4 programmes of national interest for the development of social services for the elderly have been approved by the Government
On 30 March, the Government approved funding of 161,034,000 lei for a period of 24 months for four programmes of national interest for the development of integrated social services for the elderly.
A total of 100 social service centres without accommodation for the elderly will be set up. It is estimated that around 5,400 people will benefit from community services at home, food provision, personal care, rehabilitation and functional rehabilitation, or social and psychological counselling.
Projects may be submitted by public social services in municipalities and towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants and by private, non-profit social service providers, i.e. associations, foundations and cults recognised in Romania. The Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity is responsible for evaluating and selecting projects, based on a methodology approved by ministerial order within 60 days of the date of entry into force of the Government decision.
The Government Decision also establishes that applications for funding are to be submitted individually or in partnership with public or private social service providers, and that the implementation and control of the allocated funds are to be monitored by the territorial agencies for social payments and inspection.
The approved act also provides for the development of digital skills, not only for older people, but also for their informal carers and staff in long-term care social services, as well as the use of various devices for dependent people, including working with service dogs, and the establishment of voluntary community support networks for the prevention of social isolation, communication and monitoring activities, etc.
The money needed to finance the projects submitted under the four national programmes comes from the state budget, through the budget allocated to the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, within the limit of the budgetary funds approved for this purpose. The amount provided for in the state budget law for this year is 48,687,000 lei, for 2023 – 80,517,000 lei, and for 2024 – 31,830,000 lei.
At present, 5,234 licensed social services are registered in the register of social services, of which 1,652 are for the elderly, most of which are homes.