4.6 Access to quality services
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No single information source for youth on opportunities for inclusion or on specific opportunities in Slovakia are available. Stand-alone services for young people in the field of housing, health, social services or financial literacy exist only occasionally.
Selected state policy programmes accessible by youth:
The major support of social inclusion of young people in the field of housing is provided on the basis of the Act on Social Services (Zákon o sociálnych službách):
The MLSAF may provide financial subsidies in order to
- Establish houses at the halfway (for persons after enforcement of a sentence; grown-ups leaving orphanages, etc.);
- Build apartments of a lower standard of living for low-income households;
- Help disadvantaged young adults from orphanages to cover their repayments of mortgages;
- Ensure social housing for physically and mentally disabled young people;
- Ensure independent living for young people experiencing replacement family care and state institutional care;
- Help young people to repay their mortgages by decreasing the interest rate during first 5 years of repayment period (covered by the Act on Banks / Zákon o bankách).
- Programme for community centres development;
- Programme for accessible care services;
- Programme for field social work;
- Provision on the specific beneficiary (Inštitút osobitného príjemcu) meaning that the state social payments provided to the most deprived persons are used to cover their essential civilian needs; therefore not the beneficiary, but some organisation, institution or other natural person manages these social payments.
- SOS programme for young adults (SOS program pre mladých dospelých) targeted at young people living at orphanages.
- Programme Healthy communities (Zdravé komunity) aimed at field health assistants active in marginalised communities;
- National children and adolescents care programme in the Slovak Republic for 2008 – 2015 / Národný program starostlivosti o deti a dorast v Slovenskej republike na roky 2008 – 2015 of the Institute for Public Health
- National Prevention Program Healthy Heart for Slovakia / Národný program prevencie ochorení srdca a ciev - Zdravé srdce pre Slovensko - časť pre deti a dorast
The national standard of financial literacy (Národný štandard finančnej gramotnosti) was updated by the MESRS in 2014 and it is currently implemented at all school stages. This standard provides definitions of themes, competencies and sub-competencies. A specific web portal has been developed by the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic in order to provide user-friendly information to the general public.
Provision of state services in the field of social integration of young people is closely connected to assessment of the needs of social services, social payments and compensatory aid or payments. The amount of social payments is either fixed or adjusted to the level of minimum income of a Slovak citizen by a certain percentage.
Overview of a state financial aid provided to disadvantaged young people:
Subventions for food (Dotácia na podporu výchovy k stravovacím návykom dieťaťa ohrozeného sociálnym vylúčením) may be granted to encourage healthy eating of a child at risk of social exclusion by providing lunch or other meal at kindergarten or primary school. Subventions for school articles may be granted to a child at risk of social exclusion in order to cover expenditures spent for purchase of articles needed for education at kindergarten or primary school.
Social scholarships (Sociálne štipendium) may be granted to students attending full-time course of study at Slovak universities. Conditions, equal for all the universities, are defined by the MESRS.
Housing allowance (Príspevok na bývanie)may be provided to the most deprived citizens in order to cover their costs of housing.
Protection allowance (Ochranný príspevok) for seriously disabled unemployed may be granted if the most deprived citizen is not able to earn any income.
There are several information channels offering young people the opportunities to gain information:
Web site IUVENTA - Slovenský inštitút mládeže (Slovak Youth Institute) provides information on calls for project proposals, reports, training opportunities for young people, youth leaders and youth workers;
Web site Sociálna politika (Social Politics) is an experiment trying to disclose to the general public the expert papers on social policy, drawn in a user-friendly way and free of charge;
Web site MLÁDEŽ (YOUTH) is a website managed by the National Youth Council, providing information on opportunities for young people, dialogue with young people on public matters, grants, volunteering opportunities and job offers in non-profit sector;
Web portal InfoLib includes the list of information channels for users with various kinds of disabilities;
PARK is a television broadcast of Slovak public service broadcaster elaborating on the themes of social and societal challenges of young people.
Young people with specific needs may follow the websites of civil society organisations, as well as specialised television and radio broadcasts. These are normally targeted at the particular population as whole (e.g. Roma people, visually impaired, hearing impaired, etc.) and do not select information appropriate to young people.
Selected information channels covering up-to-date information for specific youth groups in the field of culture, education, housing, health and social support:
http://www.rtvs.sk (magazín So vakeres?)
Persons with hearing impairments
http://www.rtvs.sk (Television club for deaf persons, interpretation of main news into sign language)
Persons with visual impairments
www.rtvs.sk (commented broadcasting)
https://www.skn.sk (library for blind and partially sighted)
http://www.sztp.sk (physically handicapped)
http://cezap.sk (Centre for support of students with special needs)
Information channels of ministries and other public institutions:
Information on social payments to disabled, unemployed, people with low income; replacement family care; etc.
Support at the labour market; protection of disabled employees
Transportation support for seriously disabled persons; state housing policy
Preventive health examinations free of charge; thermal bath treatment for children and young people
Sickness benefits payments, opinion on invalidity; orphan’s pensions; maternity benefits
Information on health protection and hygiene
Housing support; mortgages for young people
In case of social inclusion programmes resulting from legal provisions the standards are adopted, which need to be followed in order to obtain a state social payment. The MLSAF provides the greatest contributions to measures in the field of social inclusion. The Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family Yearly Reports include statistical data of mostly quantitative performance indicators.
Any natural or legal person has the right to request data on the basis of the Act on Free Access to Information / Zákon o slobodnom prístupe k informáciám
Quality assurance may also be initiated by lodging a complaint to any of the following Parliamentary Committees:
Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee
Financial and Budgetary Committee
Economic Affairs Committee
Agricultural and Environmental Committee
Public Administration and Regional Development Committee
Committee on Social Affairs
Committee on Health
Defence and Security Committee
Foreign Affairs Committee
Education, Youth, Science and Sports Committee
Culture and Media Committee
Human Rights and Ethnic Minorities Committee
Currently, quality is being monitored by the media, activists and broadly also by the non-governmental watch-dog organisations, such as Fair-play Alliance, League for Human Rights , Transparency International Slovakia which follow the scope and quality of social inclusion.