Better Quality of Social Services for the Elderly and People with Disabilities

21 Jun 2014

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In Ukraine, there are now more than 1.6 million people of senior age and those with disabilities, who are being provided with social services in over 700 specialized state-funded territorial centres.

The UNDP, together with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, channelled their efforts to improve the quality of services in these centres and to ensure an individual approach to each client by introducing practices of modern organizational management.

 “In 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the Strategy of reforming the system of social services. On the one hand, it aims to provide the availability of social services to the people and improving their quality, and, on the other hand, it intends to increase the efficiency of the entire system of social services by optimizing the existing network of institutions of communal ownership and the use of public funds”, admitted Irina Tarabukina, the Head of the Social Services Department of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

“Today, the territorial centre is the only provider of social services in the community for certain categories of citizens requiring assistance, i.e. the elderly and persons with disabilities. Therefore, an important task of the reform is to improve the quality of services provided by such centres. The UNDP, within the project, conducted the analysis of territorial centres, which resulted in drafting amendments to the Provisions on the Territorial Centres, designing the Regulations for the territorial centres, a form of an Individual Plan for each client, and new Methodical Recommendations for establishing the category of each client and calculating a standard time for servicing them. The Ministry of Social Policy has also approved the List of Social Services, which allows to develop the standards and norms of funding each social service and therefore to ensure the transition from “funding of institutions” towards “funding of services”. These innovations imply modern practices of organizational management, helping to optimize the performance of social service providers”, explained Olena Ivanova, Project Manager of the UNDP Project “Support to the Social Sector Reform in Ukraine”.

Also, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy, the UNDP has developed a training programme for the directors of territorial centers and launched a series of workshops for over 120 people in April this year. The final week of workshops is being held on June 16-20, 2014. In addition, anyone interested in the issue can download the online version of the manual “Management of Social Services” following this link.

In 2013, there was another series of workshops, focused on improving the performance of territorial centres and attended by above 150 people, including representatives of regional branches of social protection, directors and specialists of territorial centres. The workshops addressed the implementation of standards for social services, regulations for the provision of social services, quality control, methods to establish a category of the client and a standard time for their servicing.

You can read the Handbook “Management of Social Services” at this link online or you can get a hard copy from the project office by sending a request to: alina.stetsenko@undp.org.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the concept of the Reform of Social Services in 2007 and the Strategy of the reform in 2012. The western practice shows that the implementation of such reforms may take several decades, as they are introduced in stages and are aimed at solving complex issues.

 “In the long run, the reforming of the social services system in Ukraine will attract other social service providers to the market, such as NGOs and privately owned entities, which are currently outstandingly underrepresented. Indeed, the potential market for the provision of social services is about 13 million people of senior age and those with disabilities, both adults and children. Ukraine has already embarked on the path of developed countries toward gradual introducing market mechanisms for social services, where different service providers can meet the growing demand of the population. The role of the government will be to effectively monitor the quality of services and equal rules of the game”, noted Lyudmyla Skoropada, Adviser to the UNDP Project “Support to Social Sector Reform in Ukraine”

“We are ready to implement new ways into the provision of social services, but still waiting for the adoption of all relevant regulations”, emphasized the workshop participants Olena Piryutko and Lyudmyla Krolyvets of Kyiv Municipal Territorial Center. This is true that now the system is in a transitional period, when both “old” and new provisions are in legal force, making it less clear which guidelines to use.

 “The main goal of reforming the system of social services is to ensure that a person is not left alone with his problems”, summed up Mrs. Tarabukina of the Ministry of Social Policy.

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You can read the Handbook “Management of Social Services” at this link online or you can get a hard copy from the project office by sending a request to: alina.stetsenko@undp.org.

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The Project of the United Nations Development Programme «Support to the Social Sector Reform in Ukraine»

The project supports the Government of Ukraine and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine in accelerating the implementation of reforms in the social sector and achieving Ukraine’s short- and mid-term social and economic development goals. Since the beginning of the project implementation in 2011, proposals have been drafted for pension reform in Ukraine, administrative reform in the social sphere, and the optimization of institutions that provide social services.

Project experts participated in the development of more than 25 legislative documents on social services, 8 of which have been approved: the Law of Ukraine “On Amending Certain Laws of Ukraine on Social Services” (Law #4523-VI as of March 15, 2012); the list of social services (approved by the Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine #537 as of September 3, 2012); The Oder on Social Commissioning (approved by the Act of the Cabinet of Ministries of Ukraine #234 as of April 29, 2013); The State Standard of Day Care Services (approved by the Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine #452 as of July 30, 2013); The Finance Normative for Day Care Services (approved by Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine #527 as of August 23, 2013); The Methodical Recommendations on Monitoring and Assessment of the Quality of Social Services (approved by the Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine #904 as of December 27, 2013); The Methodical Recommendations on Assessment of Community Needs in Social Services (approved by the Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine # 648 as of October 15, 2012); The Procedure for Assessment of Community Needs in Social Services (approved by the Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine # 28 as of January 20, 2014).

With project support, over 1,200 representatives of departments of social protection and service providers from all regions of Ukraine were trained on the new issues of social service planning, management, and delivery (such as assessment of community needs in social services, social commissioning, quality control, standards, public awareness, calculation of costs of social service, etc.).

Advisory support was given to the local authorities of all regions of Ukraine for implementing social commissioning; local authorities and social institutions in Poltava oblast piloted a model for public awareness on social services.