Our partner the European Social Network (ESN) has just released the report “Investing in the social services workforce”, which provides an overview of the main developments and challenges faced by the social services workforce in Europe. The ESN is the European network for public social services, bringing together representatives from social welfare departments in regional and local authorities, welfare agencies, and research organisations.

The document presents the findings of an extensive research focusing on qualifications and skills, recruitment and retention of staff, labour mobility across EU countries and workforce planning and management. The report also includes recommendations addressed to different stakeholders. These include:

  • Policy-makers: Establish the mutual recognition of social work qualifications across the EU to enable social workers to work in other member states.
  • Managers and practitioners: Acknowledge and communicate clearly how changes in an organisation’s way of working may affect professionals’ roles and what the potential benefits to the service users are expected to be.
  • Academics and researchers: Involve service users systematically in the educational structures and processes of social work degrees.

Eurodiaconia equally works  to ensure that not-for-profit providers of social services providers operate in a supportive environment where staff has access to relevant qualifications and skills. In 2016, Eurodiaconia released a study on the education and training qualifications of healthcare, nursing and care assistants in different European countries. Also, Eurodiaconia has been a partner of the ForQuality! Project, aimed at improving the quality of personal care and household services.

An overview of the main developments and challenges faced by the social services workforce in Europe can be found on the ESN website