About Us and Our Activity

Association of Centers for Social Work of Serbia is business and professional association, formed as an answer to the aggravating position of these institutions that are only conductors of direct social care protection on the territory of Serbia.

Period of economical instability, wars, international isolation and other problems which followed Serbia in the last years directly reflected on the work of social care centers. General social, economical and political situation caused considerable social pressure on the social care centers which were no longer in position to fulfill the needs of socially excluded groups (old people, refugees, invalids, single parents, unemployed people, families at risk, etc.). Significantly weaken Center (considering the staff, finances, facilities, etc.), considering the needs, as the only social care institution in the local community, couldn't manage to provide the availability and the quality for various services for the great number of vulnerable groups that needed protection.

In order to fulfill the real needs of the users and giving help and support to the ones who provide those services (social care center's employees in Serbia), in 2003. there was formed business and professional association - ASSOCIATION OF CENTERS FOR SOCIAL WORK OF SERBIA. It consists of all social care centers in Serbia - 153 centers with about 2000 professional employees. There are around 400.000 people in Serbia who are in the worse social position and who are under the social center care.

The main aims for the Association are:

  • Making the network of centers and articulation / or determining the common interests
  • Giving the complete information about European standards of social care and possibilities for improving citizen's position in case of social need
  • More important role of practical experts and wider local community in giving reformed solutions in social care and making the network of institutions, services and programs that are adequate for the citizens.
  • Informing the pubic about the social care problems
  • Development of human and technical capacities of centers
  • Improvement of cooperation with the local self-government, ministries in charge, and other institutions and similar institutions in the country and abroad

The Association's vision is to create the efficient system of social care which provides available and quality services for a large number of vulnerable social groups.

So far Association has accomplished numerous results and realized some of its goals: gathered almost all social care centers in Serbia with the same idea.

In the partnership with the Ministry of Work and Social policy of Republic of Serbia, Association realized numerous professional gatherings. Some of the discussed topics were: Reform of social care, Decentralization of social care system and development of the integral model, Role and tasks of local self-government in the implementation of the social care development strategy. It became a partner in the project Reforms of social policy, Constant conference of cities and municipalities. Association is a partner and technical support for the Ministry of work and social policy in the process of implementation the Strategy for birth stimulating. It accomplished important international cooperation with the Community of social care centers of Slovenia and it became member of European Social Network.

 

Among the activities targeted to accomplish one of the aims of the Strategy for birth stimulating in Serbia, created in 2008., Association in partnership with the Ministry participated in organizing regional professional meetings that were held in 153 cities in Serbia. Around 700 representatives of the local self-governments, health services, pre-school institutions, social care centers, Red Cross organization and media participated the meetings.

Association helped organizing the Conference of social dwelling in protected surroundings "live as the rest of the world". This Conference was organized by Housing Center, Ministry of work and social policy and it was a part of program "Support to Refugees and IDPs in Serbia", financed by Delegation of Europe Commission in Serbia and conducted by both UNHCR and housing Center.

One of the Association centers' activity is publishing. It publishes bulletin "The voice of centers" that represents Association's and its partner's activities engaged in improving social care in Serbia to the wider range of readers. So far it has been published 25 numbers, and some of them can be found on the Internet site www.asocijacijacsr.org.

The bulletin successfully fulfilled long-term informative gap. The bulletin is distributed to the centers, local self-governments, and most cooperants (Ministries of work and social policy, Ministry of justice, Faculties, many associations, national and international organizations - governmental and non governmental). Some number is delivered to the associates in the surrounding countries.

Bulletin printing is financed by the membership money. Association also supported publishing collection of works from traditional October Meetings in social care.

Association needs experience exchange with colleagues practitioners from foreign countries, and that is then reason why it is paying special attention to the international cooperation. So far the considerable cooperation has been accomplished with the Community of the social care of Slovenia.

Invited by European Social Network which gathers this and similar associations from more tan 25 countries, mostly from EU, Association became member of this Network, finding it useful for the centers and for the social care in general.

Association made the initiative for creating the unique database of human and technical conditions in centers in Serbia, considering the insufficient finances made differences among the centers in Serbia which are not adequate for the citizen's needs. The processes of political changes negatively reflected on the professional work and on the general atmosphere within the centers.

Number of colleagues from the centers were volunteers in Association's activities, among them are those who are on the top positions of the Association.