Social Support Services

What are social support services?

Welfare states provide social support services to marginalised groups. Marginalisation can take various forms and be based on e.g. disability, education, gender, migration, poverty, and ethnicity. Social support services include guidance and supervision services (e.g. of youth with challenging behaviour), care (e.g. personal assistance, day care, foster care, adoption), safety and protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation (e.g. shelters, protected homes), legal or psychological counselling, advice, and representation of interests, physical or psychological rehabilitation, social (re) integration, mediation services, social inclusion through education programmes, mentoring, among others. Social support services are offered by public, private, and non-governmental providers.

Why are social support services important?

Social support services promote social inclusion, help individuals meet their needs, support equality and life chances, and support communities. Social support services can contribute to improve wellbeing and quality of life, create better opportunities, and reduce 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 organizations of civil society, international organisations, and fellow researchers to improve various aspects of social support services delivery. The European Centre has trained and experienced researchers for designing and evaluating social support services. We specifically offer research and policy analysis for social support services by:

  • Applying theoretical frameworks to dialogues between social scientists and social support service providers;
  • Designing policies for social support services delivery;
  • Helping develop integrated approaches to services delivery;
  • Providing cost and financial analysis to social support services;
  • Performing impact and outcome ex-post and ex-ante evaluation of social support services;
  • Monitoring the provision of social support services in the context of decentralization;
  • Suggesting transfer of good practices and innovative approaches in the context of social support service delivery;
  • Carrying out case studies, comparative analysis and peer reviews;
  • Designing and delivery inter-disciplinary trainings for social support services.

Project examples

Contact persons

Magdi Birtha

Magdi Birtha

Rahel Kahlert

Rahel Kahlert