Municipalities should establish minimum standards in the provision of social services

<p>Within the fourth module of the educational program “LGA”, KLGI Institute addressed social policies and employment, with a special focus on contracting special alternative services from various local partners, specifically from organizations and specialized companies.<br /> <br /> It was emphasized that outsourcing professional services is necessary to improve welfare and the role of marginalized groups. This should occur with a direct involvement in the development of services, in accordance with the requirements of social categories, increased cooperation between professional institutions, raised quality of service; and drafting of the strategy, policies and standards for social policies at the municipal level. This not only adds to the range of services, but also increases the quality.<br /> <br /> In addition, it was stated that municipalities have been given a clear mandate and should take responsibility for providing social assistance (except for the payment of pensions) and social services. There are still challenges and ambiguities – at the local and central level – on how this mandate should be implemented.<br /> <br /> Furthermore, Mr. Mentor Morina – Head of the Division for Social Welfare (MPMS) highlighted that the duty of transferring management from the centers to municipalities requires constant professional and technical assistance. Also, finding the mechanisms to provide these services through municipalities and the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare will be challenging.<br /> <br /> It was seen as a necessity to develop social infrastructure and temporary housing for various affected groups; and as well as increase the community-based homes for the protection of children, the elderly and disabled people.<br /> <br /> In addition, there are still many weaknesses in municipal financing. This comes as a result of new competences for social and familiar services which do not offer sufficient qualitative service delivery. There is a great need for a well-structured system of inter-governmental communication, negotiation and technical support in this sector.<br /> <br /> It was also stated that municipalities should be engaged in calculating costs for this sector, including those for monitoring and enforcing minimum standards, while ensuring a minimum level for service delivery.<br /> <br /> It was a common conclusion that drafting efficient social policies is necessary to encounter the challenges that require emergency in mobilizing all human, intellectual, technical and political resources in drafting adequate social policies for avoiding difficulties: improving the current situation and integrating the marginalized groups.<br /> <br /> This program is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. <br /> </p>