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Building Resilience in Social Services by Managing Demand

The demand for social care, support, and protection is rapidly increasing across Europe, driven by a variety of factors, such as demographic changes and increasing inequalities. This surge in demand places significant pressure on public social services, which are already grappling with the financial implications of transitioning to person-centred care as well as recruitment and retention issues in their workforce. As a result, there is a growing risk that people will not receive essential care and support due to demand exceeding the capacity of social services to meet it. Failure to meet this demand also has the potential to widen inequality, dividing communities even further.

This briefing from the European Social Network (ESN) examines this critical issue and identifies solutions to manage demand for social services, to plan and allocate their resources, both human and financial, to deliver high-quality outcomes that are tailored to the actual needs of persons seeking support.

ESN proposes a framework to manage demand of social services around the following 5 pillars: 

1. Developing services that are person-centred in their design, implementation, and evaluation to ensure the system promotes desired outcomes, such as autonomy, for the people it supports.

2. Investing in prevention and early intervention to reduce the demand for resource-intensive reactive crisis interventions.

3. Forging formal partnerships that are essential to the provision integrated person-centred interventions.

4. Developing data-driven approaches enabled by technology to understand the root causes of demand within their communities.

5. Ensuring a well-conceived, skilled, and supported workforce which is indispensable for delivering person-centred and proactive care and support that effectively reduces demand.

An Executive Summary of the briefing can be downloaded in EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPolish and Spanish.

European Social Network
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Gray literature
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