Since September, Turkmenistan has been piloting new specialized social services at the local level, the recipients of which are people with disabilities and chronic diseases, children left without parental care or at risk of falling into this category, youth from risk groups and victims of domestic violence.
Such activities have been initiated within the framework of the Joint UN and Turkmenistan Government Program “Improving the social protection system through the introduction of inclusive quality social services at the local level”.
Currently, 12 pilot specialized social services have been launched in Ashgabat, Mary and Turkmenabat:
- Active support for families with children at the community level;
- Reintegration of children from infant homes;
- Social support of young people in the process of reintegration from residential institutions into the family and community;
- Support for families with children with disabilities;
- Comprehensive social assistance for the prevention of domestic violence against women;
- Comprehensive social assistance aimed at preventing cases of abandoning a newborn and providing social services during pregnancy in adolescents;
- Social services for adolescents in contact with or at risk of contact with criminal justice;
- Social services for parents with addictions (dependence): counseling, family therapy, parenting skills, social support.
- Social services for families with children in difficult life situations;
- Personal assistant to support the independent life of adults with disabilities with official status;
- Social support for lonely elderly people;
- Social and medical services at home for people with chronic diseases.
Some of these services are implemented on the basis of six social service centers of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the country, and some - by the efforts of public organizations of Turkmenistan. Thus, in Ashgabat, specialized social services are provided by public organizations “Keyik Okara”, “Yenme” and the National Red Crescent Society of Turkmenistan; in Turkmenabat – “Beyik Eyyam”. Representatives of all involved partner organizations underwent training in August, where they studied the principles and standards of quality in the provision of social services, methods and theoretical foundations for conducting individual assessment and monitoring in social work, planning tools for social services and much more.
On the part of the UN, agencies actively participate in the development of specialized services at the community level in Turkmenistan: UNICEF, UNFPA, UNODC, UNDP, providing methodological support and training to increase the capacity of organizations.
For the effective provision of specialized social services, clear criteria for determining recipients have been developed. Cases can be redirected from an etrap social worker or received directly through other sources of detection (hotline, in cooperation with juvenile affairs inspectors, district police officers, educational and health institutions, and others).
Since the implementation of specialized social services, more than 200 requests have been received, on which work is already underway.
It is expected that the specialized social services launched by the pilot, after being tested, will become an integral part of the state's integrated social protection systems, along with social payments, social insurance and labor protection.