A Guide for Urgent Foster Care of Elderly Persons was published as part of the project “Third Age in the Family”, implemented by the City of Kralјevo in cooperation with the “Polet” Citizen’s Associations and Social Work Centre Kralјevo, aiming to increase the social inclusion and quality of life of elderly citizens in rural areas.
The innovative dimension of the Guide for Urgent Foster Care is reflected in making the procedures for acting under the process of urgent care for elderly persons available and clear. The guide provides a multi-dimensional reflection on the needs of the elderly in urgent care situations, while one specific aspect is the particular focus of the authors on the psychological needs of elderly persons in situations of urgent separation from their primary, family environment.
The idea of drafting a publication with this topic was the product of learning from the experience and practice of professionals from the Social Work Centre, the non-government sector, i.e. citizens’ associations specialized for implementing social programmes in Kralјevo, and an analysis of the results of the survey on the needs of the elderly population from rural areas, implemented in the field during the first phase of the LIP 2 programme. Teamwork and networking of sectors, primarily the readiness and openness of the local self-government to support innovative solutions in the field of social welfare in the City of Kralјevo, were the basis for producing innovative solutions through the project “Third Age in the Family”, with the Guide for Urgent Foster Care representing one segment.
The contents of the Guide were designed to sensitize and inform all stakeholders in the process of urgent care for elderly persons in foster families. Urgent care for elderly persons is a highly stressful situation, primarily for the elderly persons, therefore it is very important to know well all important circumstances, conditions and procedures that contribute to the welfare of persons in a state of social need, and the successful implementation of this important work.
After the introductory section of the Guide, referencing current normative acts and emphasizing the need to develop those that are missing, the subsequent chapters present key specificities of the needs of elderly persons in situations of urgent care. The Guide provides information on criteria to be met by a family to be able to become a safe place for caring for an elderly person, i.e. an urgent foster family. It also defines procedures under the process of implementing the service of urgent foster care for the elderly, and approximates the model of recruiting new urgent foster families in local communities. The Guide pays particular attention to the rights of elderly persons in the third age of life, while the very end presents a good practice example from Kralјevo. In the proposed form, the Guide offers precious content on the circumstance of still lacking normative acts that regulate family accommodation for elderly persons.
The Guide for Urgent Foster Care for Elderly Persons is intended for professionals in the social welfare system, service providers – foster carers and urgent foster carers, family members of elderly persons, those engaged in the non-government sector implementing social programmes, the media and broader public.
The project “Third Age in the Family” is being implemented under the Local Initiatives Programme for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction – Support to the Development of Innovative Models for Social Inclusion LIP 2, coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) with support by the Government of Switzerland.