Note: English translations of scholarly studies available since 2/2013.
Caritas as the Third Sector of Society in Poland
In contemporary Poland, there are a number of institutions focusing on social work, which can be classif ed in the so-called civic sector. Among the church-operated organisations using the services of volunteers, the Roman Catholic Caritas plays a key part. The paper discusses its legal and organisational situation. First it describes the oppressive period of the second half of the 20th century, when social work in Poland was directly controlled by the communist government. It then captures the legal foundation for the functioning of church-operated in- stitutions in the social security system in democratic Poland. The last topic is the codif cation of the status of volunteers and of publicly benef cial organisations. Volunteers cooperating with the Roman Catholic Caritas are one of the key factors of the systematic material, mental, social and spiritual support of the human being in need.
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