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Social Activation Service for Families with Children – Olomouc Region

Social Activation Service for Families with Children – Olomouc Region is a registered service pursuant to § 65 of the Act On Social Services 108/2006 Coll.

Target group
Families with children aged 3 and more, who are in danger of social exclusion and the presence of socially pathological phenomena (unemployment, truancy, indebtedness), who live in an environment affecting and deepening this exclusion. A condition for providing the service is the willingness to actively participate on changing the current situation. The following groups of citizens are of particular concern:

• children and youth aged 6 to 26 endangered by socially undesirable phenomena
• people in crisis
• people living in social excluded communities
• people who live a high-risk way of life or are endangered by such a way of life
• families with child/children
• ethnic minorities

We do not know how to help or cannot help the following: people who refuse our services. Users who do not want to solve their problems. We cannot help if the interested person asks for a social service that the field programme does not provide and does not have registered, or the interested person does not fall within our target group. In such instances we provide contact for a follow-up service.

Dealing with a person interested in the service
The worker offers the service and subsequently performs it in the potential interested person´s natural environment. Potentially interested people are offered a flyer containing basic information and possible forms of help.

A potential interested person is a person falling within the target group that – according to the worker´s judgement – can experience problems with which the social activation service can help them.
The worker explains the possible forms of help (housing, communication with authorities, assistance with applying for social benefits, finding employment, debts and seizure of property, communication with law enforcement authorities, schools, children´s services department) to the potential interested person. The offer is presented to the interested people in a comprehensible manner, appropriate to their individuality and the specifics of the target group.

Service information can also be presented in written form and the interested person may decide on his/her acceptance during subsequent meetings.
A person interested in the service is a person roughly informed about what the social activation service offers. He/she show interest in becoming a service user. After concluding a verbal or written contract, the interested person becomes a service user.

When informing the interested person, discrimination of any kind for reasons of health, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, economic background etc. is inadmissible.
The only criterium is assessing the user´s true needs with the provider´s capabilities in accordance with Act No. 108/2006 Coll., On Social Services.

We adhere to the following principles when dealing with a person interested in the service:
- creating a peaceful and pleasant environment
- kind, nice and pleasant demeanour of the designated worker
- gaining trust
- sufficient time to hear the interested person out
- assessing whether the service offer is compatible with the interested person´s needs
- sufficient time for both sides to decide

Should the interested person have different expectations from the service and the social activation service does not correspond to his/her needs or the desired service is not provided, the worker shall provide, in both verbal and written form, contacts on other social service providers who might fit the interested person´s needs and expectations.

Detailed description of service implementation
The social activation service is based on the needs and wishes of the users. We monitor excluded localities and plan targeted assistance aiming at the user´s individual needs. Through step-by-step basic social counselling, we give the users an opportunity to handle their problems on their own.
Through the social activation service, we try to minimize the possibility of their social exclusion. We help them apply their own will when dealing with their unfavourable social situation. Our goal is for the users to get rid of seemingly unsolvable problems and deal with their social situation step by step, in a complex manner and with the intention of achieving change – break out of a life crisis, integrate into society, and succeed in finding employment.
We try to achieve so using conversation, advice, administrative tasks, negotiating with authorities or accompanying to meetings or legal advice.

The service is provided in the Prostějov District:
• in the field, in users´ homes
• outpatient, at the office at: Vápenice 31, Prostějov

A greater deal of the work takes place in the field, in the user´s natural environment. We commute to the users to villages and towns in the Prostějov District, specifically Hradčany, Dobromilice, Nezamyslice, Dřevnovice.
An office is available if needed (the user´s contract requires finding out additional information or writing down a request or proposal). A computer with internet access can be used in the office.
Work with users takes place every working day from Monday to Thursday. Fridays are reserved for administrative tasks – operational and case interpretation meetings, work on client documentation.

When working with a user, the worker always tries to:
- get to know the environment in which the family lives well
- work in accordance with the specific conditions present in these families
- understand the causes of the unfavourable situation
- handle the social situation in a complex manner as a set of related causes and effects
- seek such solutions that will lead to the client´s autonomy

Methods of work
• Providing basic information (The worker provides the users with basic information, such as the phone number and address of the relevant institution, a general course of action on how to deal with their situation).
• Providing professional advice (Based on the information provided by the user, the worker analyses the user´s situation and recommends the most suitable solution).
• Active assistance in the user´s situation (Setting a payment schedule, a request to suspend seizure of property, assistance with writing down lease agreements and other contracts, filling out forms and documents at public offices, using the internet, writing a CV, writing appeals, protests, filing for divorce and property settlement, dealing with inheritance, writing requests to foundations, putting together a family budget).
• Accompanying (The worker will visit the relevant office together with the user, clarify the handling process, accompanies the user directly to the designated person, explains the office worker´s notification and thereby tries to eliminate problems that might arise during communication. The point of accompanying is to teach the user how to conduct themselves when dealing with authorities on their own, show them how to communicate with office workers properly, so that the action does not take longer than necessary).

Handling complaints

A complaint is either a non-anonymous or anonymous filing which contains an expression of disagreement or dissatisfaction with:
a) the quality or scope of the provided social service
b) the attitude and behaviour of individual workers towards the public or the social service users

a) Complaints will be examined and the complaining party receive a response no later than 30 days after the filing date. Should the examination of the complaint be so demanding that the receiving party is unable to process it within 30 days, they must inform the complaining party about this fact and state an alternative date, until when and by whom will the complaint be examined (no later than an additional 30 days however).
b) ) The outcome of the examination will always be conveyed to the complaining party in written form:
• sent by mail or email
• personally handed over to the complaining party from the service users (in case of non-anonymous filing)
• in case of a legitimate anonymous filing, it will be put up on the notice board in the place where the service is provided (should the complaint be deemed illegitimate, this fact will be announced on the notice board)
c) Complaints deemed illegitimate will include a record in the register of complaints detailing how was this conclusion reached.
d) Complaints are subject to the Act On the Protection of Personal Data – they are treated as confidential documents. They are kept in locked areas designated for such purpose.
e) Should the social service user be unsatisfied with how the complaint was handled, he/she has the right to appeal to a higher authority of that which handled the complaint.

Termination of service
The user may terminate cooperation with the social service provider at any time and without stating the reasons. The provider may terminate cooperation only if the social service user severely violates the rules of cooperation (a so-called penalty exclusion of the user, e.g. in cases when the user physically assaults the worker). Cooperation between the contracting parties is terminated in cases when the social service user breaks contact, or the individual plan contract has been fulfilled (and the user does not request further services).

Payment for services
The service is provided free of charge.

Additional information
Principles of service

The service is provided on the basis of quality standards pursuant to the legal norms of the Czech Republic and the Code of Ethics for Social Workers of the Czech Republic. We adhere to the following principles when providing the service:
• absence of charges – the service is always and under all circumstances provided free of charge
• equal approach – we respect each person´s uniqueness, regardless of his origin, ethnicity, race or skin colour, mother tongue, age, gender, marital status, health condition, sexual orientation, economic situation, religion. We see to the maintenance of our users´ human dignity
• discretion and the option of anonymity – we thoroughly protect the user´s privacy in accordance with the Act On the Protection of Personal Data 101/2000 Coll. Service workers are sworn to secrecy.
• supporting autonomy – we respect the user´s free will and the right to make one´s own decision about their life
• user satisfaction – users have the right to change their key worker, the right to complain and can terminate cooperation at any time without stating their reason
• professionality – the service is provided by workers authorized to do so in accordance with the Act On Social Services (No. 108/2006 Coll., §111 a §116), they undergo regular training and participate in supervisions.

Facultative services
Facultative services are purposefully aimed at utilizing children´s free time. We emphasize the need of education. A crucial moment are leisure time activities reflecting sport, fun, and discovery. We utilize spaces in the municipalities where we operate for this activity (classrooms, football pitches, children´s playgrounds, parks, common areas). Family members are always invited to take part in these activities, the contribute significantly to their organization and help make sure that they run smoothly. We organize these events not only for the users of our service – we always try to engage other residents as well. By doing so, we contribute to the integration of our users and improving neighbourly relations in the municipality. Their mayors are forthcoming and ensure sufficient promotion using municipal radio and putting up our flyers on the municipal notice boards.
One of the largest events we organize in the villages where we operate is children´s triathlon. In cooperation with prominent Czech triathlete Mr. Tomáš Slavata, this year´s event will be the third already. The municipality where it takes place changes every year.
In cooperation with the municipal leadership, we have made use of the offered premises of sports facilities and playgrounds to organize summer children´s Olympic games, afternoon games and skill competitions.
Among the children´s most favourite activities which we organized in past years were trips:
• two day trip to Prague which included visiting the Petřín observation tower, the Water World in Holešovice, the courtyard of the Prague Castle, and Charles Bridge
• a trip to Velký Kosíř with ascending the new observation tower
• a trip along the former railroad in Nezamyslice
• ascending the city hall tower in Prostějov along with a tour of the tower´s Art Noveau interior

We organize many more activities in cooperation with the Dobromilice Primary School, Nezamyslice Primary School and Preschool Education Centre in Hradčany. These events include: Children´s Day, St. Nicholas Day, Christmas parties, workshops involving making Advent wreaths and presents for family members.

Premises, material and technical equipment
A barrier-free office located at: Vápenice 31, 796 01 Prostějov.
The office is equipped with a laptop connected to the internet and a laser printer which the clients can use.
Each worker also has a laptop or PC and work phone at their disposal.
The office is also equipped with desks, a small conference table, office chairs, a large conference table, teaching aids for children, board games, toys for smaller children.
A jug kettle and a toilet with a washbasin are available to users and workers alike.