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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

In Moscow, more than four million people receive social support, that is, every third resident.

Officially, the service of social workers appeared in Russia only 30 years ago: on April 23, 1991, the specialties “social worker”, “social teacher” and “specialist in social work” were added to the qualification reference book. Today it is difficult to imagine the life of a modern city without this profession.

“In Moscow, over 30 years, social protection has come a long way towards the sphere of sincere care for people, which is based on the main principles: a proactive and individual approach to providing assistance, targeted support and special attention to people in difficult life situations. More than 40 thousand people work in the capital’s social security system, who help Muscovites every day, “says the head

Department of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the City of Moscow Evgeniy Struzhak.

Today in Moscow more than four million people receive social support, that is, every third resident. And about 120 thousand citizens are on home service. Read more about how social workers help Muscovites and the origins of this service in this article.

How it all began

Although the profession of a social worker began 30 years ago, it has deeper roots. So, the first social institutions appeared in the 17th century. Almshouses, educational and work houses were gradually opened. At the beginning of the 19th century, the orders of public charity carried out independent commercial activities. After the revolution, a provision was issued on the social security of the working people. Gradually formed administrative social security system

In the 1990s, the creation of social structures similar to modern ones began: legislation appeared, specialized training, the structure of the social services themselves changed. The list of categories of citizens in need of social protection and assistance has also expanded.

“My first profession was a social worker, then there were no social service centers yet. We started in Lublin in a small room, ran all over the district, which took a lot of time. Then everything was just starting to get organized. Now we spend more time with our charges. Today it really is a system of helping people, ”says Olga Metleva, specialist in social work at the social diagnostics department of the Harmony family center in Kapotnya.

At about the same time, the first rehabilitation centers were opening in Moscow. True, the names of these institutions were also different then.

“When we opened a rehabilitation center in 1993, then the word“ rehabilitation ”was also new. It seemed that there were no people with disabilities in Moscow, because they were not seen – they were all sitting at home. Over the years, I believe, social protection has acquired a human face, ”says Bela Syrnikova, head of the board of directors of rehabilitation centers for the social protection system of the city of Moscow.

Since 2015, the social security system has been increasingly modernized. The Department of Labor and Employment of the Population was merged with the Department of Social Protection of the Population of the City of Moscow, assistance became more personal, person-oriented.

“In recent years, people have begun to receive targeted assistance. And not in large quantities, according to lists, but according to needs. This is the most significant promotion. The system is becoming more perfect. For the pupils of the rehabilitation centers, workshops are being opened, where they are trained, they are constantly in the social environment, ”adds Bela Syrnikova.

Who does social protection help?

Social protection services are available not only to older people or Muscovites with disabilities. In the field of view of workers – large families, orphans, children left without parental care, unemployed and homeless people.

Sometimes, just chatting is enough to find out who needs help. Residents of one district can themselves tell a social worker that someone from their acquaintances or neighbors has found themselves in a difficult life situation.

“You can meet a person who needs help right on the street. You go to your ward, you look – grandmother is sitting. You ask if you need any help. She replies that she lives alone, there are no relatives, there is no one to help. We also call at risk groups. We ask lonely people how they are, how they feel, and offer help. They may answer that now they do not need help, and next time that the moment has come when they are already needed. It happens that elderly people are afraid to burden themselves, they say: “Well, as I ask, I’m uncomfortable, you have your own business there”. In such cases, I always smile and say that this is my job, ”says Elena Vlasova, a social worker at the Tushino territorial center for social services.

Residents of Moscow can get free psychological, legal and other targeted assistance. For elderly and disabled people who are at home, social workers buy food, medicine, clean apartments, accompany them on walks and help to draw up documents. Orphans and children left without parental care are cared for in family education support centers. Their main goal is to find a new family for the children.

Rehabilitation centers help their clients develop not only physical but also social skills. People with disabilities receive cash payments and benefits, they are provided with individual technical means of rehabilitation, and help to find a job.

“We have many blue-collar occupations. For example, we train gardeners and ceramists. We provide housing for those who cannot come here – on average 90–100 people live in our hostel. They get a profession, learn to socialize. In addition, we have a large mobile service – eight teams, and we also carry out rehabilitation at home. When we accept for training, I set myself the goal that our wards not only go out to the city, not only get a job, but also start families, lead a full life. And they succeed! ” – says Bela Syrnikova.

Muscovites can also turn to specialists for free psychological help in person, by phone or online. Social workers undergo psychological training and professional development to help people more professionally.

“There are different cases, we as social workers pass a lot through ourselves. Someone complains about their problems, someone has something happened, a person shares with us. Of course, you worry with him. Therefore, the social worker needs some psychological skills. We are constantly undergoing training, advanced training. It is important to be able to calm a person and not to panic, because situations are different. This is an important part of the job – communication, empathy. You need to be a responsive person to help everyone effectively. Because it’s easy to bring food and leave, but older people need more, ”adds Elena Vlasova.

Therefore, in Moscow for the elderly, such projects have been created as “Moscow longevity” and “My social center”… They help the residents of the older generation not only gain knowledge, engage in creativity and sports, but also find new friends.

“Working in the social sphere is a vocation, a conscious choice of people who, having a high level of professionalism and responsibility, have a kind heart, show compassion and respect for people,” says Evgeniy Struzhak.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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