EU assistance to the elderly and disabled in the municipality of Bač

In the framework of the project ” Home assistance for the elderly and persons with disabilities in Municipality of Bač,” implemented by the Municipality of Bač in partnership with the Center for Social Work in Bač, home care services for the elderly and people with disabilities in the municipality of Bač were provided. This project was supported by the European Union with 171,603.30 EUR, while project implementers managed to obtain another 21,600.00 EUR through co-financing.

The project in Bač dealt with the lack of quality social services at the local level that relate to providing assistance to the elderly and disabled in home conditions. A large number of elderly households with a noticeable absence of family care represented the most vulnerable category of population. There is a constant need for expanding the service to a larger number of residents, primarily those living in the distant parts of the municipality of Bač – in the countryside.

Within the project, after the first few months, more users were envisaged than planned (110), in order to reach the number of users at the end of the figure of 124 people. This has shown that there is a great need for this service, as well as the great interest of the users to use it. Also, the opening of the laundry in Bač found the positive reactions of the users. 50 of them regularly used these services. A significant number of other users (catering facilities, health centers, other citizens) are interested in using the laundry service provided by this project.

This activity has been achieved expansion of home help services to the elderly and persons with disabilities from 68 (in 2017) to 124 in late 2018. It employed 13 women in the provision of social services to help at home care (gerontology). A new, innovative laundry service has been opened, which will continue to function in the form of a social enterprise. Also, for the first time, the services of doctors and psychologists who visited the users were also established.

In the future, greater involvement of the local self-government and the local Center for Social Work in the field of maintenance of services and its further functioning can be expected. Also, the project contributed to the introduction of measures in the Local Action Plan for Employment, which refer to the employment of more difficult employment categories of unemployed persons and the introduction of the measure of public works in the field of social protection, and we believe that these measures will enable more opportunities for employment of these categories of our citizens.

During the project, we learned that we still lack the capacities for the sustainable establishment of social services at the local level and that they need to be further improved, primarily within the framework of the Center for Social Work. We have realized the real needs of the users, their problems and the obstacles they face daily, which will help to plan new projects and services at the local level.

The project is implemented under the grant scheme “Development of efficient services in community areas of education and social welfare at the local level”. This grant scheme with a budget of 5.5 million euros, finances project activities for 30 beneficiaries and covers local self-government, civil society organizations, and relevant institutions at the local level aimed for the promotion of social entrepreneurship and for preventing the dropout children from the school system in Serbia. The project also aims to increase the capacities of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs in the management of the grant scheme, as well as to guide and modernize the process of drafting the Strategy for Social Welfare and other innovative regulatory mechanisms in the field of social policy.