Croatian social welfare system is about to hire 200 new staffers

NEWS 26.04.2021 19:02
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Source: Robert Anic/PIXSELL

Family and Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrovic on Monday presented an action plan aimed at improving the social welfare system which envisages the employment of 200 professionals in the next three months.

Aladrovic assessed that the main problem in the system was a lot of institutions that are poorly connected and the shortage of expert personnel, supervision and support.

The action plan will improve the status of beneficiaries through increased welfare allowances and through making services uniform throughout the country.

“The aim is to urgently upgrade the system’s functioning in order to improve protection for beneficiaries and personnel while the long-term aim is a comprehensive reform of the system from top to bottom,” said Aladrovic.

200 experts to be employed in next three months 

Aladrovic announced that in the next three months the ministry would employ 200 new professionals in the system in those centres where they are needed the most.

“According to our forecasts, the system requires 500 social workers for it to be renewed,” he underscored and added that after the first wave of employment the ministry will continue to fill the system with professionals.

The new Social Welfare Law foresees the establishment of a commission to handle citizens’ complaints. The commission will have five members – two from the ministry and three will be selected via a public advertisement among reputable citizens and experts in social policy.

Inspections to be tripled

Aladrovic announced that inspections conducted by the ministry would be tripled.

Last year we had about 350 inspections and this year we expect more than 1,000, he said.

Amendments to the Law on Foster Parenting foresees increasing the number of foster families by 10% to accommodate about 200 children from orphanages.

The new law will relax current criteria for foster parenting because the current restrictive conditions do not contribute to popularizing foster parenting.

National council for the development of social policies

Aladrovic went on to say that the first step in implementing the action plan will be to establish a national council for the development of social policies and that the proposal to establish the council will be put to the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The council will include all departments, five chambers in the social welfare system, unions, NGOs dealing with fighting domestic violence, and associations for disabled persons, as well as ombudsmen.

The minister announced that by the end of 2022 the new law on social welfare that will be put to the parliament in June, will establish the Croatian Institute for Social Protection and Family Centres.

The institute will have a central office and 21 county-level services branches, 75 local offices and 22 branches. Its aim is to improve expert activities, ensure better expert supervision and facilitate administration tasks in welfare centres.

An academy for experts in social policy will also be established to provide life-long learning.

Family Departments in courts

Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica announced the legislative amendments enabling the establishment of family courts as special departments within courts.

These departments will be established in Bjelovar, Dubrovnik, Karlovac, Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, Slavonski Brod, Sisak, Split, Sibenik, Varazdin, Velika Gorica, Vukovar, Zadar and Zagreb.

They will be staffed with judges specializing in family law and domestic violence legislation while a special course will be established through the Judicial Academy to educate judges in the areas of family law and domestic violence.

Malenica also announced a register of perpetrators of domestic violence that will be part of the e-spis (e-files) system.

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