We are delighted to launch the second edition of the European Social Services Awards. Would you like to win one of the six awards?

The European Social Services Awards (ESSA) recognise innovation and excellence in social services in Europe, shining a spotlight on successful new approaches and the extraordinary ongoing work done by public social services managers, funders, planners, providers, and deliverers of social services.

The 2020 edition is held under the theme 'Transforming community care' and the Awards Ceremony will take place in Brussels on 4 December 2020.


In 2020, the European Social Services Awards will focus on how social services have transformed the ways they provide care in the community to support the most vulnerable.

With a goal of improving people’s quality of life, community social services support people in need taking account of their individual wishes, needs and assets, giving them the chance of being fully included in society. ‘Transforming community care’ will also be the overarching theme of the 28th European Social Services Conference that will take place in Hamburg in June 2021.

Selection Panel

The Awards will be community-driven, with a panel of experts from across the social service community evaluating entries and selecting a shortlist, which will then be put to online voting. The selection and shortlisting of projects will take place in the second half of September, and panel members are invited to join the award ceremony in December. 


You can submit your proposals in any of the following five categories:

  • Social Service Innovation
  • Outstanding Team
  • Best Collaborative Practice
  • Best Technology Tool 
  • Best Research Project

In line with ESN’s ethos of promoting peer relationships and a social service community, the final decision on the headline award, the ESN Excellence in Social Services Award, is made by all those gathered at the annual awards ceremony from across the social service community, with live voting at the event.


All entries must fulfil the following general criteria: 

  • Projects may be submitted for more than one category
  • Entrants may self-nominate
  • Entries must fulfil the criteria for each relevant category as described above 
  • Entrants agree that their photographs and details of their project may be used by ESN for promotional purposes 

The ESSA 2019 showcased projects, teams and organisations that have put people using services, residents or clients at their heart.

With over 100 entrants, 26 shortlisted projects, your enthusiasm online (25K votes!), an audience of 80 guests and your great passion at the ceremony, we celebrated all together quality in care.

Submit your project by 31 July and celebrate with us innovation and excellence in social services in Europe with ESSA 2020!

For any information please contact alessandra.perna@esn-eu.org