Piniginės socialinės paramos pertvarka: esminiai pokyčiai ir tendencijos
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The article overviews the features and framework of monetary social care system in Lithuania. The monetary social care administrative reforms that took part in 2012 are thoroughly analysed, taking into account the problems that led to changes and efficiency criteria set-up to evaluate the aftermath of the reform. The theoretical conclusions are based on the Republic of Lithuania legal acts, theoretical material and a sociological survey. The article also examines how the monetary system works, what are the motives for monetary social system change from a legal and economic perspective. The study was carried on in order to find out how the local authority employees evaluated changes in the monetary social care administrative system and what challenges they had to face after the reform. Social workers were questioned from municipalities that decided to take part in the pilot program. Monetary social care system is a social support system and at the same time the most integral part of the welfare system, helping to resolve social problems that arise. The changing social and economic environment, globalization, public sector spending cuts, economic change encourage to search for optimal and effective social support system management methods. On the 1st of January 2012, monetary social care system change was initiated: 2012-2014 monetary social benefits (social allowance, heating cost, drinking water, and hot water cost compensations) were implemented using two models: • State wise (state delegates to municipalities) function (financed from the government budget); • Individualised function in five (Akmenė, Panevėžys, Radviliškis, Raseiniai and Šilalė regions) experimental (pilot) municipalities (financed from the municipality funds). However, the authors of the article believe that social care system effectiveness has to be further increased, not only increasing the number of decision making municipalities, but also pushing the quality of the reform upwards. Moreover, the administration of social care benefits has to cover up society’s needs and priorities. Ineffective administration of social services may result in unfavourable results and future recessions can lead to increased costs for social services. Social care administrative effectiveness cannot be evaluated only from the financial side, social goals have to be considered, too, such as decreasing poverty, tackling social exclusion, lowering the effects of poverty traps for most vulnerable groups of people and helping families with children.
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