The activities of the organization, which later would be founded with the name of Social Work Foundation, started in 1946 as the Greek branch of a foreign humanitarian organization called Global Ministries. Its aims were to help with the reconstruction of the country after the Second World War with a special emphasis on the area of social welfare. In 1967, the organization was founded in Athens, in its present, legal form as Social Work Foundation as a public welfare, non-profit organization.
Staffed by social workers and other professionals, the Foundation established itself in Greece and was recognized for its pioneering services which it created and applied in the area of social welfare. At the same time, the Foundation helped to develop the concept and application of social work as a discipline in Greece.
The Foundation applied a series of pioneering social programs for families in crisis, the aged, individuals with handicaps with a focus on the area of Urban Community Development and Rehabilitation for Individuals with Handicaps.
In 1973, the Social Work Foundation created the Rehabilitation Center for Spastic Children to offer rehabilitation and education for children with cerebral palsy and similar conditions.
In 1985, thanks to the donation of the I.K. Hadjipaterion Family, the Rehabilitation Center moved to its new, modern facilities in Metamorphosis Attica (a suburb of Athens). Since then the Center has been renamed Hadjipaterion Children’s Rehabilitation and Support Center, in honor of the Donor Family.
In the years between 1983 and 2005, the Social Work Foundation worked with the High Commission for Refugees of the United Nations and organized the first program for refuges and asylum seekers in Greece.
In the years between 1985 and 1997, the Foundation created and ran vocational training programs in computer sciences for young adults with physical handicaps, aged between 16 and 25. A substantial number of graduates were hired on the free labor market within the framework of the first service of vocational rehabilitation for individuals with physical handicaps.
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One of the promising graduates of the program was hired by the Rehabilitation Center from which he ultimately retired while other graduates worked in a number of responsible posts in private companies, and the public sector.
The Social Work Foundation has implemented numerous programs, funded by various sources, to tackle social problems such as:
- Work and social inclusion and rehabilitation for individuals with physical handicaps (“Proteas")
- Partership of individuals with physical with individuals with a learning disability (meantal retardation) to form a corporation aiming to distriubute crafts to the open market made by disabled people (“Market on Wheels”)
- Support for refugees and asylum seekers (“Equality and Social Acceptance”- “Anadrasi” PEP Attica 2014-2020)
Development of a model for evaluating the functionality of people with disabilities (ICF, Attica Regional Development Plan 2014–2020).
Day Center for people with cerebral palsy (National Framework 2014–2020).
The Social Work Foundation is supervised by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. It is registered at the National Registry of Social Care Service Providers as a non-profit organisation and is one of the few Greek to have received accreditation at all three levels of health related service provision.
The Foundation's funds derive mainly from donations of individuals and organisations, funded programs at national and European level, the National Health Organisation (where we receive funds for individual rehabilitation sessions) and lastly from state funding by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Additional funds may derive from sucessful applications to the National (State) Lottery's social responsibility funds or the Perfecture of Attica (Greece) to tackle urgent expenses. We also receive donations from abroad, namely the Demos Foundation (US), Mrs Dorothly Voglis (UK) and the SWF's originating organisation, namely Global Misistries (US).