More responsive, modern and neighbourhood-oriented social services

‘Impulsem!’, the plan which re-thinks the city’s basic care model through to 2021 with strategic care projects, is based on the need to adapt the model to the new socio-economic context defined by the crisis. The plan started with a participatory process lasting a year and a half and involving professionals, service users and social entities.

According to the Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, the role of social services is not the same as it was in the past. “There’s a context of economic crisis and cuts in other services, new laws in the social sphere which mean more bureaucracy for workers, with numerous reports to be compiled and a body of professionals who are frustrated, leading to a loss of pro-active spirit which these services need. The model needs transforming because of all that”, concluded Ortiz.

The twenty measures in the new action plan put people at the centre, with three different strategies for action. The idea is to ensure citizen rights are guaranteed and reduce the number of visits and journeys by users, to facilitate daily tasks for professional personnel and cut out unnecessary bureaucracy. Eight of the twenty projects are already under way and most action should be effective by 2019, although the plan runs until 2021.

Main areas of action

The first area of action is based around empowering users, via more and better care. For instance, the ‘Vine’ project re-thinks the care model for first-time visitors to any of the 40 social services centres in the city. It also looks to cut bureaucracy, with a central office exclusively for economic support. The second area is based around the organisation of services, centres connecting directly with entities and individuals in each neighbourhood. This community-based work will help personnel to be pro-active.

Finally, the third area of action for the projects centres on improving the response capability of the team of professionals. This means personnel not ending up doing tasks which don’t correspond to them, and a new information system integrating support and services in their entirety.

Participatory process

‘Impulsem!’ started in January 2016. The participatory process to define the plan of action invokved over 800 people, who between them made 1,700 proposals and suggestions. “Not only is it the most ambitious ever plan to modernise the city’s social services, but the broad consultation process which preceded it was also very ambitious”, explained Ortiz.

The process also involved entities, professionals and the public. Social services users took part in an unprecedented survey which gauged the profile and opinions of 12,300 users. “Anyone can become user of social services: We’re all potential users”, noted Ortiz.