The neighbourhood social worker service will be expanded following last April’s successful pilot of the programme, it was announced on Thursday.

Each municipality or community that participates in the scheme will receive a relevant telephone number to seek help or information from their neighbourhood social worker.

To mark the programme’s expansion, President Nikos Christodoulides held a signing ceremony of cooperation agreements between the social welfare services and the local authorities.

Social welfare minister Marilena Evangelou called the service “extremely important” and assured listeners that any challenges arising in its rollout would be identified early to strengthen public access to the programme.

Social workers identify the socio-economic conditions of individuals, families or social groups, as well as those who may be facing psychological issues, and act as a first point of contact for providing assistance.

They also hold regular meetings with individuals or families in need of psychosocial support, preparing and implementing intervention plans and providing them with counselling guidance.

For those deemed to be in immediate danger, they directly inform both the YKE and police for further guidance.