The modern society has recognized the principle that the state provides to its citizens social protection, which gives confidence for the future and the opportunity to live one's entire life in dignity. Social security measures are divided into social insurance and welfare.
- Government activities
The government's aim is to reduce child poverty, to ensure the welfare of families, to support the participation of people with reduced work ability on the labor market and to ensure high quality health care.
Social insurance is a guarantee given by the state that, in case of realisation of certain social risks (death, loss of breadwinner, old age, disability, birth of a child), it will ensure the additional income or continuation of the incomes, at least at a level that allows a decent living wage. Social insurance is financed by taxes or contributions, both mandatory and voluntary ones.
Welfare is a system of procedures aimed at securing various freedoms of the people and at creating better opportunities for economic development through human resource development. At the same time, it increases social inclusion, when preventing and reducing poverty and social exclusion more widely and more effectively. Welfare-related instruments (operations) can be both welfare allowances, and welfare services.
Principles of welfare aid presume the provision of assistance based on the person's needs and conditions; co-operation with the person, taking the person's wishes into account, and including the person into the decision-making process, when her or his life is concerned; service customization for specific needs of the person (individual service plans); preferring the aid measures that support the person's independent living, working and studying and that reduce the need for help in the long term; preferring the home residence option to the institutionalisation option; creating welfare institutions similar to home care, and offering assistance to the person as close to home as possible. When improving conditions of the person in distressful situation, it is important for all parties, including the person himself or herself, the family, the other society members, the state, and municipalities, as well as employers, to contribute. The cooperation between different parties, such as social workers, doctors, teachers, police, social experts etc., is important.
According to the historically established practice, when developing and implementing the social policy, the public sector is instrumental. The aid shall be based on the principle of subsidiarity, whereby public responsibilities shall generally be exercised preferably by the authorities, which are the closest to the citizen, and the resources of the closest level (primary resources) shall be first implemented to the people in need. Consequently, the main providers of welfare services and allowances are municipalities.