The Centre for Training and Assessment in Social Work (CFCECAS) a member of the European Social Network based in Romania, is currently working on ways they can improve the responsiveness of social services.
The organisation is part of the RESPONSIVE project launched on 1 March 2023, bringing together social services in Austria, Denmark, Portugal, France, Poland as well as Romania. It is focused on researching how social services provided to children, young people at risk, persons with disabilities and mental health challenges can be improved.
COVID-19 placed additional pressures on social services across Europe, and overwhelmed professionals who often did not have enough resources to include service users in consultation processes or participatory decision making.
The RESPONSIVE project was launched not only to improve responsiveness of social services professionals to meet the needs of service users, but also change the way social services responded to people seeking support.
"Responsiveness is seen not only as 'participation in social services' but also as the capacity of social services to change according to our citizens’ voices." - Adela Setet, Manager at CFCECAS
Social services can be judged to be responsive if they react to and make changes based on the input of their users. Responsiveness requires not only formal processes for incorporating citizens’ ideas into decision-making but also an organisational culture that values their perspectives.
Based on the values of co-creation, self-determination, human dignity and democracy, the RESPONSIVE project aims at developing new and innovative social services which are more person-centred.
As social services involve more groups of service-users or former users into the decision-making process, this perspective aims to increase the quality of social services as they become more closely aligned to the specific needs of those who need them.
Find more information about the project here.