domingo, 9 de novembro de 2014


In the course of implementation of its international commitments, Lithuania has to address the issues of the social care system of children deprived of parental care and of people with disabilities. Together with non-governmental organisations representing the disabled, associations of managers of social care institutions and other organisations, the Action Plan of Transition from institutional care to community-based for people with disabilities and children deprived of parental care 2014–2020 has been drawn up.
In the period 2014–2020, the Action Plan aims to envisage consistent and coordinated actions that promote the creation of the system for transition from institutional social care to community-based services for disabled persons (including children and youth), with mental and/or psychic disability, children deprived of parental care, including babies, as well as families, and assistance to the family, guardians (foster parents). 
The Action Plan envisages the following aims:
to ensure harmonious environment and conditions for all children to be raised in their families, and to children deprived of parental care to be raised in the families of foster or adoptive parents or in social families and to receive assistance from the community;
to create the conditions for disabled adults and their families (guardians, foster parents) to be provided with individual community services that meet their needs;
to promote the change of value and attitudes in society, forming a positive society’s attitude towards reorganisation of the system, and to ensure publicity of ongoing processes. 
The Action Plan will be implemented through pilot projects in regions. The European Union structural support funds for 2014–2020 will be used (according to preliminary estimates, around 214 million of funds from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund). The Interinstitutional Monitoring Group will be implemented for the purposes of monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan. 
The Acton Plan and its implementing measures have been widely presented to municipalities, social care  institutions, non-governmental organisations; the best solutions concerning the transition from institutional care to community-based services have been discussed with the representatives from the European Commission and experts from Greece, Bulgaria and other European countries. Seeking to successfully implement the Action Plan, cooperation of all executing institutions is necessary; therefore, the Plan envisages that the major share of activities will be implemented with the help of non-governmental organisations and experts. 
Starting in 1st January 2015, only those social care providers who have licences for the provision of social care will be entitled to render such services. Since 1st January 2013, social care institutions may obtain licences for the provision of social care on a voluntary basis. Licensing of social care institutions and social families falls within the responsibility of the Department of Supervision of Social Services under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. 
The main criteria for obtaining the licence include staff composition and number of employees, education of social workers, the area of residential premises, the total number of residents in the institutions, the number of personal hygiene premises, fire detection and alarm system, a permit – health licence, and the licence for the provision of personal health care services. 
A social care licence may be obtained by social care institutions and social families through the electronic means of Social Care Licencing. Before making a decision on licensing, the Department has the right within 25 calendar days to carry out an on-site inspection in order to make sure whether a social care provider is ready to provide social care services. A decision concerning licensing is made within 30 calendar days. At least once in five years, the Department carries out the scheduled inspection of a licence holder. 
According to the data of the Department, 83 licences for the provision of social care services have been issued by the beginning of May 2014. More than half of issued licences (61 per cent) are related to the provision of institutional social care for adults. 
Since 1st January 2014, seeking to enhance assistance to families raising children, additional LTL 2.5 million from the state budget have been allocated for payment of wages and social insurance contributions of social workers who provide social care for social risk families. The funds have been used to establish additional 83 positions of social workers in municipalities. Wages and social insurance contributions of these workers are financed from special target grants of the state budget to municipal budgets with respect to social care of social risk families. Seeking to make social work with families more efficient, one position of social worker should be assigned not more than 17 social risk families, since July 2014.

Markas Abramovicius

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho] 

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