The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world and the entire European continent, leaving no one untouched. It has laid bare the effects of years of under-investment in social services. The challenges that have plagued the sector have only been exacerbated while the number of people needing assistance has increased and is expected to continue its upward trend in the post-COVID years.
The new report looks into the impact of COVID-19 on social services in general, on attracting and retaining personnel in the sector, on the absence of unified quality standards across countries, and on the impact of digitalisation. Lastly, it also provides recommendations based on the experience of our members who are on the ground dealing with the impact the virus is having on people and the services they need.
It is still too early to say with certainty what the long-term effects will be but the EU must ensure that no one is left behind, especially in the social services sector. Our sector must not be an afterthought; recovery measures must go beyond just saving jobs and restarting the economy but also towards building resilience in the social sector. The EU and member states must look at what can be done to sectors and persons hit hardest; the long-term care sector, children, migrants, refugees, Roma, persons with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, persons at risk of poverty and exclusion and low-income earners.
For more information, please read the full report.
To learn more about our advocacy work in the area of social services, please visit our thematic page.