Strengthening the capacity of social service providers

Within the project "The way from institutions to independent living" two training sessions entitled "Strengthening the capacity of social service providers ..." took place.  The training sessions were attended by representatives of local authorities and social services in six towns: Vranje, Bela Palanka, Doljevac, Sid, Vrbas and Sremska Mitrovica. The aim of education is to strengthen and give structure to social services, as well as to connect them into a network at the local level.
One of the exercises in the training sessions was the presentation of the participants within the work they do, the social services they provide and the users in their care. This exercise has allowed us to perceive their potential, the capacity of their services and the capabilities of the local community. We found out that in every local community there are at least three social services, professional staff and the plan and program of each service. However, it is evident that the services are not adequately structured, that they have been initiated by the local community, that there is no participation of service users and that there is no services sustainability plan. By raising the level of knowledge that is accompanied by examples of good practice we have been creating the optimal possibilities with the training participants to recognize their own omissions in the work and to establish a plan of improving the services. The following exercises defined the interconnection of all social service providers, as well as the relation with the local authorities. In addition, they took clear steps towards improving the cooperation of the social services and the local authorities. The representatives of both social services and local authorities have recognized the necessity and importance of forming a local area network, and these training sessions have enabled them to elect the representatives who will represent the network in the future and influence all individuals in the network to actively participate in its functioning.

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