Additional resources for care and welfare
People in the care and welfare sector have performed extraordinary work during the corona crisis. But the crisis has also exposed weaknesses in our care and welfare system.
The Government of Flanders wants to address these weaknesses and has made available an additional recurring annual budget of EUR 525 million for this purpose, on top of the expansion budget for welfare that had already been set aside.
Additional resources will be earmarked:
- to give care workers better wages
- make care professions more attractive
- expand the range of care in all kinds of sectors
- introduce quality improvements and reforms in the care sector.
Residential care (centres) and waiting lists
The Government of Flanders is speeding up the planned investments in Flanders’ residential care (centres) in order to provide a strong answer to the growing burden of care for residents. In doing so, it is helping to clear an historical backlog.
The Government of Flanders is also speeding up the increase in resources to tackle the waiting lists in the care for people with disabilities.
Strengthening mental well-being
The Government of Flanders is making investments to strengthen the mental well-being of the people of Flanders. The corona crisis has highlighted the importance of psychosocial well-being, especially in young people. The crisis has also undeniably shown the value of social contacts, the neighbourhood and society.
In April 2020, the Government of Flanders had already drawn up a mental well-being action plan to combat the mental consequences of COVID-19. With the Flemish Resilience recovery plan, it is continuing these efforts.
The Government of Flanders wants to invest to:
- strengthen the Houses of the Child (‘Huizen van het Kind’)
- develop one-off initiatives to support people who are mentally vulnerable
- expand preventive mental health care at the local level with:
- ‘OverKophuizen’ (houses for mental health): these are accessible meeting places where under-25s can take part in leisure activities, find a listening ear and call on professional therapeutic help. The operation of the ‘OverKophuizen’ is very much based on participation.
- ‘één gezin, één plan’ (One family, one plan): these are partnerships of partners from family and youth care that offer easily and directly accessible and quickly deployable support to children, young people and families with pedagogical support needs.
- better address domestic violence: awareness campaigns, crisis shelter and crisis counselling in residential youth care
- strengthen neighbourhood-oriented local initiatives.
Poverty reduction and neighbourhood improvement
The Government of Flanders is making investments to strengthen social cohesion in society.
- In cooperation with the local authorities, it focuses on additional extracurricular activities for children, on neighbourhood work and on initiatives to combat local poverty.
- For vulnerable neighbourhoods, it is concluding neighbourhood improvement contracts with cities and municipalities that contain a mixture of firm and soft measures in the areas of housing, education and employment. In this way, the local authorities and the Government of Flanders jointly commit to breaking the vicious cycle of social vulnerability in these neighbourhoods.