The Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo approved the Draft Law on Social and Family Services. As a coalition, we are proud to have led the position and aspirations of our non-governmental member organizations in this process, with strong support from the European Union in Kosovo, the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF), and the UNICEF Kosovo Programme. Together, we have managed to incorporate into this law the vision of member organizations for the future of social services.
The approval of this law officially paves the way for the reform of social services in the country. The drafting of the draft law was a long, intensive, and highly challenging process, but it was necessary for KOMF and its member organizations. In this journey, as civil society, we were united in a common voice with the Ombudsman Institution and the Association of Social Work Centers in Kosovo. The new law is expected to ensure that children, families, and citizens in need receive more qualitative and sustainable social and family services.
We express appreciation to the Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, her Cabinet, and the working group for the finalization, efficient processing, as well as the comprehensive involvement and integration of civil society throughout the drafting process. KOMF also expresses appreciation for the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Social Welfare, Fatmire Kollçaku, and the committee members who, in a very short time, have propelled forward the process for the approval of this draft law.
The new Law on Social and Family Services brings innovations as outlined below:
Expanding the range of services, establishing new services by defining preventive, protective, rehabilitative, and reintegrative services, thus ensuring the right to social services for all children and individuals in need of social services, regardless of the level of urgency or risk.
• Establishing an open scheme for the provision of social services that includes the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The open and sustainable scheme for providing social services among public institutions, the non-governmental sector, and the private sector offers opportunities for a broader range of social services, specialized, and higher-quality services.
• Developing and strengthening family and community-based services, expanding forms of protection, specifically developing family-based housing after reaching the age of 18, and introducing a new form of protection, “Supervised Independent Living.”
• Dividing the responsibilities of central and municipal-level institutions to avoid ambiguities regarding the establishment of social services, management, monitoring, and inspection.
•Strengthening inspection through the delegation of executive powers.
• Regulating the contracting and financing of social and family services.
• Regulating licensing and continuous education.
KOMF calls for action to implement the Law on Social and Family Services, drafting and approval of administrative guidelines, informing all responsible stakeholders about the innovations and responsibilities arising from the new Law on Social and Family Services, and allocating the necessary budget for its implementation.
KOMF, along with its member organizations, is ready to support the processes for the implementation of the new Law on Social and Family Services.