The CCAS/CIAS, a community structureThe CCAS, Social Action Community Centres, and the CIAS, Social Action Intercommunity Centres, organise general preventive action and support social development within the community, working in partnership with both public and private institutions.
Their missions target specific social groups and include help and care for the elderly, for the handicapped, for children, for families in difficulty, as well as the fight against exclusion and so on.
Locally elected members, designated by the town council, and representatives of non-governmental organisations, appointed by the mayor, are given equal representation on the board of directors which manages the CCAS/CIAS. This parity ensures effective action as the CCAS/CIAS are thus representative of the community and the society in which they operate.
A global missionIn France, local level, in particular the boroughs and the CCAS and CIAS operational there, plays a major role in social work. The long French tradition of centralisation has been undergoing reform for more than 20 years. In France, the CCAS/CIAS have become the main “local help desks” for excluded people, the elderly and children.
National social aid structures being unable to cope with the increasing demand, the CCAS/CIAS have become a vital political structure in terms of social action. They are a precious means by which public, national and local solidarity can be expressed on a long-term basis.
CCAS, the French-style local social actionDocument issued by the National Union of the community centers for social action (UNCCAS)
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