Reform of the foster care system and social partnership in the Nizhny Novgorod region

Nikula, J. and Ivashinenko, N. (2017) Reform of the foster care system and social partnership in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Journal of Social Policy Studies, 15(3), pp. 383-394. (doi: 10.17323/727-0634-2017-15-3-383-394)

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The article discusses the modern reform of the Russian foster care system and analyzes the possibilities of developing partnerships between various stakeholders. We are wondering what is the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in implementing programs related to the reform of the child welfare system. This question is comprehended from the perspective of social partnership. The main characteristics of social partnership are specialization, voluntariness and cooperation aimed at solving common problems. However, not all cooperation between government bodies and non-governmental organizations is a partnership. A successful partnership is characterized by the following features: mutual trust; additional benefits; mutual responsibility; joint decision making; clearly defined goals; fair distribution of costs and benefits; the use of performance measurement indicators and mechanisms for monitoring the results achieved; clear distribution of responsibilities of all parties. The role of non-state actors in the social protection system and the provision of other social services is increasing due to unfavorable demographic trends and the declining economic base at the state’s disposal and used to provide social services. The efforts of the state to dismantle the former centralized, state-oriented system of welfare of the population also led to the outsourcing of previously state obligations and services to non-governmental organizations in the system of social protection of children. Along with the growing role of NGOs in these processes, many new questions arose about the quality of their activities and the availability of the necessary skills for its implementation. Thus, the expansion of the social functions of NGOs in transforming the system of social protection of children potentially creates both opportunities and risks for its implementation. Despite the emergence of the first sprouts of partnership between government agencies and NGOs in this area, their relationship is not yet equal. Government bodies have the power and financial resources and, in many cases, public support; NGOs are enthusiastic, skilled and flexible in their approaches. Russian NGOs need to strengthen their social status and improve the quality of their work, which will allow them to obtain their own voice in determining their positions in partnership with various government entities.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ivashinenko, Dr Nina
Authors: Nikula, J., and Ivashinenko, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Social Policy Studies
Publisher:National Research University Higher School of Economics

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