Community work – the missing link of municipal social policy
Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia
Municipal social policy has an important role in dealing with social problems of citizens. On micro level, municipalities spend a substantial amount of their budget solving such problems. However, increasing the amount of money spent on solving problems of each individual at micro level does not provide efficient fulfilment of the tasks defined for municipal social policy making. Thus new, complementary solutions should be looked into, as new ways of development of social work in municipalities should be designed with the aim to increase the level of citizen participation and joint responsibility, especially of socially vulnerable groups. Research results let the author conclude that social activity of socially vulnerable groups should be promoted by creating a series of prerequisites, among which citizen participation, need for organisational support, activities that would foster politician and municipality officials’ attitude towards citizen participation and their social capital increase, two-way relationship between citizens and officials, and the worker that would promote citizen participation, among which is social policy making, are considered to be very important. All of this can be successfully reached by developing community work in local municipalities. This is the missing link to combine macro and micro levels, or political determination and practical implementation of citizen participation.
Key words: municipal social policy / citizen participation / joint responsibility / citizen participation prerequisites / community work
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012
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