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Investing in the social services’ workforce: A study on how local public social services are planning, managing and training
the social services workforce of the future

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

D. Baltruks, Shereen Ahmed Hussein, A. Lara Montero

Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Social Network
Number of pages65
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

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Abstract

The objective of this report is to analyse key issues concerning the social services workforce in Europe, with a focus on social workers and social care workers. It is based on secondary literature and policy analysis, the results of a questionnaire, and discussion groups that took place during a seminar organised by ESN in Bratislava
in November 2016. The report rst sets the scene by describing key similarities and differences between the social services workforce and structures of welfare states in Europe. Second, the report covers key developments in policy and practice regarding quali cations and skills, recruitment and retention, workforce mobility across the European Union, and planning and management of the workforce. Finally, the report sets out key recommendations for policy-makers, practitioners and researchers.
The structure and legislative framework of the welfare states in European countries shape the size, composition and regulation of the social services workforce.
Whilst the Bologna process has harmonised social work academic quali cations
to an extent, social care professions are still very much country-speci c with regulation and required quali cations being formalised in some countries but
not in others. This has implications for the quality of the services provided as well as the attractiveness and conditions of the jobs available in this area.
Preparing professionals with the knowledge and practical skills required to do their job well is a complex endeavour that is organised very differently in European countries. This complexity is illustrated by an overview of quali cations and regulation of social work and social care professionals in selected European countries. The link between institutions responsible for education and training and organisations that deliver services is crucial, particularly regarding the need to align education and training with changes in practice, such as the increasing importance of technological innovation. An important way to bridge potential gaps between theory and practice is the effective involvement of service users in the planning, delivery and evaluation of education and training.

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