19th European Social Services Conference

Nordic Day

Every year, the European Social Services Conference hosts the Nordic Day, organised by the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues (NVC), a member of ESN. Nordic Day 2011 gave participants insights into early preventive efforts towards families at risk of social marginalization. Presentations on the contemporary policy landscape, risk and protective factors, child poverty and children’s participation stimulated a lively debate. See all presentations from the Nordic Day 2011.

In a moving closing presentation, Silje, who had been in and out of the care system in Norway remembered her experience as a child: “I felt like a case – I know I am so many files in an office – so much work. I didn’t care where I lived, I just wanted to know if my mother was OK.”

Exhibition and project forums

This year, exhibitors included European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Region of Mazovia in Poland, Tieto and Cúram Software. Delegates had the opportunity to learn more about exhibitors’ work and also about specific themes featured in the project forums below:

'Fair Fight Training': stopping the cycle of domestic violence
Social Welfare Office of the City of Stuttgart, Germany
NGO "Sozialberatung Stuttgart", Germany

Stuttgart’s ‘Fair fight’ training programme is a collaborative effort between the traditionally ‘’divorced’ services for offenders and victims in situations of domestic violence, which aims to equip couples with new tools for future conflict avoidance and resolution. It is aimed at couples affected by domestic violence who do not want to separate and those who have separated but must take common decisions regarding the upbringing of their children and questions of child custody.

Cultural diversity and shared social development in the community
Fundación “La Caixa”, Spain

The multi-agency project ‘Intercultural Community Intervention’, based on citizen participation aims to help communities respond positively to the opportunities, challenges and problems of ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity and to promote shared social development in the community. The project is being piloted in 17 very diverse neighbourhoods in Spain to allow for the creation of a model that will be transferable to different regions and multicultural contexts.

‘New Poverty’ and a fresh approach to social credit
Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, Italy

With an increased number of citizens facing unprecedented difficulties in the present economic climate, a programme of social credit initiatives spearheaded by Aosta’s regional government offers citizens an alternative to the recourse to traditional social welfare. Novel features that render these schemes as inclusive as possible include the use of ‘moral guarantors’ for borrowers and the possibility of repaying loans through community service.