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Issues » 2016/2 - Social Work. A Participant in Social Policy »

Eva M. Hejzlarová, Miriam Kotrusová

“If There Had Not Been the Reform, We Would Not Have Established the Fund”: Direct Financial Aid on a Municipal Level as a Reaction to the Social Reform. Transformation of Municipalities as Local Welfare Systems


Social reform which took place in 2012 in the Czech Republic modified the system of social assistance and at the same time influenced the understanding of social work in the so called authorized municipalities (obce s rozšířenou působností). Empirically, the paper builds on data gained through two questionnaire surveys conducted in 2011 and 2015 in 227 Czech municipalities and further interviews with selected municipalities. The data show 14 % of these municipalities use an instrument where the municipality on its own provides citizens in need some financial aid (which we call direct financial aid to individuals). In the paper we focus on municipalities which introduced the instrument in reaction to the social reform and we aim to understand conditions and circumstances under which the aid was implemented. Theoretically, the paper is based on the koncept of “local social system” and the analytical findings are anchored also in historical development.


social assistance, social reform, local social system, municipality, Czech Republic

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