THE CURRENT STATE OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES SYSTEM: WHAT DO REFORMS CHANGE?
The article analyzes the current state of the social services system in Ukraine. This system is in a constant process of reformation. However, the social services system always falls behind the needs of individuals who need these services. There are a number of problems that hampers the development of the social services system: the underdeveloped market for social services, the state providers overbalances significantly non-state ones, the lack of registers of social service providers and recipients, the absence of human right to free choice of a social service provider, etc. Some solutions of these problems can be found in the Draft Law of Ukraine "On Social Services" No. 4607. However, in some cases, these solutions have inadequate law regulation. Additionally the reform of the social services system takes place against the background of decentralization reform and local self-government reform. In general, the poor quality of the social services system organization at the community level can be noted. The reason of this is the low priority of the social services system to other fields such as educational, health services or road construction. Local authorities are more interested in developing these fields than the social services system. In some case, this is also a result of the lack of local authorities’ knowledge in planning and organization the social services system. From the point of view of funding, it is also necessary to emphasize the low level of use of modern approaches to raising funds (for example, using fundraising tools, mechanisms of partnership between communities, and public-private partnerships) instead of using only state funds. The poor quality of social services is the consequence of shortcomings of the social services system functioning at both the national and local levels. A small number of service providers and the immediate specialists, who provide these services, the low accessibility and targeting of social services, demonstrate it well. At the end of the article three scenarios for the social services system development are proposed, and conclusions are made on possible ways to improve the social services system by local authorities.
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