The new project is funded by the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (EU-IPA) and it aims at contributing to a greater social inclusion by supporting the development and mainstreaming of community-based social services to respond to the needs of vulnerable groups in Serbia.

VG PhotoThe transformation of social services into community-based service refers to the process by which care models for vulnerable groups are transformed from residential out-of-home care to family-based care. This approach aims at integrating models of service delivery with a view to address social exclusion in a holistic manner, pursuing a cross-sectorial approach encompassing education, health care and housing, particularly for those facing a multiplicity of socio-economic problems, such as the Roma. The most imperative services concern foster care and family reunification for children and youth, inclusive education and deinstitutionalisation for disabled children, inclusive education and housing for Roma and pensioners, and home-based models of social care for elderly.

The project “Support to the Social Inclusion of the Most Vulnerable Groups, Including Roma, through More Diversified Community-Based Social Services”, with an allocated budget of 1,160,000 Euro and recently awarded to a consortium led by EPTISA, will promote a greater social inclusion of vulnerable groups, including Roma, by broadening and strengthening community-based responses tailored to their specific needs. It will also enhance and strengthen the capacities of the national and local authorities to complement national budget allocations with EU-originated provisions for the purpose of implementing ad-hoc sectorial policies.

The overall objective of the assignment is to provide assistance to the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia and to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Protection in the implementation of social inclusion policies and in the development of a wide range of community-based social services for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including Roma.

In the next 24 months, a team of experts from the consortium will be responsible for these specific areas of intervention: (1) Strengthening institutional capacity of the IPA Implementation Unit within the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy to manage grant schemes; (2) Supporting the grant recipients to implement EU-funded projects maximising efficiency and effectiveness; (3) Supporting national and local authorities in drafting and implementing strategies, as well as in formulating and implementing specific actions aimed at establishing and providing services to vulnerable groups in a community-based setting and (4) Improving the livelihood of Roma population through the implementation of active inclusion initiatives, implemented at the local and regional levels across Serbia.

This assignment represents an important step forward in strengthening EPTISA’s position as one of the leading service providers of technical assistance in the field of social inclusion of vulnerable groups and in the management of EU-funded grant schemes.

For more information about this project, please contact EPTISA Regional Office for Southeast Europe at