Local Self-Government Transformations in Ukraine and Reforms of Social Services: Expectations and Challenges
On January 1, 2020, the Law “On Social Services” comes into force in Ukraine. The new legislation sets up the responsibilities for the executive bodies of city councils, councils of cities of regional significance, councils of united territorial communities, it also introduces the new model of community-based social services provision. The paper analyses this new legislation in the context of the Ukrainian municipal reforms and outlines the challenges that territorial communities may face while ensuring the implementation of legislation.
The new legal regulation focuses on improving the management of the social services system in the context of decentralization and optimizing expenditures, ensuring uniform approaches in the organization of the system. The benefits of the new legislation include the fact that, in order to optimize and integrate social services, complex social service institutions / institutions can be created. According to the legislation, all local communities are obliged to provide a range of basic social services of voluntary and mandatory nature.
The conducted analysis highlights the gaps in the legislation regarding social services provision, including an extensive and not always clear classification of social services to be provided on the local community level; absence of the by-laws necessary to implement the particular norms of the framework Law; unclear financial issues of social services provision; lack of social work professionals able to introduce the full-scale model.
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