From providers of social services in the “broader sense”, to providers of social services in the “narrower sense”/license – work on improving the quality of social services
In 2023, our activity has reached a ten-year milestone, during which time we had inevitably experienced both ups and downs. The path from the founding initiative and the “struggle” we set as goal for ourselves, to where we are now can, from our perspective, be characterized as: “for the people we work for – the changes are happening too slowly”. From the initial innovative model of the “Friends Life Skills Laboratory” mentoring program to the ” Daycare Center Friends”, 10 years have passed; lots of stressful days, nights, anger and happiness; a lot of ups and downs, with a lot of people we supported, with a lot of young people we taught a fairer system, an active community, gave comfort and support to families. We live this struggle every day, together with our friends and families. We have chosen, each one of us individually, this fight for the common good. Up to this moment, when we have passed only part of the way of implementing our model of “possibility” for people who need support and care and persons with disabilities, we can be relatively satisfied; we are aware that we ourselves influenced many changes. We can say that part of the organizations from the “closed system” in which we live have moved their boundaries and opened opportunities for changes; and we cooperate with them to create a “community that cares”.
In order to cooperate even more with various stakeholders, in 2022, we are launching an initiative to establish an informal network of social service providers for our primary group, Life in the Community (LIC). https://dip.hr/znate-li-sto-je-zuz-zelite-li-se-ukljuciti-u-neformalnu-mrezu-pruzatelja-socijalnih-usluga-i-biti-promjena/.
Social services are the right of people who need the support and care of society. They are fundamental systemic levers by which we ensure human rights and the rights of persons with disabilities, or any other rights of various groups and individuals. We fight for the availability of social services and that is why we provide them. In order to advocate the rights of different groups, we continuously organize communication campaigns and groups of self-advocates. (https://dip.hr/samozastupnik-i-dipovci-su-samozastupnici-tko-je-to-i-kako-postati/) . Also, our country does not have parts of the legal institutes and protocols that ensure that support and care reach those who need it, because it has not yet accepted a “personal approach” to challenges, for example, a personal budget for the PWD’s: https://dip.hr /personal-budget-for-the-PWDs-because-the-PWDS-are-persons-who-need-support-and-use-this-social-service/ or the institute of “independent representative”.
Below is a quick overview, backwards. We have been promoting our model of support and care for groups that need support and care, a model of “possibility”, a social and legal model of access to these groups, and not the inappropriate model of “impossibility” on which medical and other outdated models are based, and it is analogous to the social welfare model used in the UK. We presented a comparative analysis of our social welfare system and that of the UK in our Manual for Advocating the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the DIP’s youth club, which we promoted at a round table in June 2022. The round table was dedicated to improving the quality of social services. https://dip.hr/okrugli-stol-distancirano-socijalni-7-6-2022-preporuke-i-materijali-za-izradu-alternativnog-izvjesca/ (soon the e-edition).
From October 1st, 2022 DAYCARE CENTER “FRIENDS”
Decisions on meeting the conditions for the provision of social services: up to 30 users, different adults with disabilities – a formal systematic condition for the recognition of rights.
- Social service of psychosocial support – Decision – psychosocial support – DIP
From the Social Welfare Act, Article 91. Psychosocial support is a service that includes professional procedures and other forms of help and support that encourage the development and improvement of the beneficiary’s cognitive, functional, communication, speech-language, social or educational skills.
Article 92 (1) The service of psychosocial support can be granted to an individual, a family or a foster parent. (2) The psychosocial support service is provided individually or in a group. (3) The psychosocial support service is provided in the user’s family, foster family, at other service providers who meet the prescribed conditions or in other places according to the user’s needs. (4) The service of psychosocial support can be provided in the presence and with the participation of family members.
Article 93. (1) The service of psychosocial support can be approved for up to one year. (2) As an exception to paragraph 1 of this article, the continuation of psychosocial support may be approved after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, while the need continues based on expert assessment. (3) The psychosocial support service is provided by the social care home and other service providers from Article 162, points 3 and 4 of this Act.
Article 94. (1) The service of psychosocial support to an individual is approved for the purpose of overcoming difficulties and empowering the individual in connection with difficulties in development, disability, old age, crisis situations, domestic violence, inclusion in the everyday life of the community, overcoming experiences related to medical treatments, behavioral problems and other unfavorable circumstances. (2) The psychosocial support service is granted to an individual based on an assessment of risks, strengths and needs in accordance with the individual change plan. (3) Psychosocial support for a child with developmental difficulties and a person with a disability is approved based on the professional assessment of the service provider on the type, duration and frequency of the service, based on which an individual change plan is drawn up. (4) Psychosocial support is provided in the user’s family or foster family for up to five hours a week, and for other service providers up to six hours a week, and a maximum of three hours a day, of which a maximum of four hours individually, and the rest in a group.
Article 95 (1) Psychosocial support for families is approved for the purpose of overcoming family difficulties, acquiring parenting skills and empowering the family to function in everyday life.
(2) The psychosocial support service is approved for the family when problems and difficulties can only be solved by changes in the family, when the family needs professional help and support in raising and caring for children, in order to acquire knowledge and skills for more successful parenting or everyday care and support, or when working with family members is aimed at improving relationships. (3) The psychosocial support service is approved for the family based on the assessment of risks, strengths and needs in accordance with the individual change plan. (4) Psychosocial support is provided in the family for up to five hours a week, exceptionally for service providers up to six hours a week, and a maximum of two hours a day.
- social service – half-day stay, Decision – Half-day stay – DIP
Article 104 1) A stay is a service that provides organized activities during the day with professional and other help and support, in order to meet the beneficiary’s basic and additional life needs that cannot be met in the family.
(2) The residence service is granted to a child with developmental difficulties, a child without adequate parental care, a child with behavioral problems, a person who has been determined to be temporarily unemployable according to the law regulating the professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities, a person with a disability, an elderly person, a seriously ill adult and a homeless person who is not housed in a shelter.
(3) The accommodation service is provided as a half-day stay service, lasting four to six hours a day, or as a full-day stay service, lasting six to ten hours a day.
(4) Half-day stay service and full-day stay service can be approved for one day a week, several days a week or during all working days of the week.
Types of social services, Article 71 (Law on Social Welfare)
- the first social service
- comprehensive assessment and planning service,
- expert assessment
- psychosocial counseling
- social mentoring
- family mediation
- psychosocial treatment for the prevention of violent behavior
- psychosocial support
- early development support and 11. help with inclusion in education and regular education programs
- help in the house
- organized housing and
Article 72 Social services can be provided over a longer period or temporarily, depending on the needs of the beneficiary.
Article 73 (1) Social services are recognized or approved on the basis of a comprehensive and/or specific assessment of user needs, risks and family strengths and local community resources, in accordance with an individual change plan or intervention plan, for the purpose of empowerment and better social inclusion. (2) The provision of paragraph 1 of this article does not apply to the first social service, counseling service provided by an expert worker of the Institute and family mediation service.
Article 74. (1) Social services are primarily recognized or approved for the beneficiary as non-institutional services or the right to non-institutional care is recognized. (2) Exceptionally from paragraph 1 of this article, the right to accommodation as institutional care is recognized in crisis situations, for the purpose of implementation of rehabilitation programs, for the purpose of implementation of psychosocial treatments and in other cases referred to in Article 116, points 1, 3, 5 and 6 to 9 of this Act, if it is not possible to provide care to a person in his own home, by recognizing the right to non-institutional care and/or providing other non-institutional services. (3) Social services from Article 71, points 1 to 14 of this Act are non-institutional services. (4) Accommodation is a service that is provided as institutional care in a social care home or with other service providers or as non-institutional care in a foster family.
Article 75 (1) Social services from Article 71 of this Act may be provided on the basis of:
(1) decisions of the Institute, except for social services provided by the Institute
(2) referrals or conclusions of the Institute or
(3) contract on the provision of social services.
(4) Social services from Article 71, points 14 and 15 of this Act are provided on the basis of a decision.
(5) Social services from Article 71, points 4 to 13 of this Act are provided on the basis of a referral, with the exception of the professional assessment service, which can also be provided on the basis of a conclusion.
(6) Social services from Article 71, points 5 to 15 of this Act can also be provided on the basis of a contract between the user and the service provider.
(7) As an exception to paragraph 4 of this article, a child may use the social service referred to in Article 71, points 13 to 15 of this Act only on the basis of a referral or a decision of the Institute.
(8) The beneficiary can choose the social service and the provider with whom he concludes a contract on the provision of social services in accordance with the conditions prescribed by this Act. This means that you can get a referral or conclusion, and we get support/funds for the provision of social services, or you can contract the provision of social services with us yourself.
(9) The beneficiary who uses the social service on the basis of the contract referred to in paragraph 4 of this article shall fully bear the costs of the service.
In the future, we will strive to ensure the conditions for the provision of social services in organized housing. (https://gov.hr/moja-uprava/obitelj-i-zivot/socijalna-skrb/prava-i-usluge-za-osobe-s-invaliditetom-iz-sustava-socijalne-skrbi/psihosocijalna-podrska/1808)
Organized housing is a social service that provides basic life needs and social, work, cultural, educational, recreational and other needs to one or more people, 24 hours a day, with the organized permanent or occasional help of a professional or other person, in the apartment or outside the apartment. (https://gov.hr/moja-uprava/obitelj-i-zivot/socijalna-skrb/prava-i-usluge-za-osobe-s-invaliditetom-iz-sustava-socijalne-skrbi/organizirano-skrbi/1813 )
In order to improve the quality of our services in the community, we started the process of harmonizing them with the Ordinance on minimum conditions for the provision of social services, and since the foundation we have also been operating in accordance with other normative acts such as:
- a) Law on social welfare, consolidated text of the law NN 157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16, 16/17, 130/17, 98/19, 64/20, in force from January 1st, 2020. (https://www.zakon.hr/z/222/Zakon-o-socijalnoj-skrbi)
- b) Ordinance on Amendments to the Ordinance on Minimum Conditions for the Provision of Social Services (https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2020_05_56_1125.html)
- c) Rulebook on minimum conditions for the provision of social services (https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2014_03_40_712.html)
- d) Rulebook on keeping records and documentation of social service providers, and the method and deadlines for submitting reports (https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/full/2015_09_100_1952.html)
- e) Rulebook on quality standards of social services (https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/clanci/sluzbeni/2014_12_143_2693.html)
At the end of 2021 and in 2022, a number of new regulations in the field of social welfare were adopted that relate to the provision of social services:
SERVICE action plan 2021-2024_
Rulebook on keeping records and documentation of social service providers, and the method and deadlines for
Rulebook on quality standards of social services
Decision on adoption of the National Plan for the Development of Social Services for the period from 2021 to 2027
In order to meet the requirements of the Ordinance, it was necessary to collect funds for investment investment – adaptation of the space we are leasing, owned by the City of Rijeka. In the first phase, which lasted 3 years – for the adaptation of sanitary facilities in order to have a sufficient number (3). Now that we have solutions, we are collecting for the renovation of the kitchen, because the existing one is dilapidated, with the necessity of new installations.
2nd phase: January 2023. Investments in kitchen renovation: Funds for kitchen renovation were collected from various sources, from October 2022. until 1.2023: From October 2022, a fundraising campaign for the adaptation of a kitchen is underway, where our disabled people learn to prepare simple meals for themselves and their families in everyday life, and at the same time for those who have opportunities, it is also a work- occupational activity, preparation for work on simple jobs that they can work on. That’s why the kitchen is very important to us, because it’s a place to learn and acquire new skills.
- Platform A1! Do the right thing! https://dip.hr/a1-cini-prvu-stvar-dipovci-zele-kuhati/ (anonymously or with data) – “DIP members” want to cook! The existing kitchen is very old, the elements are falling apart and the layout is not functional, the electronic devices are old and every day some of them stop working. Investing in the adaptation of the kitchen (work on the installation of new electrical installations, water supply and drainage, new elements for the kitchen with new electronic devices) is an investment in development, because we will be able to spend more time in these work-occupational activities for more people, which will ensure faster results. According to the contractor’s offers, the total cost is around HRK 30,000, and that is our current short-term goal.
- Donations from employees of the Police Department of the Primorsko-goranska County, campaign for the DIP’s kitchen:; HRK 11,270 or EUR 1,496
- At the Advent auction of printed works from the 2nd Kvarner Colony of author comics and illustrations: 130 euros were collected, you can still buy a printed version of the selected author’s work on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=102812631635828&set =a.632025855381167
- The platform – the CROZ calendar, which selected 12 associations, which were presented for 12 months: an application tailored to our needs – for keeping records and reporting, and the calendar created by the CROZ team was also published in a printed edition and distributed to the partners of this company, but also published in an electronic edition – 12 selected associations represent 12 months, and by clicking you can donate to our work with a simple procedure, take a look at our calendar: https://croz.net/calendar-2023/ – the campaign continues;
- Through the personal engagement of our supporters, e.g. birthday celebrations where guests donate to the kitchen instead of giving gifts to the celebrants: about 1,200 euros were collected
- Donation contracts, payment to giro account, directly
- Other types of cooperation agreements, as needed.
1st phase: 2021-2022: Investments in space to meet the conditions from the Ordinance phase 1.
- a) 1.7.2022. Adaptation of sanitary facilities: the total amount of funds spent on adaptation:
- ceramic, knaufer and construction works HRK 22,000
- plumbing works HRK 22,000
- electrical works – HRK 10,200
- water quality test HRK 1,000
- testing the correctness of electrical installations approx. HRK 5,000
- b) April 20th, 2022. At the end of April 2022, we started the adaptation of sanitary facilities, thanks to donations from citizens, companies, Primorsko-goranska County and the City of Rijeka. We collected funds through a campaign using several communication channels and methods: “Donor auctions”, invitations to donors, announcements in the media, letters and meetings with decision makers, birthday celebrations of friends of our “DIPs”, humanitarian action of biotechnology students “Christmas Decorations of Good Wishes”, at the Zeleni Kastav fairs. After 3 years of collecting, we collected around HRK 40,000, with which we started the adaptation that will cost us around HRK 70,000, according to the first cost estimate from 2019.
From 2013 (establishment of the DIP until today) – non-institutional social services, primarily accommodation and psychosocial support and organized housing, as an inclusive model of equalizing opportunities for persons with disabilities and other people who need support and care from a specific group of persons with disabilities in development and psychosocial functioning and/or persons with disabilities
About the foundation, our vision is to include primarily young people in the community, through processes of active participation in our programs, and in accordance with the legal and normative framework in the field of social welfare, protection of human rights, rights of persons with disabilities, etc.
By implementing the programs we develop, we improve the quality of the social services we provide with innovative work methods, and we achieve high efficiency, and each new activity or program represents a new improvement and new results. Our core programs are:
- Life Skills Laboratory Friends
- Ready, steady, work!
- DIP’s youth club, Ready, steady, work!, a three-year program, which from 2020 to 2023 is financed by the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, i.e., from August, the newly established ministry – Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Affairs policies
With the institutional support of the National Foundation for the Development of Civil Society called Friends
By moving to a new, larger space at Wenzelova 2, the prerequisites for submitting an application for obtaining a license, i.e. a decision from the relevant ministry (from 2022 onwards, these are county authorities) have finally been acquired.
Other important documents:
National strategy for equalizing opportunities for people with disabilities from 2017 to 2020: https://posi.hr/nacionalna-strategija-izjednacavanja-mogucnosti-za-osobe-s-invaliditetom-od-2017-do-2020-godine/
Manual for social planning: https://mdomsp.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/avuga/Medunarodna_suradnja_i_EU/Prirucnik%20za%20socijalno%20planiranje.pdf
In order to include our young people for whom we work in work and employment, we direct our activities in accordance with other formative acts, which are governed by the Institute for Expertise, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of PWDs http://www.zosi.hr as well as the Centers for Professional rehabilitation:
- Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (Official Gazette 157/13, 152/14, 39/18 and 32/20). Regulations on Professional Rehabilitation and Centers for Professional Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (“Official Gazette” No. 44/14, 2/15)
- Ordinance on incentives for employment of persons with disabilities NN 145/20
- Employers who employ persons with disabilities on the open labor market, persons with disabilities who are self-employed, integrative workshops and protective workshops, can receive incentives from the Institute based on: – Ordinance on Incentives for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities NN 145/20) – Ordinance on Establishing a Quota for employment of persons with disabilities NN 75/18, 120/18, 37/20 and 145/20), and in accordance with the Program of Incentives for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities for 2021-2023. The de minimis support program for encouraging the employment of persons with disabilities and for the allocation of special funds for the development of new technologies and business processes, in order to employ and maintain the employment of persons with disabilities for 2021-2023.
- Rulebook on the content and method of keeping the register of employed persons with disabilities (“Official Gazette” no. 44/14, 97/14, 2/15) – incentives can only be obtained if PWDs are registered in this register.
- There is a lot of talk about protective and integrative workshops, but not a single one has been established in PGŽ, while there is only one in IŽ, and 10 in the Republic of Croatia. Why? In accordance with the Ordinance on protective workshops and integrative workshops for the employment of persons with disabilities (“Narodne novine” no. 44/14, 2/15), they are almost impossible to establish without the support of the community.
The people we work for are the people with disabilities who have various difficulties in everyday life and work, most of which are combined. Therefore, they exercise various rights, but many have not initiated proceedings at the competent center for social welfare. The rights in the social welfare system based on the Social Welfare Act are:
- guaranteed minimum compensation (ZMN),
- compensation for housing costs,
- right to firewood costs,
- compensation for personal needs of accommodation users,
- one-time fees,
- fees related to education,
- personal disability allowance,
- assistance and care allowance,
- the status of the parent of the caregiver or the status of the caregiver,
- compensation until employment
- the right to compensation for an endangered energy buyer, and
- social services: first social service (information, recognition and initial assessment of needs), counseling and assistance, help at home, psychosocial support, early intervention, assistance with inclusion in education and regular education programs (integration), residence, accommodation, family mediation, organized housing
The relevant center for social welfare according to the place of residence decides on the recognition of rights in the social welfare system. Exceptionally, the local self-government unit and the City of Zagreb decide on the right to compensation for housing costs, and the regional self-government unit and the City of Zagreb decide on the recognition of the right to compensation for firewood costs.
The conditions for their realization are determined by the Social Welfare Act (“Official Gazette” No. 157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16, 16/17, 130/17, 98/19 and 64/20).
- Personal disability benefit – most of our members are entitled to it, but some are not, because they did not initiate a claim for the right to be recognized
The right to personal disability allowance is granted to a person with a severe disability or other severe permanent changes in their health, in order to meet their life needs for inclusion in the daily life of the community.
The conditions for exercising the right to personal disability allowance are determined by the Social Welfare Act (“Official Gazette” No. 157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16, 16/17, 130/17, 98/19 and 64/ 20).
In the process of recognizing the right to personal disability allowance, it is necessary to establish the facts related to the state of health that are prescribed as a condition for the recognition of the right. Following the above, the center for social welfare will, before making a decision, request the findings and opinion of the regional organizational unit of the Institute for Expertise, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities. The amount of personal disability allowance is determined as a prescribed percentage of the base determined by a decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. The base is currently HRK 500.00.
Personal disability allowance amounts to 300% of the base per month.
- Remuneration until employment – the majority achieve this right
The right to compensation until employment is granted to a child with developmental disabilities, i.e. a person with a disability whose physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment has been determined on the basis of the findings and opinion of the Institute for Expertise, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, after completion of elementary school, secondary school or higher education, and at the earliest from the age of 15, if he does not receive compensation for the period of unemployment according to other regulations, and is registered as an unemployed person at the competent employment service or has been determined to be temporarily unemployable by the competent authority in accordance with a special regulation.
The conditions for exercising the right to compensation until employment are determined by the Social Welfare Act (“Official Gazette” No. 157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16, 16/17, 130/17, 98/19 and 64/ 20).
The beneficiary of the allowance until employment cannot receive the allowance for assistance and care at the same time. The right to the status of a caring parent is recognized for one of the parents of a child with developmental difficulties or a person with a disability, who meets one of the following conditions:
- Status of parent caregiver – only 1
The right to the status of a parent caregiver is recognized for one of the parents of a child with developmental difficulties or a person with a disability, who meets one of the following conditions:
- he/she is dependent on the help and care of another person because, in order to maintain his life, he needs the provision of specific care by performing medical-technical procedures for which, according to the doctor’s recommendation, the parent is trained
- he/she is completely immobile even with the help of orthopedic aids
- he/she has several types of severe impairments (physical, mental, intellectual or sensory), due to which he is completely dependent on the help and care of another person in meeting the basic needs of life.
- The conditions for exercising the right to the status of parent/carer are determined by the Social Welfare Act (“Official Gazette” No. 157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16, 16/17, 130/17, 98/19 and 64/20).
The caring parent, that is, the caregiver, has the right to compensation in the amount of eight basic amounts (the basic amount is currently HRK 500.00), rights from pension insurance, health insurance and rights during unemployment, as an employed person according to special regulations.