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The seminar 

The European Social Network's (ESN) 2016 seminar, organised in cooperation with the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, combined European experts, policy-makers, local, national and regional practice presentations on planning and managing those working for social services in Europe.

After the inspiring welcome speeches by ESN Chair, Christian Fillet, the Slovakian State Secretary for Labour, Social Affairs and the Family, Ivan Švejna and Michael Farrugia, Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity from Malta, country that will be next in holding the Presidency of the Coucil of the EU, we focussed on social workers and social care professionals working in all areas of social services – from child protection to services for people with disabilities and older people.

In addition to mobility, recruitment and training, we also explored the role of new technology for planning and training, joint work between professionals, and the workforce’s role in quality.

Aim of the seminar

The purpose the seminar was to present preliminary findings of the research that ESN has been carrying out with Shereen Hussein, Chair at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. The seminar was an opportunity for 103 participants and speakers to influence ESN’s research and the analytical report that ESN will be publishing on this topic in early 2017.

ESN research

Helped by Shareen Hussein, ESN has put together a comprehensive questionnaire, which formed the basis of our research. It covered issues around the recruitment, retention and training of social workers and social care workers, as well as regulation and workforce planning. The questionnaire was sent to variety of different organisations inside and outside our network that have an expertise in the field.

The research includes a review of literature, practice and legislation across European countries and the results of the questionnaire to which more than 100 organisations replied.

The preliminary findings of the research were presented during the seminar. At the seminar, ESN and experts in the field addressed common challenges and presented potential solutions and opportunities regarding recruitment, retention, training, workforce mobility within the EU (and beyond

), regulation, and workforce planning. Considering EU initiatives and frameworks, national policies and local practices, we explored how activities at these different governance level can be aligned to form an effective workforce strategy for social services.


  1. Delegate pack in English
  2. Delegate pack in Slovak
  3. Podcasts from the the seminar
  4. Photo streaming of the seminar
  5. Web streaming of the seminar: all sessions and speakers available to watch
  6. Key messages from day 1  - infographic
  7. Twitter coverage: #ESN2016SK
  8. Articles:

For more information please contact ESN policy officer Dorothea Baltruks.