Financing of Social Services for Children in Macedonia
Keywords:children, social benefits, social services, mechanisms of financing.
AbstractOver the last decade the social services sector in Macedonia has been involved in a reform processes in line with the strategic paths towards decentralization, deinstitutionalization and pluralization of social welfare. Children are in the main focus of the reform processes through twofold policy interventions: reduction of child poverty with incentives for improving range and amount of child benefits and advancement of social services for children facing social problems. Additionally, the reform processes were instigated by substantial budgetary allocations for administration of child benefits and delivery of social services for children followed by a critique for inappropriate targeting of children, undeveloped, low quality and expensive services for children mainly organized in massive residential institutions. Whereas, several researches had been carried out with focus on the quality of social services for children and coverage gaps, there is an insufficient evidence and analysis of the costs of services and their budgeting. This analysis is to serve the purpose of filling in the existing data gap through: (1) to map the existing social protection measures for children in Macedonia executed by state, non-governmental organizations and private service providers; (2) to identify the main mechanisms for financing social services for children and to provide clear insight into state financial support in the social services delivery and alternative child care support arrangements.