By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The number of social service centers for children and other vulnerable persons have increased by 3.5 times in Azerbaijan, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Sahil Babayev said at the event titled "Collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Social Services: Achievements and Prospects" held on December 17, the official website of the Ministry reported.
He stressed that the number of social service projects, which have been implemented by the ministry and which include vulnerable groups, as well as children with disabilities, has been increased to 195. Currently, about 200 centers provide rehabilitation social services, mainly for children.
Social services carried out in three directions - home, social service administrations and social projects - cover more than 20,000 people in need of care. About 50 percent or about 10,000 of these are provided with services under the projects implemented by specialized NGOs, Babayev added.
He said that 66 NGOs, as well as a number of legal entities, have implemented social service projects based on the social orders and priorities set by the ministry. He noted that these projects mainly cover children with special needs, including children with disabilities. Providing them with day-to-day or community-based rehabilitation services will prevent those children from entering state childcare homes.
“The ministry will improve the mechanism of social work for the provision of services to lonely persons with disabilities, people in need and those incapable of self-care,” Babayev stressed.
The minister said that through this mechanism, about 1,000 social workers of the ministry provide home services to about 10,000 people in need: “Currently, work is underway on a new model in this direction. In accordance with the international experience, the scope and mechanisms of procedures for providing home services to people in need will be expanded”.
Babayev reminded that today, 15 types of social services are presented in the Ministry of Labor.
"It is very important to maintain flexibility in the implementation of social orders. Unless we cannot maintain flexibility, the level of implementation of projects will be seriously reduced,” the minister aid.
Babayev stressed that all projects must be developed and submitted within the first 2-3 months of the year so that services can be provided throughout the year.
"Therefore, we are ready to continually improve the mechanisms of social-oriented projects with NGOs. We think that there are significant achievements in this area."
Babayev underlined the need to increase the number of these projects.
"Under the implemented projects, it is planned to open up to 10 Elderly Centers. However, there is a serious need to establish such a center in at least 60 districts of the country.”
Moreover, Babayev spoke about the country’s social policy, which covers increased number of social services, as well as the role of society in addressing social issues in general and cooperation with NGOs in this area.
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