The homeless, drug and alcohol misusers, the mentally ill and prostitutes count among the people most in need of care. The Government’s objective is to start a process that can carry these groups from the fringe of society to the core of social policy.
The Government’s specific ideas for improving efforts include:
- Free choice - including for socially disadvantaged groups
- User involvement ensures quality of initiatives
- Room and place for disadvantaged people
- Meeting disadvantaged people on their own turf and conditions
- The competencies of social workers must be improved
- Volunteers have special skills
- Legal protection of disadvantaged groups requires more than statutory rules
- Stopping the revolving door
- Need for prevention and treatment
- The Council for Socially Marginalised People was established in April 2002. The council is the advocate of socially disadvantaged citizens and, following the social initiatives aimed at the weakest groups, makes proposals for improving efforts aimed at these groups.
- Treatment guarantee for alcohol and drug misusers to combat their misuse.
- Freak houses. Money has been earmarked for establishing “freak houses” and intensified housing assistance.
- From 1 January 2009, the freak-house arrangement will be made permanent by law.
- The support and contact person scheme for the mentally ill has been extended to comprise the homeless and misusers.
- New paths to employment from March 2006 includes a number of specific initiatives aimed at giving the mentally ill and other disadvantaged groups better employment opportunities.