New publication of the RILSA

Musil, Libor – Hubíková, Olga – Havlíková, Jana – Kubalčíková, Kateřina
The early phase of implementation of the reform within the agenda of assistance in material need
Prague: RILSA, 2013. 107 pp. ISBN 978-80-7416-124-7

Since January 2012, the implementation of the reform of social assistance for people in material need (MN) has been launched. The reform included deep changes both in the organization and the rules of provision of social assistance in MN. The aim of our monograph was to capture the situation in the everyday provision of social assistance to people in MN by the front-line workers shortly after the initiation of the reform. In particular, the analysis focused on the factors affecting the success of reform implementation. Attention was also devoted to the concepts of social assistance applied by the front-line workers under the new conditions, including whether and what kind of dilemmas they felt when working with clients. Research results (based on 86 semi-structured interviews with managers and front-line workers of the agenda of assistance in MN from selected employment offices and municipalities) showed that even four months after the start of the reform, the basic conditions for its successful implementation were not ensured: among the front-line workers and their bosses there was a prevalence of uncertainty and conflict over the reform objectives; working and organizational conditions considerably hampered the provision of comprehensive social assistance; the front-line staff from the employment offices often faced a dilemma as to whether to continue to act as social workers but at their own expense (overtime, exhaustion), or to acquiesce to the expectations of their bosses and accept the role of solely serving as administrators of social benefits for people in MN. In this situation, the concept of social assistance to people in MN was primarily focused on the overcoming of some personal deficits of these people. It was rare to use other forms of assistance (i.e. learning and intervention in problematic interaction). Results of the monograph can be used as a starting point for discussion of how to improve the implementation process in order to increase the likelihood of achieving the objectives of the reform.

Fulltext  (only in Czech)

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