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Under the theme ‘Innovation for Social Change’, the European Social Services Awards (ESSA) is 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. During the summer, hopeful applicants submitted their projects for the competition's fourth edition. 

A panel of expert judges are currently evaluating the applications received to form a shortlist of the most innovative projects in service delivery, workforce support, collaborative practice, research and technology.

It won’t be an easy task, with over eighty applicants from organisations involved in social services representing over twenty countries ranging from improvements in the service delivery process to creating new partnerships across sectors to tackle pressing social issues to training and development programmes for the social services and care workforce.

Meet the judges

The panel is selected based on their strong experience in social service management, planning, funding, provision and research. The composition of the judging panel aims to reflect the diversity of the ESN community by achieving a balance of gender, countries, areas of social services, sectors, levels of government, seniority, and expertise of the theme.

Meet our 2022 judges here.

Next steps

In order to reflect the nature of ESN as a platform for the wider social services community as well as a network of experts, an online public vote will be held for all shortlisted applications that will be combined with the judges scores to determine the winners. The online public vote is expected to open in early October.

In the coming weeks, watch out for the launch of the registration for the Awards Ceremony. Over two days (17-18 November) in Malaga, Spain the winners of the 2022 Awards will be announced, followed by a networking event with panel discussions on workforce, cross-sector collaboration and cities for social innovation.