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The COVID-19 pandemic showed that further development of the professional use of new technologies in social work is essential.

ESN member, the Consortium of Municipalities of Area 5 Atripalda, is a public body based in the town of Atripalda (Italy) which manages social services in 28 associated municipalities. At the end of 2020, the Consortium launched an innovative project to bring social issues to the centre of public attention by creating an online platform: 'People and Social.'

Users can access real-time updates, articles, interviews with social services professionals, information on calls for project proposals, policy updates, and reports.

The platform also broadcasts radio and tv programmes dedicated to social news to encourage discussion between institutions and practitioners. People and Social is also a digital magazine, which can be downloaded directly from the website.

“The platform has facilitated a new approach to social issues even for citizens who are not potential users of the services,” says Carmine De Blasio, General Manager, Consortium of Area 5 Atripalda.

For a long time, the importance of accurate and quality information about the importance of, and the availability of social services for people has been underestimated. Digital tools are key in the process of creating a space for professionals to inform people about available social services in their communities, and to ensure those services are inclusive.

Carmine De Blasio adds that despite that the platform only existing for 2 years, it was enough time to convince his organisation to further invest in the digital tool and human resources to sustain the platform.

Find more information about the project here.