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Have you voted for the 2023 European Social Services Awards (ESSA)? Forty-four projects from 20 countries, showcasing innovation and best practice in person-centred care were selected by our Judging Panel to go forward to the public vote, which opened on 11 October. The results from the public vote will then be combined with the judges scores to decide the winner for each category.

Each of the award categories are designed to provide recognition for initiatives where the person is the main actor in their care journey, putting their needs, goals and preferences first. In this article, you can find a snapshot of the projects shortlisted in the different award categories. On the ESSA website you can read about each of the projects in greater detail, to make an informed decision before voting. You can also meet and learn about the shortlisted projects at the Awards Ceremony and Networking Day on 16-17 November in Zagreb. If you are interested in attending, register here!

Service Delivery

The shortlisted projects in this category are exemplary in their efforts to ensure services are delivered with a person-centred approach. Recognised are initiatives that bring services directly to people in need and projects that give tailored support to people integrating into society, whether they are young people leaving care, older people living alone or vulnerable groups in society. Improving the autonomy and well-being of beneficiaries is at the core of each of the projects.

Workforce Support

This award category seeks to recognise projects that train the workforce to understand and address the individual needs of the people they support, as well as initiatives that support vulnerablepeople to enter the workforce. In this category we see specialised trainings and courses for health and social care staff and supervisors to ensure the persons they support can actively participate in their own care journey, as well as projects that reduce the barriers to employment for people supported by social services.

Collaborative Practice

Recognised in this category are projects that promote coordination with other services to ensure all the needs of people are met. Shortlisted are projects that create spaces where people in need can access services, activities, resources and goods all in the same place. Other examples include collaborative care and service delivery efforts that ensure beneficiaries receive integrated support.

Research and Evaluation

The projects included in this category are recognised for their contribution to the development of evidence-based person-centred services. Included were assessment and evaluation tools and studies to ensure that the needs of citizens are met and that services are provided effectively with quality standards. Also included were pilot projects that introduced and tested new care models and programmes. The projects each had a person-centred focus and were often carried out in consultation with the end user.

Digital Transformation

This award honours technological and digital developments that promote coordinated, personalised care. Recognised in the shortlist are projects that use technology and digital tools to provide tailored support, care and outreach. Other projects included in this category centralise and integrate service provision or social protection processes to streamline support and increase transparency.

Excellence in Cities

This year’s excellence award seeks to recognise cities that are exemplary in their efforts to ensure their inhabitants’ rights, choice and autonomy are valued and respected. In the current context,  the pressures on the social welfare system are often exacerbated and the objective of this award is to honour those cities that have found innovative approaches to provide personalised care and support to people.  

Voting closes at 12 noon on 4 November. Cast your vote now here!

Registration to attend the ceremony closes on 8 November. Register here!