Capacity Strengthening Program of Social Service Centres (SSC)

GCR Objective 2: Refugee Self-reliance

Capacity Strengthening Program of Social Service Centres (SSC)

The project in brief

Implemented by

Ministry of Family and Social Services (MoFSS) - Turkiye




12.01. 2018 - 31.12. 2022

This program, carried out in cooperation with MoFSS and UNHCR, is planned to be completed in 2022. Depending on the agreement between the parties, it is possible to continue the program.


Social services provided to families, children, people with disabilities, elderly and other persons in need of protection, care or assistance in Turkey are carried out by MoFSS. Social Service Centres (SSCs) have been established in this context, and the identification of those in need and the provision of social services are carried out through these centres.

SSCs have a key role in accessing social services for asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants in Turkey who are in need of social protection. In this context, SSCs operating in regions with special needs groups under temporary protection and international protection in Turkey are supported in terms of technical and human capacity with the "Capacity Strengthening Program of Social Service Centres".

Project aims 

With the temporary protection status, it is aimed to increase the access to social services and to strengthen the vulnerable groups by supporting the capacity of the Social Service Centers in the provinces where the people with special needs who apply for international protection and status are densely populated.

Resources used

The legal basis of the programme is Foreigners and International Protection Law, Social Services Law, Temporary Protection Regulation, and Social Service Centres Regulation. In addition, the Cooperation Protocol signed to determine the framework of cooperation between MoFSS and UNHCR forms the basis of the Program.

The budget of the program is provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Main activities of the Good Practice 

Capacity Building

  1. Within the scope of the Program, Social Workers/Psychologists are employed in HLCs included in the scope of the Program in order to support the service delivery capacity of SSCs.
  2. In order to overcome the language barrier faced by asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants, interpreters are employed in SSCs.
  3. Furnishing support is provided to SSCs that provide services in regions with a high population of asylum seekers/refugees/migrants. In addition, rental car support was provided in order to carry out activities in the field and to facilitate the identification of vulnerable groups.
  4. Orientation trainings are organized for the personnel employed within the scope of the program, mainly on the functioning of Social Service Centres, social service models and their implementation, legislation on asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants, and working with those with special needs.
  5. Separate trainings are organized for translators and social workers/psychologists, especially on issues such as working with people with special needs (women, children, disabled, elderly, etc.), case management, psychosocial support, and raising awareness about asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants to support professional work with asylum seekers/refugees/migrants with special needs.
  6. Trainings are provided in order to improve the capacity of the personnel working in SSCs regarding service delivery.
  7. Technical support is provided to Ministry personnel on case management processes, including supervision programs.

Access to Social Services

  1. Necessary studies are carried out by determining the needs of those win special needs identified during field surveys, applying individually and directed by other institutions and organizations.
  2. Psychosocial support activities are carried out for people in special needs.
  3. Information and guidance are provided about the services of other public institutions and organizations. In addition, coordination is ensured with other relevant actors regarding access to services.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Challenges and how they were overcome


The program aims to increase the access of those in need under temporary protection and international protection to the existing Social Service Centres that carry out activities related to social services.  However, due to the pandemic in 2020 and the measures taken in this context, there were disruptions in face-to-face counselling, household visits and face-to-face training.

How they were overcome

In order to overcome the aforementioned disruptions, applications continued to be received through the e-government platform where online applications can be made for services provided by the state during the pandemic period, and the ALO 183 Social Support Line operated by MoFSS. In addition, the Ministry continued to provide psychosocial support by telephone. In emergencies, home visits were carried out in accordance with social distance rules, without entering the household, in order to protect both the applicants and the employees. In addition, trainings and meetings held within the scope of the program continued over online platforms.

Results of the Good Practice

  • Within the scope of the program, personnel support is provided to 83 SSCs in 28 provinces where individuals under temporary protection and international protection are predominated. In this context, 79 translators are employed in 58 SSCs; 109 social workers/psychologists are employed in 63 SSCs. In addition, furnishing support was provided to 73 SSCs.
  • In order to respond to the needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, 56,000 hygiene materials were sent to SSCs in 81 provinces.
  • Within the scope of the program, the needs of the people who reached the Social Service Centres through field surveys and individual applications were determined more easily, case management was carried out and intervened in order to meet their needs.
  • With individual counselling, psychosocial empowerment of the target group was ensured.
  • The target group's access to services has been facilitated by informing, raising awareness and directing efforts on access to basic services such as rights and obligations, identity and registration problems, health services, education services, and social assistance.
  • Psychosocial support was provided through social and cultural activities for the target group, especially children and women, and the target group was strengthened psychologically and socially.
  • With the trainings for the personnel working in the field of social work, both the professional skill capacity of the personnel has been contributed and the awareness level of the personnel on migration/refugee/refugee has been increased.

How the project meets the GCR Objectives

Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries

In order to alleviate the pressure on the host countries, which is the first main objective of the Global Refugee Compact, and to support Turkey as the country with the highest number of immigrants in the world, in line with the principle of sharing responsibility; Within the scope of the Cooperation Protocol signed between MoFSS-UNHCR, the service delivery capacity of SSCs is strengthened and thus, the access to services of both Turkish citizens and asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants is supported.

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Case management for the inclusion of children out of school or unable to access education in the education system during field surveys; Organizing individual counseling (psychological, psychosocial support, family counseling, etc.), awareness training and social and cultural activities for women and children; It is ensured that refugees/asylum seekers/immigrants are empowered psychologically and socially and become self-sufficient by providing counseling and guidance on social assistance, employment and career acquisition for those living in economic poverty.

Next steps

The continuation of the program is determined at the end of each year according to the negotiations between the parties and the budget. Accordingly, it was decided to extend the program until 31.12.2022 as a result of the evaluations and negotiations between the parties.

Further support required for the project to continue or scale up

Social Service Centers are one of the main institutions where services related to social protection are carried out in Turkey. Considering the needs and demands of asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants regarding social protection and the number of asylum seekers/refugees/immigrants in Turkey, it is considered that capacity building support for Social Service Centers is important.


Submitted by: 

Latife Uslu, Expert on Family and Social Services, Ministry of Family and Social Services

[email protected]