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社会福祉法人 地域貢献で存在意義を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Social welfare service corporations must step up role as local entities
社会福祉法人 地域貢献で存在意義を示せ

Criticism has surged recently against social welfare service corporations for failing to sufficiently fulfill their roles, despite having an easier time engaging in almost the same services as ordinary private-sector companies as a result of such measures as preferential tax treatment.
 税制上の優遇措置などを受けながら、民間企業と同じ事業に安住している。社会福祉法人が、十分に役割を果たしていないとの批判が多い。

To reform social welfare service corporations that run such facilities as nursing homes for the elderly and child care centers, an expert panel of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has worked out a draft report containing a set of recommendations. The proposed report should be seen as a good opportunity to enhance the quality of their services.
 介護施設や保育所を運営する社会福祉法人の改革に向けて、厚生労働省の有識者検討会が報告書案をまとめた。事業を充実させる契機としたい。

Social welfare service corporations are nonprofit private-sector organizations based on the Social Welfare Law. They number about 20,000 nationwide. While being subject to strict regulations and supervision by administrative authorities, the corporations are entitled to receive preferential treatment in various areas, such as exemption from corporate tax and other public dues, and eligibility for subsidies to improve their facilities.
 社会福祉法人は、社会福祉法に基づく非営利の民間組織で、約2万の法人が存在する。行政による規制や指導監督が厳しい反面、法人税などの免除や施設整備の補助金を受けている。

Bodies authorized as social welfare service corporations have played pivotal roles in the nation’s social welfare programs since the 1950s, but recently an increasing number of businesses and nonprofit bodies from various fields have been entering the field of social welfare services. The environment surrounding social welfare service corporations has been changing drastically.
 1950年代から福祉サービスの中核となってきたが、近年は、同分野への企業やNPOなどの参入が進む。社会福祉法人を取り巻く環境は大きく変化している。

Because of such phenomena as the rapidly aging society and the instability of employment, tasks that cannot be fully handled through the existing government-run social welfare programs have been brought to the fore, such as the need to provide care for elderly citizens living alone and supporting hikikomori youths who have withdrawn from society.
 高齢化の進展や雇用の不安定化により、単身高齢者の見守りや引きこもりの若者の支援など、公的制度では対応しきれない課題も顕在化している。

As things stand, however, few social welfare service corporations have actually been meeting these new challenges in local communities.
 だが、こうした新たな地域ニーズに対応する社会福祉法人は、一部に限られているのが実情だ。

Reexamine mission

The draft report by the health ministry panel has rightly pointed out the need to make it obligatory for social welfare service corporations to engage in activities for the benefit of local communities. It is undoubtedly one of the principal duties of such corporations to address tasks in their fields that cannot be undertaken by profit-pursuing businesses.
 報告書案が、地域貢献活動の義務化を求めたのは、もっともである。利益を追求する企業にはできない分野に取り組むことが、社会福祉法人の本分だろう。

The draft has also deemed it problematic that tokuyo homes, which are operated by social welfare service corporations for elderly people who require around-the-clock nursing care, have amassed as much as ¥300 million on average in profits.
 社会福祉法人が運営する特別養護老人ホームで、平均3億円もの利益を蓄えていることも問題視されている。

It was quite reasonable for the draft report to stress as it did that the raison d’etre of the corporations would be called into question if they fail to make good use of such funds to provide their localities with better welfare services.
 こうした資金を活用して福祉サービスを地域に提供しなければ、存在意義が問われるという報告書案の指摘は、うなずける。

To make their activities more effective for the good of local communities, it is necessary to take such steps as expanding the scale of the corporations and facilitating joint operations by a larger number of corporations.
 地域貢献活動の効率的な実施には、法人の規模拡大や複数法人による共同事業の促進が必要だ。

Worthy of note in this respect are social welfare service corporations in Osaka Prefecture, which have been cooperating with each other by pooling funds to jointly offer counseling support services for people in need. They have also provided people in straitened circumstances with livelihood expenses and food. Their activities can serve as a positive model for other social welfare service corporations.
 大阪府では、複数の社会福祉法人が協力して資金を出し合い、生活困窮者に対する相談支援事業を展開している。生活資金や食料品などの援助も行う。他の地域の参考となろう。

Effective from fiscal 2015, the administration of some publicly run nursing care insurance services will be transferred to city, town and village entities. The law for helping disadvantaged people become self-reliant will also be put into force at the beginning of the next fiscal year, with city, town and village governments taking charge of providing the low-income residents with livelihood counseling and helping them find employment.
 2015年度から、介護保険サービスの一部が市町村の事業に移管される。生活困窮者自立支援法も施行され、市町村が相談や就労支援などを行う。

Social welfare service corporations are expected to be major bodies to be entrusted with such operations. This means that corporations must play even larger roles.
 社会福祉法人は、これらの事業の主要な委託先になると期待されている。果たすべき役割は、ますます大きくなる。

Some chief executives’ practice of treating social welfare service corporations like their exclusive property has become an issue. To ensure public trust, it is essential to enhance the transparency of their operations.
 一部の法人では、理事長による運営の「私物化」が問題となっている。信頼性の確保には、運営の透明性の向上が不可欠だ。

Only half of such corporations have disclosed their financial statements. As stated in the draft report, it is imperative to make it obligatory for the corporations to make them public.
財務諸表を公開している法人は半数にとどまる。報告書案が指摘したように、公開の義務化が急がれる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 30, 2014)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-07-02 07:01 | 英字新聞

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