand. cash benefits for people who are permanently vulnerable because they are incapable of work. From a total number of 51.000 or 33% are headed by individuals deemed incapable of work. services and programmes which are continuously aligned with citizens’ and beneficiaries’ needs.065 family households which receive cash benefits. receive financial support. 4. Specific Objective 1. Objective 1 – Improvement of Social Welfare for the Poorest Citizens Reducing the number of poor people. due to unemployment or temporary or permanent inability to work.2. in which the social welfare system provides support for the most vulnerable citizens and social groups. should be a part of a single and complete state policy. available resources and the achieved and planned degree of societal development. with respect for their human rights. Reform Objectives 4.1 – Securing an Existential Minimum The Current Situation Various types of financial (cash) benefits (financial support to families. regardless of whether their financial vulnerability is based in unemployment or temporary or permanent inability to work. assistance for gaining work competency.

the realistic capacities of the state. index the poverty line based on living expenses and undertake measures for reaching a level of development. although they fulfil the criteria. Measures. employment agencies Time frame: continuously Specific Objective 1. At the same time. not having a permanent residence address. it is necessary to intensify social welfare for children through support within the child protection system and other systems. Developing programmes for employing able-bodied beneficiaries of cash benefits. Redefining the poverty line for the territory of the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the achieved level of economic development. refusal to receive assistance from the state. Until conditions for employment of able-bodied cash benefit beneficiaries are created. Employment and Social Policy. the realistic capacities of the state. i. as well as public works. Moreover. it is necessary to redefine the poverty line in the Republic of Serbia. etc. employment agencies’ activities must contribute to the development of subsidised employment programmes for social welfare beneficiaries.e. sufficient for satisfying basic needs. Lead responsibility: The Ministry of Labour. Lead responsibility: Ministry of Labour. a certain number of poor people do not exercise their social welfare rights. local self-governments.e. 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. i. Employment and Social Policy Time frame: 2006 2.community. The reasons for this are numerous starting from a lack of information. adjusting it to the achieved level of economic development. 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. Activities and Mechanisms 1.2 – 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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A new approach and the development of an efficient social welfare system requires stability and sustainability of implemented measures and activities. organisation and networking of institutions at the local. persons with disabilities.5. rational planning and expenditure of social welfare funds. 7. Empowering beneficiaries for accepting responsibility and participating in the selection of services.e. Sustainable Development Factors of Efficient Social Welfare The role of the state in the social security system and especially in social welfare. DEVELOPMENT FACTORS OF AN EFFICIENT SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM 5. with active participation of all stakeholders and ongoing alignment of activities with the achieved changes. oriented towards greater protection of the basic human rights and more efficient care for vulnerable groups of children. 2.1. i. is to improve the status of a potential social welfare beneficiary and ensure security in terms of service provision outcomes. 40 . Stable sources of funding. 4. i. as a guarantee for success and continuity of the reform processes. regional and republic level. Permanent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of main activities and the achievement of key objectives. 3. 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. staff requirements and the quality of services – creating a network of services tailored to citizens’ needs.e. with weak health and the elderly. Adjustment to changes in terms of organization. 5. 6. Coordinated action with other systems aiming to harmonise reform processes important for citizens’ protection in the social welfare system. Strengthening staff capacities for applying new professional standards and methods of organisation in social welfare and the development of resource management capacities. The factors of sustainable development of the social welfare system are: 1. for a more efficient fulfilment of citizens’ needs.

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

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

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

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

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

No additional funds in the Republic budget for 2006 are required for the implementation of the Social Welfare Development Strategy. The evaluation will be of a participatory nature. i. This will facilitate an improvement in the quality of social welfare and increase the coverage of vulnerable citizens. The Ministry of Labour. the Ministry of Labour. co-operating and decision making. 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. The Minister in charge of social welfare issues will determine the Ministry’s action plan for implementation of the Strategy. 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. The Ministry of Labour. with the aim to: o Identify strategic issues up for debate. 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. conduct an evaluation of the implemented strategic activities and the accomplished results. o Propose adjustments of the strategic document to fit the recognised needs. as well as procedures for discussing. funds required for initiating implementation are available both within already allocated funds and from donations. the possibility to choose the most optimal and at the same time most cost effective service to fit the needs. in accordance with new circumstances and reassess the action plan and adjust it to the recognised needs. The Ministry will use internal and external resources for evaluation purposes. 46 .7. however a consistent implementation of the Strategy implies the development of better quality and more commercial services. at least once in every two years. 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. Predictions are that greater allocations from the Republic budget will be required for achieving strategic goals in certain phases. Employment and Social Policy will periodically. As the champion of the social welfare system reform process.e.

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

the Strategy is harmonised and synchronised with the main social transition trends and it is realistic. and therefore social rights and the right to social welfare. in the area of human rights. Ratification of a vast number of international conventions. Conceptually. secure their livelihoods. which in turn contributes to the quality of life of its citizens. The Serbian Social Welfare Development Strategy is an integral part of the overall changes in society. must be in place. 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. Although the majority of social welfare rights are already embedded in the system. Paragraph 1 of the Law on the Government (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”. The overall processes of democratisation. as well as citizens who are unable to engage in economic activities and through that. clearly indicates our country’s readiness to enhance human rights. which proclaims that through this development strategy. it must be further modernized and changed.EXPOSITION I LEGAL GROUNDS The legal grounds for adopting this Strategy are set in Article 45. in order for it to become more efficient and flexible. in comparison with the existing financial resources of the state. 55/05 and 71/05 – Correction). aiming to accelerate economic and social progress. while mechanisms which would ensure their timely and cost effective implementation. 48 . II THE REASONS FOR ADOPTING THE STRATEGY Inclusion of Serbia into the European integration process. assumes the development of modern and efficient state institutions based on the rule of law. Citizens’ rights must be enhanced and made operational. economic restructuring and social welfare policy reforms should be supplemented by an efficient social welfare system. 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.

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

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

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