“Connecting social services with the education and health systems will increase continuity in care and ensure the interest of the child is foremost and at the centre of everyone’s attention. Every child will have a contact person in the local community for early support if it is needed.”

Meet Rannveig Einarsdóttir, one of ESN’s Board members and chair of the Icelandic Association of Social Service Directors. The Association is a forum for collaboration between relevant national actors to discuss new legislation and innovations in the field of social services, and to ensure public debate in Iceland pays attention to the voice of social services professionals.

Rannveig tells us about new a law that will enter into force in January 2022 concerning childcare and services for parents with a focus on early support and intervention.

The Association of Social Directors was an active participant in creating this new law, which focuses on early intervention and fostering a culture of collaboration between social services, and the health and education systems to improve the well-being and quality of life of their youngest citizens and their families.

“We are bringing together different professionals (for example, psychologists, speech therapists, social workers, special education teachers, school nurses and guidance counsellors) to ensure a more holistic approach” says Rannveig Einarsdóttir.  “Connecting social services with the education and health systems will increase continuity in care and ensure the interest of the child is foremost and at the centre of everyone’s attention. Every child will have a contact person in the local community for early support if it is needed.”

We asked Rannveig Einarsdóttir how ESN membership is supporting the Directors of Social Service in Iceland

“Being a member of ESN is important for the Directors of Social Service in Iceland. It helps us to be in contact with our colleagues in Europe to learn from others and get to know new and ambitious projects. ESN is important for us as a platform for sharing information, meeting experts, discussing social innovations to develop new tools and practices, and learning about how social services are organized in other national contexts.

 With the support from ESN, we have had valuable opportunities to exchange on ideas and thoughts with other countries.”