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1 Current situation of management of social services in Estonia Marju Medar, PhD(SW) International days 2010 Vaasa.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Current situation of management of social services in Estonia Marju Medar, PhD(SW) International days 2010 Vaasa."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Current situation of management of social services in Estonia Marju Medar, PhD(SW) International days 2010 Vaasa

2 2 Administrative division of Estonian territory: counties Population – million Total area – 45,227 sq. km Capital – Tallinn Political regime: Parliamentary Republic Member of the European Union Administrative division: Counties: 15 Local governments: 227 Cities: 33 Rural municipalities: 194

3 3 Main demographic indicators

4 4 Historic context of welfare arrangement We have come from the Soviet system which did not have democratically elected local governments and where the state solved people’s social problems. The state attempted to hide the existence of social problems in society. The dominance of institutional welfare over open welfare meant that the disabled were kept in closed institutions. On one hand, this may have given an impression of a strong and healthy society, on the other hand, it was a financial burden for the state, and underfunding added to the risks, such as poor housing conditions and the like.

5 5 Historic context of welfare arrangement The essential social principle in Soviet society was the obligation to work which was underpinned in a number of ways, for example a continuous length of service was required to receive a pension, the employment rate of women was high (over 90% in the 1980s), there were criminal charges for sponging, etc. That brought about preferences in the arrangement of welfare, that is to say, closed welfare dominated over open care, as the adult family members had to work instead of caring for the children, the elderly or the disabled in the family. As a result of this, as well as the ideology in regard to private property and collective responsibility in child rearing, one feature of Soviet welfare was the collective raising of children, which was the only way to allow mothers to work.

6 6 Historic context of welfare arrangement During this period an extensive network of pre-school institutions was developed, with the state funding children’s day care. The high female employment rate was supported by giving assistance to single mothers by, for example, giving them preference in obtaining housing. Another mechanism in distributing housing was giving preference to those people who had worked in a company for a long time. A characteristic of the Soviet welfare system was that privileges were granted according to a person’s status in the social hierarchy, in order to stimulate loyalty (privileges for army and party veterans, etc). Since 1970 allowances were paid to families with many children (from the fourth child) and from 1974 child allowances were paid to poor families; in 1984 this became the national child allowance.

7 7 Historic context of welfare arrangement Due to women’s employment and national support for child- raising, the percentage of children of unmarried parents started to rise sharply in the 1980s (34.4% of all births in 1996). During that period a fairly high percentage of divorced mothers were able to receive alimony to raise their children. The result of the Soviet housing policy was constrained living conditions and the shortage of housing forced people to wait years for a place to live. The reform in housing policy was started at the beginning of 1987 and then developed into a period of radical reforms in 1991 and continued up to the turn of the century. It is characterised by abandonment of the socialist housing system which was completely controlled by the state.

8 8 Historic context of welfare arrangement The development of the welfare system was started again with the return of independent statehood to Estonia and the re-establishment of local governments. The role of the local government became essential at the local level in the provision of social services to the community. At the same time, the local governments allow the private and non-profit organisations to provide social services. In our rapidly changing times, the principles and views regarding the essence of social services, the ways of delivering them to those in need, and the services to be provided by the state and local governments, have undergone major changes and developments. Today the task of each local government is to guarantee the availability of the social services in its municipality in accordance with legislation.

9 9 The main social problems Population’s subsistence problems The transition of the Estonian society to a market economy, and the accompanying economic and social changes in the last decade, have brought about a number of social problems. Despite the number of legal acts and implementation of strategies, poverty and social exclusion are the major problems in today’s Estonian society threatening human development in Estonia. The Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion draws attention to unemployment, especially to the relations between long-term unemployment and poverty in Estonia. Poverty and exclusion are also caused by low education, interrupted education caused by dropping out of school, lack of skills needed to use information technology, poor health and ability to work, alcohol and drug addiction, inadequate housing conditions, and homelessness.

10 10 Social problems: poverty

11 11 Social problems: poverty

12 12 Social problems: unemployment Employment rate in Estonia in 2009 is 14,5% from all population ( persons, in age 16-63) We have some regions, where employment rate is higher, for example in East of Virumaa, where this rate is 20,6% or in South of Estonia, where this rate is 17,1%.

13 13 Management of social services in Estonia The Minister of Social Affairs has often stressed the basic principle of Estonian welfare that a person must gain his income from work, not benefits. Employment must secure a better economic situation than living on benefits. The aim and purposes of social welfare in Estonia are to provide assistance to persons or families in preventing, eliminating and relieving difficulties in coping, and to assist persons with special social needs in social security, development and integration into society. The Social Welfare Act (1995) provides the organisational, economic and legal basis of social welfare, and regulates the relations emerging in social welfare. Permanent residents of Estonia, aliens lawfully residing in Estonia and refugees on Estonian soil have the right to receive social services, social benefits and other assistance. Every person on Estonian soil has the right to receive emergency social assistance. In accordance with the Social Welfare Act, social welfare is administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the county governors and the local governments.

14 14 Ministry of Social AffairsCounty GovernmentLocal Government social policy drafting of a local social welfare development plan laws, legislative actsprograms and projects administration of social services and other assistance; legislative acts of local governments national programs and projects training of welfare workers grant and payment of social benefits specification of training standards and organization of employee evaluations administration of state social welfare institutions Establishment and maintenance of local social registers administration of state vocational training institutions for the disabled supply of appliances administration of the work of guardianship institutions collection and analysis of information collection and analysis of information in the county collection and dissemination of information social register and social statisticscounty social registerlocal social register licensing of social welfare institutions and welfare workers administration of guardianship institutions conclusion of contracts with organizations and agencies providing services organization of adoption to foreign states organization of adoptionbeing a guardian legislative basis of financing of social welfare sphere supervision of the use of social services and financial resources requesting supplementary financial resources

15 15 Management of social services in Estonia Social services can be provided by rural or city governments as well as by other persons, agencies or structural units (non-profit organisations, foundations, congregations or businesses, sole proprietors, etc). If this is the case an agreement on the provision of social services is concluded between the rural or city government, the service provider and the client. A prerequisite of service provision is the request or at least the consent of the client or their legal representation to receive the social service. Concerning In order to protect the client’s interests, it is essential to provide services in accordance with the requirements.

16 16 Management of social services in Estonia Social welfare is financed from: local government budgets, the state budget, funds of legal persons and natural persons who voluntarily engage in social welfare, and other funds. The state budget covers expenditure relating to state social welfare management, state social programmes and projects, expenditure relating to social services financed by the state, expenditure relating to state social benefits, and other expenses relating to the performance of state social welfare duties and events. Local government social welfare expenditure which is not financed from the state budget is covered from the local government budget.

17 17 Management of social services in Estonia Legal persons and natural persons who are voluntarily engaged in social welfare cover the social welfare expenditure they incur from their own funds. The Ministry of Social Affairs, county governors and rural municipality governments and city governments may enter into contracts for the provision of social welfare with legal persons and natural persons and may allocate financial and material resources to them to cover expenditure relating to social welfare. Funds received from various funds, endowments, non-profit activities, donations and sponsorships and the funds of persons applying for social services or other assistance may be used to finance social welfare. Such funds must be registered, their use must be accounted for, and the corresponding state authority and rural municipality government or city government have the right to audit their use.

18 18 Management of social services in Estonia A fee may be collected from a person for social services provided to that person or his or her family. The fee collected depends on the extent and cost of the service and the financial situation of the person and family receiving the service. The collection of a fee from a person for social services shall be decided by the institution which provides or pays for the service. The limits and procedure for collection of fees collected for social services shall be established by the Ministry of Social Affairs or by the Local Municipality. A social service provider or provider of emergency social assistance or other assistance has the right to be reimbursed by the rural municipality government or city government of the person’s residence for expenditure incurred. The rural municipality government or city government does not have the right to refuse to reimburse such expenditure, if the manner and extent of providing assistance prescribed by an Act or other legislation, or by a contract, are adhered to in the provision of assistance.

19 19 Services and benefits for the family and children The Republic of Estonia supports the family by partially compensating the costs of caring for, raising and educating children. The system of child and family benefits has been improved several times becoming more and more family friendly culminating with the introduction of the Parental Benefit Act on January 1, Along with current universal family benefits, the new benefit is a unique measure aiming at intertwining work and family life. It also aims to increase Estonia's birth rate and help parents meet expenditures arising from a newborn child.

20 20 Services and benefits for the family and children Benefits are divided into two main groups: 1) Cash benefits (The birth grant, maternity benefits, foster care allowance, shild care allowance, etc.) 2) benefits in kind (children`s day care, expenditures for child care institutions, etc.) The birth grant, independent life grant and adoption allowance (since 2002) are lump-sum benefits; The school allowance is paid once a year; benefits for families with triplets and with four or more children are quarterly; Other benefits are paid monthly. Child benefits are calculated on the basis of child benefit rate (which is also the child allowance for the first child). The State Budget Act establishes both rates for every year. In 2002, child benefit rate was 300 EEK (20 eur) child care benefit rate is 600 EEK (40eur).

21 21 State family benefits

22 22 Children placed in substitute care

23 23 Welfare institutions for family and children In 2008, there were five different types of child welfare institutions: children`s home (25) children`s home of family type (4) residential educational institution (1) youth home (5) mixed-care social welfare institution (3) State covered 81% and local governments covered 4% of the expenditures of child welfare institutions.

24 24 Parental benefits

25 25 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Social inclusion means the opportunity of all persons to fully participate in social life, including working and being economically active. Benefits granted for coping are the following: Fenefits for people with low income or without any income Benefits to help people who have suffered a crisis (fire accident, victims of crime, etc.) Goods and services for risk groups and people who have suffered a crisis

26 26 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Benefits are divided into cash benefits and benefits in kind. The first group includes subsistence benefits, additional benefits to support coping and other benefits. Benefits in kind include housing benefits, social rehabilitation, etc. The function “housing” comprises the public sector shemes to help families and persons living alone to cover the expenditure for housing. The schemes include the compensation to cover housing costs and social housing.

27 27 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Periodical cash benefits: Subsistence benefit is the main state social benefit, the purpose of which is to ensure the coping of a person or a family in the case of need. Subsistence benefit is granted to a person living alone or a family whose monthly net income, after the deduction of the fixed expenses connected with permanent dwelling corresponding to the standard allotted living space within a dwelling is below the subsistence level. In indirect way, housing costs cause the need to receive subsistence benefit. Mostly it means that after covering the housing costs, a person or a family needs subsistence benefit. The subsistance level per person living alone and per first family member is 900 kroons (57,5 eur) since Altogether 12,2% of all families, received subsistance benefits in In there was a remarkable increase in the number of families with no income.

28 28 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Other or additional benefit to support coping of families: If there are enogh funds for subsistence benefits, then local governments have the right to pay additional support for the less insured and families with special needs. This benefit is paid mostly for families with children (compensation for children`s school lunch and expenditures on school materials.) In 2002 these paymants totalled 48,4 million kroons. Lump-sum cash benefits: Benefits for person who is released from a custodial institution is paid 6000EEK (385eur) in the form of a lump sum from the state budget. The number of beneficaries has increased from year to year. Benefit for victims of crime is a fairly new type of support and this is paid by the application of person in amount of 4350eek (278eur).

29 29 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Benefits in kind: Shelter services are provided and relevant information is collected since In 2006 there were 39 shelters in Estonia. The number of persons who had stayed in shelters has increased constantly. The main reasons of stay in shelters are the lack of dwelling place, vagrancy, negligence at home, violence (incl. Family and school violence), alcohol and drug abuse, difficult economic situation and release from custodial institutuion. Social rehabilitation centres are state social welfare institutions established for intensive rehabilitation of persons with special needs. In 2006 there were 250 social rehabilitation centres.

30 30 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Emergency social assistance is provided to a person who has all of sudden lost sufficient means of subsistance, to guarantee the person at least food, clothing and temporary housing. This support is financed by local governments and the third sector. Also many charity organisations such as the Red Cross, churches, etc provide this assistance. The emergency social assistance is provided since 2002 and it includes the activities of soup kitchens, distribution of food packages or giving of money, help with cloths, temporary housing (incl. shelters for the homeless). In 2002, 2,298 persons received emergency social assistance. According to the Social Welfare Act, local authorities are obliged to guarantee the person or family housing, if the person or family are not able to get one themselves.

31 31 Services and benefits granted for coping with everyday life Social housing means a dwelling in municipal ownership provided to a person in need of social services. The number of these dwellings and also the number of persons who need such services has increased year by year. Financing of expenditures for coping: Cash benefits paid out of the state budget (first of all, subsistance benefits) make up the largest proportion of expenditures for coping. Local governments mostly finance benefits in kind, of which the expenses on social services from the largest proportion. The volume of social services has grown year by year, while the expenditures for coping as a percentage of GDP have decreased.

32 32 Services and benefits for old age people Estonian policy for the elderly is based on the consideration that society comprises people of different age groups who all must have the possibility to participate in social life, irrespective of their age. Estonian policy for the elderly is mainly focused on supporting the elderly to cope independently. In case of old age, incapacity for work and loss of provider, a person’s income is ensured by the state pension insurance. The types of state pension are old-age pension, pension for incapacity for work, survivor’s pension and national pension. The provision of welfare services to the elderly is organised by local governments. First of all, this concerns the provision of welfare services in welfare institutions, home services and housing services in social departments or on social premises and day centre services.

33 33 Persons receiving state pensions

34 34 Persons receiving of pensions for incapasity of work

35 35 Average amount of pensions

36 36 Average amount of pensions

37 37 Disabled persons

38 38 Services and benefits for people in special needs For disabled people are paid special benefits to support the independent coping and social integration and equal opportunities of disabled people on the basis of the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act, which was partially enforced in 2000 and fully enforced in January Social benefits for disabled persons are granted and paid to permanent residents in Estonia persons living in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit persons living in Estonia on the basis of a right of temporary residence an internationally protected person in case of moderate, severe or profound disabilities for compensating additional expenses arising out of the disability and for activities established in the rehabilitation plan.

39 39 Services and benefits for people in special needs The state compensates the additional expenses resulting from the need of personal assistance for the person through the social benefits for the disabled scheme. The need of personal assistance is defined by the level of disability. The disability could be profound, severe or moderate. The level of disability depends on the fact whether the person needs personal assistance 24 or 12 hours a day or at least once a week. The level of disability could change due to rehabilitation, use of technical aids, adaptation of life environment or other circumstances. The social benefits for the disabled are not connected with receiving pension for incapacity for work or its amount. Also the benefit is paid regardless of whether the disabled person is employed or not. The provision of different welfare services meant for disabled people are first of all the responsibility of local governments.

40 40 Services and benefits for people in special needs Disability benefits may be classified as follows: Disability pension replacing regular (or additional) income Social services for disabled person or custodian Goods or services (excluding medical services) that person needs because of disability (rehabilitation) Seven different types of benefits were paid to disabled persons from the state budget. Four of these benefit types – disabled child allowance, caregiver’s allowance, disabled parent’s allowance and education allowance – were implemented in The disabled adult allowance, rehabilitation allowance and in-service training allowance were added in The number of receivers of the disabled adult allowance has been gradually increasing in each year, crossing the 98,032 margin in 2004 and reaching 110,665 persons in 2008

41 41 Services and benefits for old age people and for people in special needs Both the state and local governments have an important role to fulfill in the wel fare of disabled people and people with special mental needs. Funds from the state budget are used to finance the rehabilitation services in tended for disabled people and people with special mental needs, with the aim to improve independent coping ability, increase their involvement in the society and support working-age people in working or starting to work. The state compensates 50–90% of the cost of the device to disabled people, the elderly and children, who need prostheses, orthopaedic and other aids Since 2005, rehabilitation services are also provided to minors with special behavioural needs. In addition to rehabilitation services, supportive and around-theclock welfare services meant for adults with special mental needs are also financed from the state budget.

42 42 Welfare institutions in Estonia The biggest organisational change in the welfare institutions for children and youth took place in 2001, when five independently managed children`s welfare institutions in Tallinn were joined into one. The number of school-homes has decreased as they have been changed into different types of welfare institutions. Since the first half of the 1990s the number of general welfare institutions for adults established by local governments has increased the fastest. The new institutions are much smaller and also customer friendlier and nearer to the former living place of the wards. At the end of 1993 the average number of residents per institution was 68, in 2008 – 35; in special welfare institutions these figures were 195 and 117 respectively.

43 43 Welfare institutions in Estonia In current time we have 32 shelters which provide 24-hour help and protection and 35 institution who provide substitute care services. We have also 120 institutions where provide welfare services for adults, 91 institutions where provide welfare services for adults with special needs and more than 100 institutions who provide rehabilitation services for disabled person. In 2008 we have 10 night lodging service for homeless people, 159 institutions, who provide housing services and 101 institutions, where provide day centre services. Social rehabilitation centres are created for active rehabilitation of persons with special needs (e.g.persons discharged from prison, drug abusers, disabled persons). Majority of these institutions are established by local governments or the third sector. In 2002 the number of clients of those institutions decreased mainly due to the rise of the number of persons who stayed at the shelters.

44 44 Number of institutions providing and persons using welfare services

45 45 Services and benefits for unemloyed people The unemployment function is also divided into two groups: cash benefits (unemployment benefit, education allowances, etc.) and benefits in kind (unemployment subsidies, etc.). The benefits are financed with the money received from unemployment insurance premiums. Unemployment insurance benefits are paid by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. The unemployment insurance premium in 2003 is 1% of earnings and other fees for employees and 1.4% on gross payroll for employers. The person having become unemployed should register himself as unemployed in the employment office for receiving the unemployment insurance benefit.

46 46 Services and benefits for unemloyed people About 70% of expenditures for social protection of unemployed persons was spent on passive schemes (i.e payment of unemployment benefits) and 30% was spent on active schemes (retraining). Passive measures: paying unemployment benefit. Generally, state unemployment benefits are paid during the eligibility period for registration as unemployed, for up to 270 days. Registrated unemployed persons whose income is less than the state unemployment benefit have the right to receive unemployment benefits. State benefits and unemployment insurance compensation are not included in such income.

47 47 Services and benefits for unemloyed people Active labour market measures: employment training community placements employment subsidy for starting a business employment subsidy for an employer vocational guidance An unemployed person may be covered with both active and passive measures. An unemployment benefit is granted to a registered unemployed person who has been engaged in work or in a similar activity for at least 180 days during the last 12 months.

48 48 Problems of local municipalities provide social services The theoretical analysis and the results of empirical studies demonstrate that the provision of people with social services varies in different regions of Estonia. The study clearly revealed that people living in rural areas or in towns and cities have different opportunities for getting social services and it is the rural population which has disadvantages. There are also not enough resources for the development of social services, particularly in rural municipalities. Communities of non-Estonians are not sufficiently informed and are therefore not aware of the opportunities for application for social benefits and services.

49 49 Problems of local municipalities provide social services Social services offices of local governments are generally aware of the needs of people for social services in their region but often lack possibilities for providing all people in need with the necessary services due to the shortage of financial resources or the shortage or low capacity of organisations providing social services. The structure of the system of social services provided meets the needs (the basic resources for the management of emergency situations are available), but the volume of services is insufficient. The system of social services for the provision of the population with services has not been fully developed and sometimes happens that a client who was helped “in an emergency" will come back after a while. There are generally no follow-up services for restoring the coping resources of clients. There is no complex analysis of cases and no therapy.

50 50 Problems of local municipalities provide social services Local governments have specialists for the formulation of problems and generation of ideas but the implementation of these ideas depends on the budget, which is not sufficient. The use of the existing funds is often inefficient since it is spent only on the alleviation of consequences. Greater flexibility in the use of the tight budget would make it more efficient. Local governments and institutions providing social services lack definite criteria for the assessment of the need for and provision of social services and the quality of the services that would allow to improve the accessibility of social services and make the provision of services more flexible and more cost-efficient for the society, also to involve the private sector and the voluntary sector more in the process of provision of services. There are oral agreements on adopting decisions on getting services but these agreements are often not regarded as criteria.

51 51 Thank you! Marju Medar


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