What are social support services?
Welfare states provide social support services to improve the well-being and social inclusion of individuals in a vulnerable situation. Such services may be provided by public, private, or non-governmental organisations to beneficiaries who experience marginalisation, or social exclusion. This can include persons with disabilities, children without adequate parental care, homeless people, asylum seekers, Roma people, or women experiencing domestic violence. Social support services include care services in the community (e.g. personal assistance, day care, foster care, adoption), housing support, safety and protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation (e.g. shelters, protected homes), legal or psychological counselling, advice (e.g. for young people ageing out of care), and representation of interests.
Why are social support services important?
It is important that social support services are planned and implemented in a way that respects the human rights of service users and ensures quality outcomes for them. Ideally, beneficiaries of social services should be actively involved in the development of services, through co-creation. At the same time, social support services should be managed in a sustainable way by offering decent working conditions and skills development opportunities for personnel and having adequate financial resources in place. Partnership among different actors from central to local level is key in the delivery of social support services. Social support services can contribute to improving well-being and quality of life, creating better opportunities, and reducing the individual risks of vulnerability as well as the dependency on the formal social protection systems. Social support services can therefore contribute to a fair and inclusive society.
What we offer:
The European Centre works with central and local level public authorities, service providers and organisations of civil society, international organisations, and researchers to improve various aspects of social support services delivery. The European Centre is offering research and policy analysis for the better design, implementation, and evaluation of social support services by: