Social assistance (also called the second social protection measure) is based on the principle of national solidarity and is financed by the state budget through redistribution processes at the expense of non-earmarked revenue.
It is aimed at European citizens who, due to health, age, social and other independent reasons, cannot, by their own labor or income derived from property owned, or with the help of persons obliged by law to support them, to satisfy the basic needs. their vital needs.
The social assistance system includes various schemes (programs) mainly targeted. The main ones are: monthly social assistance based on the guaranteed minimum income and supplementing the income of the poor and families; family allowances for children and targeted allowances for heating.
Monthly social benefits supplement the income of the poor and are granted after checking their wealth status. 212 180 persons and families were supported under this scheme in 2005. Comparatively, there is a trend towards a decrease in the cases of monthly assistance, which is mainly due to two factors: employment of able-bodied persons in the National Program From Social Assistance to Employment, Increasing the Own Income of Supported Persons and Families, and the enhanced control by the Directorates of Social Assistance to prevent fraud in providing aid.
Family benefits for children have as their primary objective the support of raising children in a family environment and encouraging school attendance. Under the Family Aid for Children Act, in 2005 254 512 697 BGN were paid for 957 845 cases. There are 1 292 697 children involved.
During the winter of the year, the low-income part of the population receives targeted heating aid. During the 2005-2006 heating season, some changes were made to Ordinance 5 on the conditions and procedure for granting targeted heating aid. Access to this type of support has been expanded and monthly targeted support for natural gas heating has been introduced. Overall, heating aid granted during the comparative heating seasons tends to decrease.
Social services are part of the social assistance system, which aims to provide the conditions for meeting the vital needs associated with carrying out daily activities and overcoming the social exclusion of the most vulnerable population groups. Usually, the beneficiaries are people with disabilities, lonely elderly people, pensioners, children at risk, disadvantaged people, ethnic minorities and more.
Social services are provided in the community and in specialized institutions. Social services provided in specialized institutions and community-based services should meet certain criteria and standards for: facilities, staff qualifications, health care, nutrition, vocational education, personal contact and leisure activities, etc. They are mandatory for all public, municipal and private service providers. The control over the activity of providing social services in the specialized institutions and in the community is carried out by the Inspectorate to the Executive Director of the Agency for Social Assistance.
In recent years, priority has been given to the development and extension of social services aimed at overcoming the social exclusion of the elderly and single people, children at risk, people with disabilities, and representatives of ethnic communities. There are already 45 daycare centers for children and adults with disabilities, 10-day care centers for the elderly, 14 centers for social rehabilitation and integration, 3 shelters for street children and 15 sheltered homes for people with mental disabilities funded by the state budget.
In implementation of the adopted philosophy of the implemented social policy, a differentiated approach was introduced to support the vulnerable groups of the population. The main objective is to increase the level of social protection for the most disadvantaged, such as single elderly people and parents who care for their children, people with disabilities, children at risk and their families, vulnerable ethnic minority groups.
People with disabilities are provided with a variety of payments, services and facilities that are appropriate to their health, economic and social status. In determining the monthly social benefits, a higher differentiated minimum income is provided for this category of persons, enabling them to receive larger sums. In October 2004, the National Assembly adopted the Disability Integration Act. With its entry into force on January 1, 2005, for the purpose of improving the social status of people with disabilities, an integration monthly supplement is introduced to supplement their own income and cover their additional expenses, which should be spent on education, qualification, masters of business administration, communication, medicines. etc. The amount of the supplement is determined on the basis of the social assessment carried out and according to the type and degree of disability and individual needs, regardless of their income.
In the area of child protection, it is becoming more and more necessary to measure placement in the families of relatives and relatives as of 1 January 2005. 3 755 children are placed in such families. The total number of prevention cases is 4,227, the total number of cases of reintegration in the biological family is 4,162.
The Child Protection Departments of the Social Assistance Directorates work closely with the specialized institutions for children and are actively involved in the preparation of a care plan for each child.
The work of the Child Protection Departments for preventing placement of children in specialized institutions has been strengthened and focused. A specific particular risk group is the children who beg and work on the street. Among the begging children are predominantly Roma boys of school age, who in most cases do not go to school but are left unattended on the street all day.
Social protection problems of this risk group
The main social protection problems of this risk group are related to: establishing the number of all children begging and working on the street; organizing immediate assistance to children in distress; detaching begging children from the disadvantaged environment; supporting parents in the upbringing and upbringing of their children. Child victims of violence also need protection.
In terms of access conditions and payments and services provided, the social protection system is generally ethnically neutral. Inequalities stem mainly from the inability to fulfill certain criteria (eg certain length of service and related legal employment, failure to maintain registration to actively seek employment at the employment office). In turn, this is due primarily to low competitiveness in the labor market, respectively. low educational and qualification levels, low employment, small and irregular incomes, etc. The situation is further complicated by the relatively high birth rates among these at-risk groups.
Although universal, schemes and programs to support and counteract social exclusion are, in practice, largely targeted at representatives of ethnic minority groups who are prevalent among the supported contingents.
Based on the analysis and assumptions made, it can be summarized that in terms of the conservation and development of human resources:
- The social assistance system must provide safe, accessible, but at the same time targeted, differentiated protection, tailored to the specific needs of the various vulnerable populations;
- Combining predominantly passive measures with active programs and measures aimed at overcoming social exclusion, preserving, developing and realizing personal potential;
- Deinstitutionalization of social services and bringing them closer to the usual home environment;
- Increasing coverage of social services;
- Better targeting of social benefits to vulnerable population groups, providing affordable quality social services and creating conditions for full social inclusion.