Recently a meeting was held between the Prime Minister of Ukraine and community organizations which provide social services. The goal of the meeting was to improve the systemic and comprehensive approach to creating a state policy on providing social services. As a result of this meeting Mykola Azarov ordered the heads of regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol city administrations to complete the following in a month’s time:
– investigate with community organizations, local professionals and end users what needs to be improved in how social services are provided in local communities;
– analyze what public, charitable and religious organizations are able to provide a certain quality of social services;
– plan events that include community, charitable, and religious organizations to develop a system of providing social services that include various funding sources, specifically funds from the budget;
– provide information on competitions to attract funds from the budget for social services according to the order from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine ordered that the Ministry of Social Policy and the Cabinet of Ministers be kept informed of studies and conclusions in this sphere. Accordingly, Mr. Azarov will have a special meeting with his first Deputy V. I. Hadraha.
In his official letter, the Prime Minister noted that the Cabinet of Ministers will receive a request for an advisory body to be formed. This body would advise on how to develop a system to provide social services. “What is especially important for us is that Mr. Azarov ordered that this advisory body include representatives from community organizations. Also important is that the government has started thinking about changing legislation regarding how NGOs which provide social services are financed by the state budget,” said Anatoliy Kozak, General Secretary of Caritas Ukraine.
In an attempt to improve the qualifications of those providing social services, Mr. Azarov ordered D. V. Tabachnyk and V. I. Hadraha to work with community organizations which provide social services, to analyze relevant educational programs, and if need be, change them accordingly, and to work out the issue of improving qualifications for social workers.
The official letter from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine also stated that by 30 May, there should be summarized information on the progress made in this sphere and suggestions on how to improve social services. Afterwards, there will be another meeting between the Prime Minister and representatives of community organizations which provide social services. As a reminder, on 24 February Mr. Azarov invited leaders of the National Assembly of the Disabled of Ukraine, Caritas Ukraine, For Every Child, Place for Happy Children, Coalition for Protecting the Rights of the Physically and Mentally Challenged, and Caring for the Elderly to a meeting.
There are many community and charitable organizations, which help the most vulnerable segments of the population (the disabled, elderly, orphans, and the disadvantaged), in Ukraine today. They closely and productively work with relevant ministries and establishments, but bureaucracy is often an insurmountable hurdle to effective action. For this reason, community organizations in Ukraine now urge the government to adopt regulations that would legally formalize all aspects of their activities. After all, when it comes to providing social services to the public, NGOs are the state’s partners, not their competitors.
At the above mentioned meeting they also discussed financial aspects of non-profit organizations in Ukraine. Representatives from the community emphasized that it would be beneficial to implement a system of bidding for the right to provide social services by non-governmental organizations. The Prime Minister assured those gathered that such a system and its financing would be developed and implemented.
To see a video of the meeting between the Prime Minister and community representatives that was held on 24 February, follow this link.