Ten theses for the future of social services

Social services 3

1. The political commitment with social services (as a universal branch of social policy, different from health, education, employment, housing or income guarantee) can be a winning bet in the context of the currents crisis of care, crisis of subjects and crisis of social contract.

2. The political commitment with social services only can be successful if it is truly strategic, i.e, if it is understood that it cannot be seen as a tactic movement connected with mature social demands of organized agents or structured subjects, because these mature demands and subjects don’t exist at the moment. It will take some time to build the frame in which those great groups of people who can benefit from more extended, professional, universal and diverse social services would understand and support the new narrative.

3. Social services need to overcome, as soon as possible, their condition of residual and non specific services for vulnerable minority groups and must concentrate on its own object (interaction, understood as functional autonomy and relational integration of all people).

4. The technical activities, professional services and care model that can protect and promote human interaction exist in the social services sector but they need an investment commitment in order to accelerate their methodological and technological development and to improve their ability to personalize intervention and to manage diversity.

5. Social services policy should build both public system and economic sector. Only one sector of economic activity –qualified, professionalized, recognizable and attractive for the whole population- can contain a public system that guarantees individual rights.

6. We must build a highly decisive social services primary care level that becomes the key to the quality of life of people in their desired environments, strengthening their autonomy and meaningful relationships.

7. Building a knowledge ecosystem for social services goes through proactive strategies of hybridization between disciplines, between professions, between agents and between types of knowledge.

8. Building social services economic sector and public system is also a process of rearranging the designs, arrangements, coordination and integration between different sectors and welfare systems (with, at least, health, education, employment, housing and income security).

9. Public social services system building process should open up opportunities for organizational, social and political innovation so that new forms of synergy between the strategic governance of public sector guaranteeing rights, on the one hand, and on the other, self-management and individual, family and community empowerment powered by social initiative and solidarity economy could emerge.

10. We are talking about a social services public policy that can bring them to the heart of what can be a credible offer of a renewed, fair and efficient social contract for the sustainability of life.

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