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Letter from the Chief Executive

Welcome to the ESN Annual Review 2017.

Last year was one of growth and transformation for ESN. Throughout the year, we delivered a series of well-researched publications and successful events which continue to be a focal point for social services policy and practice in Europe.

In early 2017 we brought our members together to raise issues and themes that their organisations face in order to inform ESN’s strategy for 2018-2021.

In June, we welcomed over 530 delegates from 32 countries in Malta for the 25th annual European Social Services Conference to explore how innovation and technology can help create better social services for the future. In terms of turnout it was our most successful conference to date.

The European Semester Reference Group of social services directors and professionals responded to a series of questionnaires and met with EU officials in September to develop recommendations for the European Semester. You can find out more here. In late October and in cooperation with ESN member, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, we organised our seminar on ‘migrant children and young people,’ where the discussion focused on the challenges social services face in supporting the inclusion of migrant children and their transition to adulthood. As a result, we have recently published a report outlining key trends along with examples of local practice from across Europe.

Our working groups on ageing and care and on disability came to an end in 2017. During recent years, ESN members have met to discuss key issues and trends in the fields of long-term care and how to promote autonomy for people with disabilities and older people. As a result, we recently launched two toolkits for social services professionals working in these services to support them in the process of service planning and delivery. You can find the toolkits here.

I would like to thank all staff, members, partners and friends who contributed to our activities throughout the year. I look forward to continuing to work with you. Together we will open a new and exciting chapter of learning and development, helping to achieve a vision of social justice and social inclusion as well as efficient, effective, and sustainable social services in Europe.