Date: 10 MAY 2018, Tirana
Focus: The Decentralization of Social Services
On the 10th of May 2018, the Foundation “Qemal Stafa” organized the third Panel Discussion focused on adapting the Albanian legislation with the EU Acquis.
Moderated by the Executive Director of the Foundation Qemal Stafa, Ms.Teuta Vodo, the discussion was conducted under the topic “Decentralization of Social Services”.
The panelists who provided their approach to the topic were Ms. Ardiana Jaku, the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ms. Anisa Ruseti, General Director of Social Services at the Municipality of Tirana and Ms. Shpresa Spahiu, Executive Director of the “Help for Children” Foundation.
This discussion was focused on the importance of the decentralization of social services, in order to be as close to people in need as possible.
The concept of decentralization of social services has first been used in 2000, when the Albanian government of the time and the World Bank signed an agreement for implementing the largest social services project called “Social Services Distribution” which aimed at gradually shifting this responsibility from the central to the local government as a power closer to the people and their needs.
As Ms. Anisa Ruseti said: “One of the most successful actions for 2016 – 2017 has been the signing of the Social Pact! A pact that busted the myth that Mayors think only of services, such as water, infrastructure, lighting and many more. This fact shows not only the sensitive and benevolent part of dealing with these issues, but also the successful implementation of the signing of the pact. Among others, there is the provision of 120 social housing for the Roma community, as their priority is to support individuals in need!”
Meanwhile, Ms. Ardiana Jaku specified that: “Such issues should be discussed more often, recognized and improved to avoid any problems encountered in implementation. And also, such discussions should be evaluated by governments and institutions as an opportunity to better serve their citizens!”
Also, Ms. Shpresa Spahiu, stressed: “Social Centers should be environments that ensure the well-being, independence and integration of individuals in need of these social services. Based on this virtue, their mission is to ensure that depressed children, mainly of the Roma community, are able to integrate and obtain good results at school and consequently have a healthy and stable life.”
It is worth mentioning that today the central government has standardized services, has developed action plans and adopted very good laws that address the need and are built on contemporary principles.
Mrs. Vodo concluded that the mission remains the coordination of work for the establishment and improvement of social services, the development of social care policies and strategies, as well as the planning of short and medium term interventions for vulnerable categories in the city of Tirana, with aiming to achieve contemporary national and regional parameters in providing this service.