Moldovan Government Boosts Social Services Access with RESTART Reform

Social, personal, and community assistants will benefit from improved training in the RESTART learning laboratory, established through the Common Commitment signed by the Moldovan Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and various development partners.

During the event, a joint declaration was signed, confirming the parties' commitment to collaborate in strengthening the social assistance system, particularly through investments in the training of social, personal, and community assistants.

The Minister of Labor and Social Protection, Alexei Buzu, believes that a clear perspective is necessary for assistants to remain in the field and improve, for the benefit of the recipients.

"All these issues we have proposed to address within the RESTART reform, and today, we are essentially launching this RESTART Learning Laboratory. Since we do not yet have an institute, academy, or training centre, we thought we would all come together to fill this gap in capacity until we can establish one internally," declared Minister Alexei Buzu.

Development partners will continue to support training programs for social assistance employees, emphasised Karina Nersesyan, UNFPA representative in the Republic of Moldova.

"All of us here support the Ministry of Labor in advancing the reform. We must strive to ensure that services are fair and fully accessible to everyone," stated Karina Nersesyan, UNFPA representative in the Republic of Moldova.

The Director of the Center-West Territorial Agency for Social Assistance, Marina Croitor, welcomed the investments in training social assistants and the impact of the RESTART reform.

"For the first time in social assistance, such comprehensive training is being conducted across all fields. I come from child protection, where there has always been investment. This year, I have seen training for adults, people with disabilities, and human resources. I must say that this reform is indeed beneficial," affirmed Marina Croitoru, Director of ATAS Center-West.

So far, approximately 4,000 social, personal, and community assistants have been trained—a first for Moldova, where previously, investments in training and professional qualifications were minimal in social assistance.

Through the RESTART reform, launched in 2023, the Government aims to create nine territorial social assistance agencies and to increase access to services for vulnerable groups by up to 35 percent annually. Additionally, it aims to guarantee funding for a minimum extended package of social services with national coverage and to achieve minimum quality standards for at least 70% of these services.

Translation by Iurie Tataru

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