Continuation of the Social Welfare System Reform - Developing facilities for social services


 Introducing social services for youth and adults with disabilities in Niksic

Comprehensive social and child protection system reform is one of the key undertakings of the Government of Montenegro in the on-going EU integration process, where the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) is the key implementer. The reform has since early 2011 been implemented within the framework of partnership between MoLSW, UN agencies (UNICEF and UNDP) and the EU (IPA 2010) entitled: “Social Welfare and Child Care System Reform – Enhancing Social Inclusion”.

However, it has become apparent that the reform will continue in the years to come requiring significant technical and financial support, considering that the social and child protection system functions with limited human and financial resources and that coordination with the education, health, and financial systems, as well as with the local self-governance needs to be further strengthened.

What is the project about?

The main project objective is that socially vulnerable groups have access to and benefit from a comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable social services. The project addresses these challenges through the following main components: 1. Further development of the regulatory framework and raising awareness among beneficiaries in relation to introduced changes in social protection rights (benefits and services available); 2. Capacity building of the new Division for Development of Social Services in municipalities for planning and coordinating development of social and child care services; 3. Support to local administrations and local stakeholders in drafting and implementation of Local Social Inclusion Plans.

Additionally, in the context of ongoing reform of the social welfare and child care system of Montenegro, development and provision of quality social services is becoming increasingly more important. While some progress has been made, the effective and accountable delivery of quality social services at the local level still faces considerable challenges in terms of design and implementing local social inclusion plans, insufficient organizational and human capacities to deliver social services and lack of facilities for services’ provision. The project aims at improving the capacities of national and local authorities to manage social programs thus increasing the potential to provide social services which are in line with standards in relation to infrastructural, technical, functional and human capacities requirements. In order to enable the provision of quality services tuned towards the needs of excluded vulnerable population, the project addresses these challenges through the following components: 

1. Enhancement of the existing network of social welfare and child care institutions and social service providers in Montenegro;

2. Diversification of the available services and tailoring of these services to the actual needs of the vulnerable population;

3. Support to transformational change of residential institutions in line with reform principles of decentralization and deinstitutionalization;

4. Improving national and local level capacities for planning, managing development and provision of social services.

What have we accomplished so far?

Main activities and achievements of the projects:

All the envisaged 21 Rulebooks deriving from the Law on Social Welfare and Child Care were developed and adopted. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare established working groups for drafting all the Rulebooks, with technical support of the consultants recruited by UNDP and UNICEF.

The Division for Development of social services was established within the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The Division is directly involved in conducting Public Calls for supporting social services.

The provision of social service "Home assistance for the elderly" was supported in 6 selected municipalities over a period of 9 months (July 2015- March 2016) for 236 beneficiaries, and then expanded to total number of 16 municipalities (the northern and central region). Service providers - Social Welfare Centres for a period of nine months (April-December 2016), with total number of around 1,000 beneficiaries.

The unique “National SOS helpline for victims of domestic violence” has been supported for the pilot phase in the period September 2015 – December 2016, when an analysis and evaluation of service functioning will be performed.

Public awareness raising campaign for a unique national SOS helpline for victims of domestic violence was conducted with engagement of a specialized agency. The success of the campaign is manifested through the increase of number of reported crimes – by 12.5% and misdemeanours by 22%.

The process of drafting the Local Plans for development of social services is in final phase in 6 municipalities. The process was completed in 15 municipalities in the first phase of the project.

Reconstruction/renovation and furnishing of facilities for Day Care Centres for Children with Disabilities in municipalities of Danilovgrad, Kotor and Bijela (Herceg Novi) will be completed by end of 2016.

Donor in 2016


Amount contributed                          

Government of Montenegro - Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare EUR 530,000

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