Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration in delivering social services in Poland Polish chapter edited by klon/jawor association Project supported by Open Society Institute, Hungary March 2002

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Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration
in delivering social services in Poland

Polish chapter edited by

KLON/JAWOR Association
Project supported by

Open Society Institute, Hungary

March 2002


Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration in delivering social services in Poland - legislation and institutional structure 3

% of people 6

Poland 6

Romania 6

Hungary 6

Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration in citizens advice services 19

Cooperation between Public administration and NGOs in delivering services for the homeless 35

Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration within a system of help for children and families in crisis 53

Jakub Wygnański

Cooperation between non-governmental organizations and public administration in delivering social services in Poland - legislation and institutional structure


The Report you are about to read is a result of a joint undertaking of centres from Romania, Hungary and Poland. The aim of it was to share experiences (often difficult) in just one field, namely solving social problems, concerning mutual relations in each of these countries between public administration and non-governmental organizations. And this is where the simple part of the undertaking ends. The material gathered in Poland was subsequently divided according to the following scheme: From a very broad range of issues that comprise social problems, we chose four fields. They will serve as examples and it seems, despite significant differences between the three countries, they all constitute serious challenges in each of them for both public administration and non-governmental organizations. These issues are:

  • Orphanhood

  • Homelessness

  • Mental illness

  • Civil information

Each of the above issues was described both generally and in detail. In the general part, we tried to provide information about the scale of a problem, factors responsible for it and the diversity of forms of institutional response to it, as well as the framework of conditions of co-operation in a given field that exists at the intersection of public administration and non-governmental organizations. In the detailed part we included descriptions of selected real life example of solutions to each of the four problems. We tried to choose them in such a way as to include positive examples of mutual relations as well as those that are problematic or simply unsuccessful. We assume both types of situations may be educational.

Selecting examples to be included in his report was not easy, especially because there is a lot to choose from. Each case is in a way interesting and at the same time unique, in the sense that it does not fit any of the clear-cut labels "success" or "failure" but it is a mixture of them.

We hope the material we gathered will provide inspiration both for the administration and non-governmental organizations in other countries – just like for us in Poland the reports from Romania and Hungary are inspiring. These countries, even though so different, share a number of difficult experiences both past and present. It gives us hope we can help each other. Even at present, there are numerous organizations that carry out joint international projects – we hope this report will increase their number.
1. Poland in comparison with other countries

Before we describe in detail the way public administration and the third sector operate in Poland, let us try to establish at least a general point of reference for our considerations. There are few studies that allow to make comparisons. Those few include the efforts of researchers working together in over 30 countries in the framework of a programme of John Hopkins University from Baltimore, USA. Fortunately, all three countries participating in our project also take part in the above mentioned research. The research concerns the condition of not-for-profit organizations, which can be described using many indicators. A few of them can be useful in this report.

The data presented above comes from 1997 but since then there have not been any significant changes that would alter the conclusions drawn from it. In each of the three countries the share of the employment in the third sector, in relation to the overall employment, is one of the lowest among all the countries, in which the research took place. Of course, the nature of operation of organizations is quite complex and it cannot be oversimplified merely by the employment rate, however, indirectly it does provide information about the power of the sector, or the lack of it. The employment is particularly important in the case of social services, which often require a continuity and in consequence the stability of personnel.

The employment in the third sector is on the other hand dependent on the availability of public sources of financing. In each of the three countries, such availability is quite limited. In Romania only around 10% of resources come from the public budget, in Hungary and Poland it is approximately 30%. In the countries of the European Union the number is much higher – for example in Ireland 78%, in Belgium 77% and in Germany 64%. The whole reasoning above supports our intuition, according to which, the development of the non-governmental sector as a provider of social services depends, to a large extent, on positive relations between organizations and the public sector.

What does this co-operation look like at present? Before we proceed to the description of particular Polish conditions, let us try to analyse some comparative data. The research we will take into consideration is carried out on a regular basis, by the USAID, in 28 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In a nutshell, the methodology of the study required a group of experts who evaluated the non-governmental sector, according to each of the seven dimensions described below. In short words: the smaller value of each axis, the situation in a given field is better. The smaller the area covered by the line, the better the overall situation of the non-governmental sector. As you can see, according to the results of this study, the situation of the third sector is the best in Hungary and much worse in both Poland and Romania.

The scale of social problems1

There can be no doubt, the period of transformation brought about new social challenges. They can be described in a number of ways, which is done in detail in the subsequent part of the report. Here, we will rely on the extremely simplified, yet very telling, poverty rate or perhaps even misery rate. As you can see, in each of the three countries in the last few years, the group of people living in extremely hard conditions was abruptly increased. Probably, the most dramatic worsening of the situation took place in Poland and it seems the situation will continue to get even worse. This provides even greater challenge both for public authorities and non-governmental organizations. The survey, carried out by the KLON/JAWOR Association, of a representative group of Poles in November, 2001 shows that 73.5% of people think the activities of non-governmental organizations are more needed now than they were five years ago. The same survey reveals that 29% of those who were questioned in fact noticed that non-governmental organizations solve important social problems in their closest neighbourhoods. It is often the case that people in need turn to them.

% of people











Was hungry going to sleep







Don’t have other pair of shoes







2. Polish experiences in the field of co-operation
2.1. A very brief history of building bridges
Practically from the very beginning of the Polish transformation much have been said about the necessity of co-operation between public administration and non-governmental organizations. At the beginning of the 1990s, the latter were hardly ever called "non-covenantal" – more frequently they were referred to as civil organizations. Simplifying a little, it could be said actually that at the beginning of the transformation it was important to be generally involved in public matters and, from this point of view, to get involved in the structures of administration or in the non-governmental sector was in fact an alternative. Unfortunately, right now it is often a contradiction. Many things have changed. A vast number of responsibilities were shifted towards local self-governments and at the same time the competence of central administration was limited. Unfortunately, the decentralization of tasks was not accompanied by a harmonious reform of public finances, which in consequence often implied that the self-government was unable to comply with due tasks. One can find out how numerous these responsibilities are, just in the field of social assistance, by looking at the attachment to this report, which contains the legally binding division of competence between various levels of administration.

The structure of the Polish local self-government is quite complex and developed. First of all, it is composed of over 2500 communities (gmina), over 300 counties (powiat) and 16 province self-governments. Such complex system is not always transparent for citizens and organizations. What is more, because of particular legal solutions, when it comes to building co-operation, it is necessary to take into consideration each of them. In this context, it is worth remembering that both types of institutions – self-government and organizations were in fact new entities. To be more precise – over 50 years of the communist regime broke the continuity of operation of such institutions in Poland. Both sides had to learn from each other. At first this learning was going on smoothly and it provided prospects of development. This hope for co-operation was further reinforced by introducing in the new Polish Constitution the doctrine of the subsidiarity. However, fulfilling this doctrine in practice is questionable, even though many legal regulations call for the co-operation of public administration and organizations. But in practice those regulations are often ignored. A particular situation exists in the field of social assistance, which is governed by a separate regulation in the form of a decree. But even such solution does not guarantee any co-operation takes place. It seems the co-operation requires not only changing legal regulations but also the alteration of attitudes and habits of the administration is necessary as well, and it may be far more difficult to achieve. One could say that in the field on co-operation too much was left at the mercy of administration's goodwill. And this goodwill is often missing. As a consequence, most of self-governments (of all levels) do not have clear rules of co-operation. In this situation, many accusations arise about being biased and even politically-influenced in supporting certain organizations.

In this situation, the circles interested in the promotion of co-operation assumed two parallel and complementary strategies. First of them calls for introducing a legal, strong framework of co-operation. The second one suggests the promotion of voluntary local agreements between the administration and organizations (similar to the system of the British Compact).

A few details concern the works on the Law on Public Benefit Organizations and Volunteers, which have been going on for six years now. The dedication, which is a part of it, stems from the particular importance that organizations see in passing it. The Draft Law is at the moment at the Parliament and the works on it are supposed to end in June, 2002. The Law regulates the "division of work" between different levels of public administration. From the point of view of issues described earlier, we should pay attention to the fact the Law strengthens the position of organizations in relation with the administration both in the field of providing services and advocacy. The Law once again defines the rules of providing social services. They have to be a subject of a kind of competition among their prospective providers. For the first time, the administration would have to apply for them on the same basis as the non-governmental sector. It means breaking up with the rule, never written down but taken for granted, of the priority of the administration. It seems it is a necessary condition of the development of the non-governmental sector. Otherwise, it will be limited to carrying out responsibilities that are "unwanted" or neglected by the administration. The disproportion between the sectors is already alarming. The Public Sector is being subjected to a kind of hypertrophy. At present it comprises 55,000 entities that employ approximately 3 million people. In comparison with it, the non-governmental sector is much smaller (around 100,000 people). The ratio is around 30 times worse than in the EU countries.

As it has already been said, the efforts concerning the Law take place at the same time as other activities that aim at the promotion of good practice in co-operation between the sectors. A particular attention should be paid to three initiatives that correspond to three levels of administration. At the central level, works are going on, which will result in the establishing of the so called Contact Group between the non-governmental sector and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The group was selected by organizations themselves and it is supposed to be accepted by the Ministry. Secondly, on the regional level, in relation with the development of individual strategies for each region, various types of bodies are established, which participate in the processes of drafting and evaluating plans of strategies. Finally, at the level of communities and counties, agreements on co-operation are signed. There are not many of them at the moment but, still, they are significant for the practical rules of co-operation.
2.2. The condition of co-operation

The KLON/JAWOR Association has been surveying on a regular basis, since 1990, the non-governmental organizations in Poland. Till 1997 it included in the questionnaire a part that allowed to assess the quality of relations with various institutions, with which NGOs had to deal. A particular role in this issue was played by public administration bodies. Below we present the outcome of a kind of sociometrics, which was exercised on non-governmental organizations. NGOs were asked about their relations with other important partners.

A full interpretation of the graph would certainly exceed the space that we would like to devote to it in this report. We will therefore just point out the facts it illustrates. Firstly, we should look at the attitudes towards public administration. Their comparison illustrates model differences in relations between organizations and central and local administration (the lower the level of authority, the more frequent co-operation, assistance and the less frequent lack of contact and reluctance to co-operate). This result allows us to hope the centralized model of the state is being broken effectively, although slowly, (in the world of non-governmental organizations it means the departure from the "principal – client" model).

One of important aspects of co-operation is the access to public resources. The 1990s also marked a dramatic change in the structure of financing organizations. In 1992 only 15% of organizations were subsidized by local self-governments. Five years later the ratio increased to 30%. At the moment, however, the level of co-operation is still far from being sufficient. In order to support such claim with evidence, one can say that in a survey carried out in 2001, as many as 44% or organizations declared the lack of co-operation with the administration was one of the main obstacles in their work. In practice this barrier means difficulties in accessing funds. The following table illustrates how significant this fact is for organizations.

How significant are for your organization the following sources of financing

Public funds

Donations from companies and individuals

Member fees

grants from other organizations

Income resulting from statuary activities

Foreign aid programmes

Campaigns, fundraising

Other income activities

Capital interests

1 – Fundamental - very important










2 – important










3 - Secondary – of little importance










4 – No significance – doesn't apply










As you can see – the public funds are important or very important for 77% of organizations and, therefore, they constitute the most significant source of financing for them. Paradoxically, this source is not particularly affluent. There is only partial data at our disposal concerning the amount of money given to organizations. On the nationwide level, where the data is available, it turns out the resources are quite modest. According to a report prepared by the Prime Minister's Office - Ministries and central government agencies in 2001 allocated 0.18% of their combined budgets on tasks delegated to the NGOs.

Apart from difficulties described above, non-governmental organizations no doubt accepted the fact that it is the local self-government that is the main partner in their activities. Besides, hardly any alternative is available. Unfortunately, the self-government sometimes does not share the view that co-operation is necessary.
2.3. Co-operation in practice – the Case of Warsaw - map of social welfare institutions in Warsaw

Among approximately 30,000 non-governmental organizations that are active in Poland, around 1/3 work in the broadly defined field of social assistance. In this group, more or less ¼ of all organizations operate in Warsaw. We do not have the detailed data concerning all social institutions in Poland. Such data is available only for a few larger metropolis. The map of social institutions working for the sake of residents of Warsaw is particularly detailed when it comes to up-to-date, precise information. It is difficult to assume the situation in Warsaw is representative for the whole country – yet this situation is interesting in itself.

Methodology of Research

The study carried out in 2001 covered 1601 entities operating in the filed of social assistance. The subject of the research were both Social Welfare Centres and non-governmental organizations and certain selected entities of the market economy (e.g. the cheap bars). Undoubtedly, this last group (commercial sector) is discussed here in less detail. Due to various reasons, we have focused on the non-commercial entities (it does not mean that some of those do not charge fees for their services.

Social welfare institutions in different sectors

As it is illustrated in the table below, among the total of 1601 of the studied social welfare institutions, most of them are run by the non-governmental sector (56,6 %).




central administration



Local self-government



Church / religious associations



Non-government organizations



Private companies









It is worth remembering that the number of all institutions is not necessarily proportional to the scale of their operations. For each group of the clients, it is necessary to create separate indicators (e.g. number of beds, number of provided meals, number of service hours etc.).

Below we have accepted a simplified classification of the social welfare institutions:

  1. Public administration (government and local government)

  2. Secular non-governmental organizations

  3. Church social welfare institutions

  4. Other (including cooperatives and private sector)

Groups of the social welfare institutions’ clients in sectors

Different groups of the clients are supported by the social welfare institutions from different sectors. It is clearly indicated in the table below:



Public administration

Church/ religious orders


Children and youth











Medical patients and handicapped











Senior citizens











Individuals in crisis











Homeless and extremely poor

































Single mothers






















Drug addicts






















The non-governmental sector has the greatest share in the activities for the women and the disabled. Relatively less often, the non-governmental sector supports such groups as refugees, and the unemployed. However, particularly in the last two categories it should be stressed that although the numbers of the NGOs is not high, their activities, because of their specialist character, are particularly important. On the other hand, the statutory services for the refugees delivered and covered by the social welfare institutions, does not necessarily mean that the Social Welfare Centres often deal with refugees. The activities of the Church organizations are concentrated on the assistance for the poorest, the homeless and for single mothers.

The case of Warsaw shows how important the activities of the third sector are. One cannot possibly imagine the social assistance in the capital of Poland without the contribution of the non-governmental sector.
3. Legal regulations of co-operation
At present, there is a number of legal regulations that influence the relations between the public sector and organizations. The most important of them are:


The Constitution from April 2, 1997 is the supreme law of the Republic of Poland. The Article 8 point 2 of the Constitution states the provisions of it are applied directly, unless the Constitution itself specifies otherwise. The Preamble of it is absolutely crucial as it describes the Constitutions as: “... a set of basic rules for the state based on respect of freedom and justice, co-operation of authorities, civil dialogue and the rule of subsidiarity that reinforces the rights of citizens and their communities.

The Law on Self-Government of Provinces

Article 12 states that in formulating strategies and in the implementation of the policy of development of a province, the self-government co-operates with non-governmental organizations.

The Law on Self-Government of Communities

According to the Article 6, point 1 of the Law on Self-Government of Communities, "the scope of activities of the community includes all public matters that are important on a local level that are not part of responsibilities of other units or are not part of other legal regulations." The Article 7, point 1 says providing for common interests of the local society is the responsibility of the community. One of such tasks is the co-operation with non-governmental organizations (point 19).

The Law on Self-Government of Counties

According to the Article 4.1, the county is responsible for carrying out public tasks on the level above community, which includes the co-operation with non-governmental organizations (point 22).

The Law on Social Assistance

The social assistance is provided by the state and self-government institutions, which co-operate in this field with social organizations, the Catholic Church, other churches and religious groups, foundations, associations, employees as well as physical persons and legal entities.

The Law on Public Finances

The Law introduces the equal access of subjects in the access to sources for the implementation of public responsibilities. Thus it eliminates the assumed priority of public administration institutions. It means, the non-governmental organizations should be treated as prospective providers of public services in the same way as the units of the public sector. The relevant rule states: "Article 25.1 The right of implementation of tasks financed from public funds applies to all entities, unless Laws state otherwise. 2. An entity that requests public funds for the implementation of a specified task should present an offer in accordance with the rules of competition, which guarantees the implementation of the task in an effective, cost-effective way and on time.”

Proposals of new legal regulations

We have already talked about the Draft Law o Public Benefit Organizations and Volunteers. Here, we would only like to point out the principles on which the Draft Law was based. The co-operation, which is regulated by the Law, is carried out with the following principles:

  • the rule of subsidiarity

  • autonomy of both sides

  • partnership

  • effectiveness

  • competition

  • transparency

It means that:

The institutions of public administration, respecting the independence and autonomy of organized communities of citizens, including the activities of non-governmental organizations, acknowledge their right to act independently, including identifying and solving problems that belong to the field of public responsibilities, and in this field they co-operate with them and support them in the way described by the Law. The institutions of public administration should not substitute the activities of organizations in all the situations where their initiatives, carried out independently or with the help of administration could be more effective from the point of view of the carrying out public responsibilities (the rule of subsidiarity).

Non-governmental organizations participate in identifying and defining serious problems, the solution of which is a public responsibility. They also take part in working out the ways of carrying out public responsibilities by the relevant body of public administration, including implementing these responsibilities (partnership).

The institutions of public administration in contracting public responsibilities to non-governmental organizations choose the most effective way of spending the public funds and they are guided by the rules of competition (effectiveness).

The institutions of public administration provide the organizations that co-operate with them with the information about the plans, aims and means for the implementation of public responsibilities, in the situations when the co-operation with these organizations is possible. They should also provide information on the costs of the implementation of public responsibilities that are carried out by the institutions supervised by public administration or monitored by them together with the information how these costs have been calculated so that it is possible to compare them with the costs of similar activities undertaken by other institutions and bodies (transparency).

The forms of co-operation that are promoted by the Law:

The co-operation of the institutions of public administration with the non-governmental organizations may be carried out in particular in the form of:

  • providing mutual information on planned directions of activities and mutual efforts in favour of adopting them,

  • consulting with relevant (territorially and thematically) non-governmental organizations draft laws and other basic rules adopted by public administration in relation to the fields that concern the statuary activities of those organizations,

  • support and other forms of help in the activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations in the field of public responsibilities

  • contracts with non-governmental organizations for carrying out public responsibilities

4. New challenges facing the co-operation between the public sector and non-governmental organizations

It is necessary to create or to develop the formula of general co-operation agreements with local government. In Poland there is a number of different sample agreements. In future such act could be statutory (as it is proposed in Draft Law on Public Benefit Organizations and Volunteers) but currently they should exist in the form of the decrees or the appropriate provisions in the statutes of the community authorities. The overall framework of co-operation should include all the necessary elements, such as time and procedure of submitting applications (offers), procedure of their evaluation, way of publishing results of contests, principles of constructing budgets for projects, a system of instalments, obligations of both parties and conditions of termination of an agreement. Contracts and the traditional grant system must be differentiated.
It is necessary to create instruments to design local social policy programmes. Practically, none of the communities in Poland has any objective instruments or procedures of constructing programmes. The majority of priorities are intuitive or are a result of a political decision adopted by the local government officials. At present, despite the fact that each community and county is obliged to draft strategies of coping with social problems, most of administrative units ignore this provision completely.
It is necessary to create clear rules of supervision of the projects’ finances by public institutions. Generally, there are no procedures of such type. Many agreements are implemented on the basis of refund systems based on documented expenditure. Clearly, with such a restrictive approach, the idea of the supervision has little sense, because the organizations undertake the entire risk anyway. Certain fixed procedures of financing, surely contrary to the intentions of those who designed them, lead to the misuse and do not prevent it. It is also important that the pricing of a project would openly include a margin for the development of organizations. At present, the tendency is rather opposite. Frequently, as a matter of principle, even coverage of administrative expenses connected with a programme is questioned and also financing remuneration of personnel is usually denied. The administration often assumes that the non-governmental organizations’ obligation is to support the administration and not the other way round.
It is necessary to create an index of the service standards, so that at least the basic tasks of local government, which are mandated to organizations, have a comprehensive standard protecting the interests of the organization undertaking it, the contractor and, naturally, the consumer. Definition of standards of services rendered, a system of financing, which would motivate a better and not only cheaper work and protection of consumer rights. Another necessity is an intelligent approach to defining the effectiveness ratios for organizations and the transformation from performance measures to the outcome measures.
Diffusion of patterns – it is necessary to establish the “repository of models”. There are enough patterns of activities in Poland (some of them are described in the report). However, there is a lack of good mechanism of replication.
Taking reasonable advantage of the opportunities in the process of the European Integration. The European Integration provides many opportunities for improving the mutual relations with the administration. First of all, on the level of adjusting national legislation to the EU standards, both obligatory measures and recommendations of the European Union are often in favour of non-governmental organizations. As the part of development programmes, organizations may play various roles (information, agreements concerning priorities of the development, implementation of programmes, finally monitoring and evaluation). It is also important that the process of integration calls for opportunities to make use of the pre-accession funds and – in the future – structural funds. In our consideration, the European Social Fund is particularly important. It seems that in each country for the first time it will provide the means adequate for the existing social problems. From this point of view, it is important to provide on the level of a country and the regions the adequate operational programmes that include the existence and the potential of the non-governmental organizations.
The non-governmental sector must develop its abilities. Non-governmental cannot be a synonym of the poor effectiveness. The rationalisation of public expenditures will force the organizations to improve effectiveness and professionalism of their actions. The development of the training and information support for the non-governmental organizations is a must.

Due to the lack of the regularity of access to public funds, very few long-term agreements and the reluctance to finance the long-term investments, it is necessary to create in Poland a para-banking system for organizations (mostly in the form of a system of guarantees), combined with the professional financial advice.

It is necessary to enter into a strategic agreement with the local government so that a common forum be created, which on the one hand would be used for negotiations in case of any conflicts between the local government and organizations, and, on the other hand, would be able to join forces to support the well understood decentralization of the state.

It is necessary to build the bridges between the Polish organizations and their counterparts in the countries of the European Union in order to prepare to the upcoming opening of the services market and to agree on the standards of operations.

The non-governmental sector, although its use of the public funds will increase, should care for keeping its own integrity. The fact that the third sector will increasingly do the work of the central government or local self-government institutions should not weaken its representation functions. The non-governmental sector should protect its integrity so that it escapes colonization by the public or commercial sectors.

1. Barometer of co-operation

Below, we present a list of rules concerning co-operation that were used in the study "Barometer of co-operation". Fulfilling the below conditions is assumed as a pre-requisite of the good co-operation:

  • a general, commonly accessed, document shaping the rules of co-operation with organizations (for example a decree of self-government)

  • a unified grant application form

  • clearly defined and announced in advance deadlines for the submission of applications as well as the deadlines for decisions and transfer of funds

  • announcing in public the amount of subsidiaries for organizations

  • announcing in public the procedure of evaluating applications and the names of individuals carrying out this task

  • announcing in public the rules (criteria), based on which the applications are evaluated

  • announcing in public the information, which organizations received support

  • separate procedures of subsidising and contracting tasks

  • possibility to sign long-term contracts

  • the lack of so called conflict of interests (clear cut rules that prevent a situation when the decision makers are in any way related to the organizations that apply for subsidiaries)

  • continuous exchange of information between administration and organizations

  • open and accessible meetings between organizations and representatives of self-government

  • common, regular, identification of needs and planning of activities

  • participation of representatives of organizations in work of self-governments (participation in committees as members, observers, guests or experts)

  • co-ordination of activities involving organizations and administration; carrying out common initiatives

  • non-financial forms of support of organizations (providing them with employees, equipment, offices etc)

  • possibility for organizations to be given offices for their activities in a privileged way

  • continuous and smooth way of financing the activities of organizations

  • clearly defined priorities that administration intends to support

  • possibility to receive the professional help from an institution in the process of drafting a project

  • clear rules of the financial supervision of the projects

  • systematic evaluation of the projects

  • working out standards of the services contracted by organizations

  • a system of exchanging information about the organizations looking for support between various departments of one institution

2. The division of competence of various levels of administration in the field of social assistance.
Law on Social Assistance from November 29, 1990
Article 10.

1. The proper rules in the field of social assistance, carried out by communities include:

1) running social welfare houses, local centres of support and appointing to them individuals who require help,

2) appointing and paying financial benefits,

3) providing assistance in the form of goods,

3a) providing assistance in the form of goods for individuals seeking economic independence,

3b) appointing and paying financial benefits and loans for individuals seeking economic independence,

4) other tasks in the framework of social assistance resulting from the assessment carried out by the community.

2. Proper responsibilities, in the field of social assistance, carried out by communities and that are obligatory include:

1) providing accommodation, meal, necessary clothing for anyone deprived of it, with the exception in the Article 10a, point 5,

2) providing care services, including specialized ones, in the area of residence,

3) covering the costs related too healthcare, especially of those who are homeless and others who are not covered by the health security system.

3a) providing a financial benefit to cover expenditures resulting from an accident,

4) social work,

5) funeral services,

6) providing the remuneration of employees and the conditions for the tasks mentioned in points 1 – 5 and in the passage 1.

Article 10a.

The responsibilities in the field of social assistance, carried out by a county include:

1) organising and providing services of a given standard in social welfare houses that operate on a level above the community and selecting individuals who apply for such social assistance houses,

2) drafting a county strategy of solving social problems,

3) providing information about rights and privileges,

4) organizing specialized advising,

5) providing shelter, meal, necessary clothing, funeral services for the homeless people who reside in the area of the county and who broke their relation with the community, in the area of which the incident resulting in homelessness took place,

6) running a crisis intervention centre,

7) running care and upbringing institutions,

8) providing the employees of social assistance from a given county with necessary training and improvement of professional skills,

9) methodological advising for the centres of social welfare and social assistance employees,

10) financing county support centres, with the exception of the centres mentioned in the Article 11, point 1,

11) help in the process of re-integration into the society of individuals leaving institutions of detention and certain types of care and upbringing institutions, foster families and minors detention centres mentioned in the Article 31c, passage 1, with the exception of the Article 11a point 4,

12) undertaking other activities resulting from arising needs,

13) implementation of other responsibilities mentioned in separate Laws.
Article 11.

The tasks contracted by communities include:

1) appointing and paying permanent benefits, social pensions, due bonuses,

2) appointing and paying temporary benefits, special temporary benefits and secured temporary benefits,

2a) paying insurance fees for the individuals mentioned in the Article 27, passage 1 and the Article 31 passage 4a,

3) appointing and paying benefits to cover the expenses resulting from a natural or ecological disaster,

4) appointing benefits in the form of a loan,

5) providing specialized care services that result from the regulations concerning mental health,

6) organizing and managing environmental self-help houses,

7) tasks resulting from the state programmes of social assistance or other regulations that aim at protecting the quality of living of individuals and families after ensuring sufficient means,

8) organizing and managing a social welfare centre and proving the means necessary for remuneration for employees implementing tasks mentioned in points 1 - 7.
Article 11a.

The tasks in the field of state administration carried out by the county include:

1) organizing and ensuring the operation of county centres of support for people with mental disorders,

2) appointing and paying benefits for the homeless people who reside in the area of the county and who broke their relation with the community, in the area of which the incident resulting in homelessness took place,

3) covering the costs of basic healthcare of the homeless people mentioned in the Article 10a, point 5,

4) appointing a special money benefit for individuals leaving certain types of care and upbringing institutions, foster families and minors detention centres,

5) organizing care for foster families and providing financial support to cover part of the expenses concerned with children placed in such families,

6) assistance for refugees based on the Article 33,

7) organizing and managing a county centre of family assistance and providing the means for the remuneration of employees implementing the tasks mentioned in points 1-6.


Article 11b.

1. The responsibilities in the field of social assistance carried out by provinces include:

1) drafting a list of needs and resources in the field of social assistance in relation with communities and counties as well as drafting a strategy of development,

2) drafting and implementing programmes aiming at the implementation of tasks of social assistance as well as co-financing them,

3) organizing education, including the schools of social services and training of social assistance personnel,

4) identifying the causes of poverty and supporting the activities aiming at an equal quality of living of inhabitants of a given province,

5) inspiring and promoting new solutions in the field of social policy, including social assistance.

2. In order to implement the responsibilities mentioned in passage 1, a special unit can be established - "regional centre of social policy."
Article 12.

1. The responsibilities of Governors of provinces, in the field of social assistance, include in particular:

1) evaluation of the condition and effectiveness of social assistance,

2) deciding on the way of implementation of the tasks in the field of state administration, which are carried out by local self-governments,

3) supervising the standards of services provided by organizational institutions of social assistance as well as care and upbringing institutions and the necessary level of sills of the personnel in the organizational institutions of social assistance, regardless of the body managing them,

4) supervising the services and accepting correction programmes at social welfare houses as well as the evaluation of the level of implementation of the correction programme mentioned in the Article 20,

5) issuing and repudiating permissions for running social welfare houses and running a register of social welfare houses,

6) co-ordinating the activities in the field of integration into the society of individuals who have the status of a refugee.

Article 12a.

1. The institutions of state administration and the institutions of self-government units may contract services in the field of social assistance, and support them financially, to social organizations, the Catholic Church and other churches and religious groups, foundations, associations, employees, physical persons and other legal entities.

Tomasz Kaźmierczak

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