SOCIETY

MUNICIPALITIES: 81 PRACTICES


TOPIC:

Initiative

CITIZEN'S ADVOCATE FOR VULNERABLE SOCIAL GROUPS

CITIZENS ADVOCATE FOR VULNERABLE SOCIAL GROUPS
SUBMITTED FROM:

Municipality of Aghia Paraskevi



Objective Action

ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF INFORMATION OFFICES FOR ISSUES OF PUBLIC INSURANCE, PENSIONS, LABOUR LAW, EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFIT AVAILABILITIES.

 

Target Audience

Vulnerable social groups as well as people who lack access/familiarity with ICT and the Internet.

 

Duration

Unified operation of all three offices: 11/2015 onwords, on a weekly basis, except July - August.


Description

In an environment of ever growing eGovernment and an information society where most citizen-to-state interactions are exercised exclusively over the Internet, inability to access or navigate the internet as well as the Digital Divide often affects those most in need of government services, intensifying their social marginalization.

The Municipality of Agia Paraskevi started in 2011 and has continued since to operate an EMPLOYMENT PROMOTION OFFICE. The Head of Social Services Department Mrs. Gkini, Sociologist, runs the Office (every Monday 16:00 - 20:00) offering:

- Employment counseling through personal interview: Skill analysis, redefinition of goals, proposals on completing skills based on labor market needs, CV preparation and job interview simulation. Help in filling recruitment requests and sending a resume. Keeping records of unemployed, informing them about job openings in both public and private sector, as private companies inform our Municipality about jobs through their Corporate Social actions and schemes.

- Supported training / Employment for people with disabilities: Work simulation for people with mental retardation (MR) in the presence of a psychologist and employment in municipal services to acquire work experience and to avoid social exclusion, as well as to monitor their course and psychological support when placed in work by qualified personnel (on a voluntary basis).

The success of the office has prompted the current Municipal Administration to open two more offices:

A. (INFORMATION CENTER FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE UNINSURED), (Tuesday 17:00 - 20:00) by Mr Gyfteas, employee of Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), on a voluntary basis since July 2015 and provides information and help with:

-. Welfare benefits: Information on the conditions and procedures for receiving OAED and other social welfare benefits, help with filling in applications, renewal of unemployment cards, information and documentation for social tourism scheme and information on issues of work placement through OAED.

-. Uninsured persons: Extension of Insurance, Interconnection with Municipal Clinics, and other relevant matters.

B. ADVISORY OFFICE FOR PUBLIC INSURANCE – PENSIONS MATTERS (Monday 17:00 - 20:00) started in November 2015 completing the fields that the Municipality was interested in covering. Lawyer Mr. Papadopoulos Andronikos, with years of experience in the field of Labour law, accepts residents serving a wide range of topics:

-.Retirement benefits: pre-retirement procedures, conditions and a "road map" of the pension procedure, as well as information on whether the person is entitled to supplementary pension benefits.

-. Insurance and other issues: information on labor and insurance issues, information on the legal protection of over-indebted households, and general advice on citizens' rights issues.


more...

Impact on Society

Figures for the year 2017:

Employment Promotion Office:

317 persons received private Consulting.

19 persons with Disabilities in employment.

Assistance in work applications for 380 persons.

CV’s for 41 Persons sent to private companies.

INFORMATION CENTER FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE UNINSURED:

383 Persons informed

ADVISORY OFFICE FOR PUBLIC INSURANCE – PENSIONS MATTERS:

95 Persons



Initiative Location

Town Hall of Agia Paraskevi (415-417 Mesogeion Avenue) & 1st KAPI (Gounari 30)


Working with Organization


Workers Participation

YES - Voluntary participation of all involved employees of various specialties (Sociologists, Social workers, Occupational therapists, Psychologists)


Photos

Benefits for Οrganization

Greek Local Administration have been called upon to play a key role in maintaining social cohesion under adverse socioeconomic conditions characterized by great reduction in resources and severe restrictions on staff recruitment.

The Municipality of Agia Paraskevi has created a dense network of social protection and support of social cohesion with fee exemptions and reductions, monetary contributions and basic necessities for socially vulnerable groups, smooth and adequate operation of Social Services, Summer Creative Employment Programs and Children's summer camps, financial aid to alleviate absolute poverty, to name a few.

Our experience has shown that a large number of potential beneficiaries do not apply for the benefits due to ignorance, as a consequence of the lack of access to information. The situation is even worse for Benefits related to Regional or Central Government Services. The operation of the three Information Offices has demonstrated the multiple benefits to social cohesion from low-cost actions with high social added value. In an unfavorable economic environment, the operation of the offices has been a decisive factor in curbing the poverty and alleviating the marginalization of social groups who, due to their educational or economic level, have no easy access to information in an increasingly digital environment. The municipality of Agia Paraskevi has many new "great" works. However, none fills us with pride as the positive conclusion of the case of each of our fellow citizens who used the information offices and got something that they did not even imagine that a public service could offer; the feeling having a public service as an advocate.  




Connection with Global Goals






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