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 created and run a number of co-funded programs to deal with social problems such as:
- Work and social incorporation and rehabilitation for individuals with physical handicaps (“Proteas)
- Development of a program for individuals with physical and/or mental handicaps (“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 (Disability / Functionality Card, Attica Regional Development Plan 2014–2020).
Provision of specialized services of the Day Center for people with cerebral palsy (ΕΣΠΑ 2014–2020).
The Social Work Foundation is supervised by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs as a certified organization offering social services. It is registered in the National register of Organization offering Social Care Services as a non-profit organization and is one of the few Greek organization to have received accreditation of the First, Second and Third Level.
Funds to run the various programs of the Foundation come mainly from donations of individuals and grants, funded programs mainly on a Greek and European level, health insurances (for rehabilitation therapies) and the regular and special funding from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, as well as the National Lottery.