A study visit on service provision by CSOs was held in Slovenia, from 22 till 24 October. Hosted by CNVOS, representatives of BCSDN member organizations and public institutions from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia were introduced to the long-standing practice of CSO service provision in Slovenia. By visiting the Ministry of labour, family, social affairs and equal opportunities and the Municipality of Ljubljana, participants were presented with programmes for social protection, their legal framework and cooperation between government and CSOs on this issue. The Ministry has started financing social protection programmes implemented by CSOs since year 1996.
Field visits to three CSOs which are implementing programmes for social protection provided the participants insight in their work. By visiting pioneers in the area of social protection, the Association Project Human – association for self-help, therapy and social rehabilitation of persons with various forms of addiction and Association Altra – which has been providing services for persons with mental health problems for more than 20 years, participants discovered the development of these programmes, ways of financing their activities as well as challenges ahead. Representative from the Association YHD, the biggest coordinator of personal assistance for persons with disabilities, presented ways of combining service provision and advocacy in this area.
Experiences exchanged during the visit came as valuable and constructive to both representatives coming from civil society and government, since the legal and regulatory environment for service provision is underdeveloped in the Western Balkan region.