Finalists 2020

Winners were awarded based on the judges’ vote and the online vote. The judges’ vote counted for 65% and the public vote for 35% of the final vote.

Innovation Award Nominees:

1. OKencasa, Spain

OKencasa, which means OK at home in Spanish, is a programme that supports family caregivers of older relatives. The programme’s aim is to prevent the early use of residential long-term care by supporting family carers with their care responsibilities in their own homes. They use ‘Zaindoo’, a mobile app where family carers log their daily care activities. The app analyses the data and proposes customised psycho-educational support for each caregiver, including recommendations, organisational tools, training and psychosocial help to improve the quality of carers’ self-care and the care they provide. Public authorities also have access to the app data and can decide to provide additional support.

2. Fostering First, Ireland

The project is a forum for young people in foster care with Fostering First, an independent fostering Agency. The forum, called Chatter Matters, consists of a group of 8 young people who either are currently in foster care with Fostering First or have previous care experience to promote young people’s participation and involvement in decision making within the organisation. Fostering First promotes a child’s right to be heard though the establishment of regular meetings between young people and management to discuss and share views on the service provided. Through these meetings, young people acquire soft skills and a sense of empowerment though participation.

3. Szeretet Szocialis Otthon of Somogy County, Berzence, Hungary

Szeretet Szocialis Otthon is a community-based social services programme for adults with mental health issues implemented in Berzence. The patients with psychiatric conditions were moved out of a closed institution to single-family homes designed for 12 and 6 people, where they are not living any longer as patients, but as residents of the village, and take part in the life of the local community. Besides the family homes, a service centre provides daily workshops, therapy, and development programmes. With the help of this programme, people with mental health conditions have become independent citizens, part of the society they live in, and able to work and develop themselves with the support of the professionals.

4. General Directorate of Families, Children, Education and Youth, Madrid City Council, Spain

The project “La quinta cocina” is a cooking school for children and young people managed by Madrid City Council. The aim of the programme is the social integration of young people aged 16 to 23 at risk of social exclusion by providing them with a traineeship in the catering sector. Every year, 120 young people receive traineeships of up to four months. During this period, young people learn social skills, English, Spanish, and job guidance with orientation in the search of employment through digital means.

5. Forget-me-not House, Slovakia

The Forget-me-not House provides complex day-care for children and young people with mental and physical disabilities. It is the first in the country, and still the one and only day-care centre in the Bratislava and Trnava region for children with severe disabilities from age 3 to adulthood. The centre provides families who have children with disabilities with a safe place, and educational and professional environment, where their children can receive adequate day-care and therapy. Families and children are given advice and support through consultation services regarding their condition and how to manage it, where they can find support, and what type of support they can request, as well as the  help from the government they may be entitled to.

6. Cultural Association la Kalle, Spain

The project ‘Fablabteka’, implemented by cultural organisation La Kalle, involves an experimental social laboratory that uses digital tools such as 3D printing or laser cutting to provide workshops for young people with high rates of school drop-out and unemployment, promoting their social and labour market integration. The project aims at fostering technological innovation, modernising traditional forms of training and providing cross-sectoral competences to improve the employability of young people at risk of exclusion.

Outstanding Team Award Nominees:

1. Youth Advocate programmes Ireland (YAP Ireland), Ireland

YAP Ireland aims to change the lives of children, young people and families in need of support by providing community-based, strengths-focused, inclusive, flexible services empowering them to achieve their own goals. Funded through TUSLA -the Child and Family agency, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), the project reaches approximately 500 young people across 22 counties. Through the single-minded determination of the YAP Ireland team, during Covid-19 contact was maintained with young people through a range of different approaches all of which required the expressed commitment and dedication of the team in order to work. So much so that 95% of normal services where provided by the end of June.

2. Vilnius municipality, Lithuania

Valakampiai Social Support Facility provides long- and short-term social care and accommodation in independent living homes as well as social skills development, support and (or) rehabilitation services for people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities. They work with 63 partners and a team of 101 employees to further expand the development of community services in Vilnius. Each resident has a chosen social worker and an individual care plans jointly set up between the professionals and the residents including the services they need but most importantly the wishes they wish to fulfil.

3. URIHO Institution for vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities, Croatia

URIHO developed a training project for trainers of persons with disabilities (PWD) employed in sheltered and integration workshops. The programme is focused on strengthening their skills to ensure adequate participation of persons with disabilities in the work process. The programme, developed by psychologists and educational rehabilitators, some of them PWDs themselves, consists of three modules and provides theoretical knowledge and practical skills for ensuring that PWDs live up to their full professional potential. Since 2017, 299 persons with disabilities received this support per year, enabling URIHO to continue increasing the number of employed persons with disabilities.

4. Northern Ireland Social Care Council, UK

The Workforce Development Team within the Social Care Council developed digital learning resources to support the social care workforce during Covid-19 lockdown and to enable them to respond safely, quickly, effectively by providing practical accessible information. The Social Care Council actively sought out experts to identify priorities for learning within the first week of the pandemic in Northern Ireland, bringing together practitioner experience and expert knowledge from a wide range of contributors to develop bespoke Covid-19 specific digital resources, accessible through the Social Care Council Learning Zone website. The project is about the power of partnerships and co-production and how the concept of ‘a team’ should not be limited to agency, location or sector.

5. Simon Community Scotland, UK

The teams of the project ‘Ending rough sleeping during lockdown’ delivered first rapid responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and almost eliminated rough sleeping in Scotland’s two major cities. Recognising the heightened public health risk for homeless people, the street outreach teams secured more than 600 homeless people a safe and professionally supported place to stay (three hotel sites with a total of up to 130 rooms) before the national lockdown was announced, facing multiple challenges. The project was implemented within 72 hours with street outreach teams and volunteers from Simon Community Scotland.

6. Foundation for Social Welfare Services, Malta

Teen Outside the Box implements life-skills based sessions for all students aged between 12 and 13 to help them go through life situations by adopting positive coping strategies. The project in this format also aims to decrease the occurrence of early experimentation with alcohol and drug abuse amongst other addictive patterns, since the early exposure to addictive substances increases the risk of students developing addictions later on. Professionals from the prevention team of Sedqa Agency, the national agency against drug and alcohol abuse and gambling , advisers from the anti-substance abuse team and schools come together and provide workshops, which help reflect better the realities of today, such as making healthy choices, the dangers of addictions, and a wise use of technology.

Collaborative Practice Award Nominees:

1. Municipality of Esbjerg, Denmark

United in Psychiatry aims at improving the efforts to support vulnerable people and people with mental health problems from the age of 20 by bridging the gap between psychiatric hospitals and municipalities. The project is led by the directors of social services in 22 municipalities and the Regional Psychiatric Hospital of the South Denmark region. The programme addressees specifically some of the most complex cases in the 22 municipalities involved. Professionals from different sectors together with a key manager develop action plans, map challenges and opportunities, agree efforts and actions as well as follow-up arrangements to support people’s progress. This coordination has resulted in more stable collaboration between people and professionals and fewer hospitalisations.

2. Counselling Centre for Migrants in Vienna, Austria

The Counselling Centre for Migrants in Vienna offers advice to migrants on different topics, such as migration law, recognition of foreign qualifications, training and employment. The centre is part of an Austrian-wide network of contact points for people with a migrant background. It consists of six departments specialised in different issues and collaborates with different local and regional authorities and NGOs to provide migrants with the multi-lingual information and support they need. The multiple collaborations allow the centre to find individual solutions for most issues.

3. CRESCER, Portugal

The project É um restaurante aims to improve the living conditions of people who have experienced homelessness by providing training and employment as a cook in Lisbon. The project is carried out through a collaboration of a network of 29 public and private partners. The traineeship has a duration of 6 to 9 months. Each project beneficiary goes through four phases: 25h training in personal, social and relational skills; 75h professional training aimed at technical and professional skills; 3 months training in a real work context as part of a restaurant team; trainees who complete the traineeship are then referred to partner restaurants for employment.

4. Foundation Cepaim, Spain

The project Housing Solidarity Network is a social housing rental project led by Spanish Foundation Cepaim in collaboration with the bank Foundation Cajamurcia, community social services and several third-sector organisations. The project is implemented in 21 municipalities across the two Spanish regions of Murcia and Valencia. The project aims to support families in need of housing with accommodation and additional support, according to the needs of the family and in collaboration with community social services.

5. Third Sector Platform of Catalonia, Spain

Collaboration between the Third Sector Platform of Catalonia and Enginyers Voluntaris (a network of volunteer engineers) promotes innovation and digital transformation of third sector organisations. Skilled volunteers co-create a digital transformation strategy to improve the social impact of non-profit organisations. The first step is for the non-profit organisations to assess needs, create a roadmap and a technological infrastructure list. Then, volunteers co-create in collaboration with teams from non-profit organisations their digital transformation strategy.

6. Regional Health & Social Care Board, Northern Ireland

The Department of Health for Northern Ireland produced a report in 2018 which made 11 recommendations aimed at transforming the way the health and juvenile justice systems respond to children whose needs are of such complexity that their liberty may require them to be restricted in secure care. The overall objective was to combine the accommodation resources already available in both children’s healthcare services and children’s juvenile justice services. As a result, the Regional Children’s Multi-Agency Secure Care Panel was set up with the inclusion of senior representatives from all the key statutory agencies. Since September 2019 the Secure Panel has met on 36 occasions along with Emergency Panels and 63 children have been presented to date.

Research Project Award Nominees:

1. Welfare Department, Riga City Council, Latvia

The Welfare department of Riga City Council carried out a research that evaluates the effectiveness of their social rehabilitation programme for young people with behavioural problems implemented in Riga since 2016. The programme is based on resilience’s psychological intervention, which promotes the social integration of adolescents at risk. The main objective of the research was to determine through different methodologies if the implementation of the programme improves the social functioning of young people with behavioural problems. The evaluation research helped to understand what components of the social programme work better and which have to be improved or changed.

2. National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) Cymru, UK

A 5-year Cardiff University project has informed the development of NYAS’s Unity Project which provides the practice of holistic support, advice and information to care experienced young mothers and care experienced expectant mothers. With the ultimate aim of reducing the risk of their own children going into care, tailored one-to-one support allows care experienced young women to access support with budgeting, housing, independent living skills and parenting, allowing mothers to overcome barriers, to eradicate risks/concerns identified by Children’s Services and to become active citizens within their community. The Unity Project has also facilitated the creation of peer support networks to enhance social support for care experienced parents, reduce isolation and build resilience.

3. Boeblingen County Youth Welfare Service, Germany

The project ‘The voice of care leavers – Improvement strategy for community services’ aims to enhance youth welfare services through continuous feedback from former service users. The aim is to find out the potential that the view of a former service user can have in the quality development of youth welfare services and in the development of each professional (frontline workers and management). The feedback data consists of qualitative interviews for both care leavers and their parents run six months after leaving care.

4. Vice-presidency and Department of Inclusive Policies and Equality, Valencian Institute of Social Services IVAFIQ, University of València, Spain

This project ‘Rethinking social rights’ focuses on the development of public social care policies through a participatory bottom-up approach to build subjective social rights with a community and an area-based perspective. It includes public and private entities and institutions, professionals and users of social services. In parallel, social services labs were developed to improve the collaboration between regional and local authorities public Administration with the three universities in the region, and to improve the quality of public social services in Valencia based on the view of the professionals.

5. Network of European Foundations, Belgium

The Transnational Forum on Integrated Community Care (TransForm) is a coalition of Foundations in Europe and Canada. The overarching aim of the Forum is to foster integrated community care. It seeks to achieve this through finding and analysing promising practices in integrated community care and learning from their experiences and impact. In 2020, TransForm published the paper ‘ICC 4 all. New Principles for Care. A strategy Paper to move ICC forward’. The strategy paper wants to illuminate both the distinctiveness and diversity of Integrated Community Care (ICC). The narrative and effectiveness principles presented in the paper are the result of two-days expert workshops to consolidate the learnings from the three TransForm conferences held in Hamburg (2018), Turin (2019) and Vancouver (2019).

6. School of social workers of Peru region – Lima, Peru

The social educational project proposed by the Indigenous Committee of the Team of Social Workers of FITS – ALC, is directed to the indigenous population and native people in 18 countries: Panama, Mexico Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador Uruguay, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, and Netherlands Antilles. This project develops an experiential research, in the indigenous communities of Latin America and the Caribbean, and to implement a social educational project, as a model, applied to work with the indigenous populations, gathering the experience of the inhabitants and testimonies of  stakeholders in these communities.

Technology Tools Award Nominees:

1. Department of Social Services, Faroe Islands

The project ‘The complete interface’ involves the inclusion of all financial social benefits in one system. `Almannaverkið´, The Department of Social Services, has developed an IT-system that integrates social welfare administration, record keeping and payments. The same IT-system automatically validates information towards the tax authorities and national registers. For social services, this means that the welfare advisor and other relevant staff are able to visualise all the relevant information that is needed for a general assessment of any citizen. This digitalisation process will provide citizens with the opportunity to carry out all their social welfare applications in one place, track their progress and gain insight into their own data records.

2. Hoplr, Belgium

Hoplr is both an app and digital neighbourhood network and knowledge centre for inclusion and citizen participation, based in Belgium and the Netherlands. It boosts citizen engagement and participation by combining the power of a social network with tools for local authorities. It encourages involvement through a social network for neighbourhoods, hence connecting them. The project aims at anticipating social challenges of the community, such as social cohesion, inclusion, aging, care and citizen participation to promote community building. It was used during the Covid-19 lockdown to connect local neighbourhoods and steer community care.

3. Regional Ministry of Social Rights and Welfare, Asturias, Spain

The SisVAT- Covid-19 (Surveillance and Early Detection System for Asturias’ care homes) is an information system to obtain real-time data on the impact of the crisis in each of the care homes located in the region to control the spread and the impact of Covid-19. SisVAT-Asturias has contributed to Asturias being recognised as one of the Spanish regions with the highest level of transparency during the crisis. The tool has resulted in controlling the pandemic and low rates in Asturias care homes. Knowing the updated situation of every care home allows for isolation of centres and set up of bubbles in emergency contexts.

4. mPower NHS NSS, UK

mPower NHS NSS is creating a cross-border service for older people living with long-term conditions in rural border areas across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Its beneficiaries receive personalised wellbeing plans, including social prescriptions, connecting people to local activities and services, and digital health interventions including integrated home and mobile monitoring solutions, apps and video enabled care solutions. For instance, NHS Near Me is a secure video calling platform for digital doctor consultations and meetings with families. During April and May 2020 NHS Near Me rolled out into all care homes in the Western Isles as a response to Covid-19 restrictions for residents of care homes to retain vital human contact with friends and family.

5. Research & Development Centre in Care and Social Work, Linköping, Sweden

Evikomp is a project funded by the European Social Fund in the Region of Ostergotland in Sweden with the aim of improving dementia care by training staff in the social care sector. Though the project only started 2 years ago, it has already trained 2,200 professionals in 13 municipalities in Sweden, through their IT-platform that contains 60 lessons. Recognition of the effectiveness of the project and its results is best captured in its transferability to other countries. Spain, Scotland, Romania, and Latvia are already in the process of applying the learning methodology through their Erasmus+ funded projects.

6. Agency for Sustainable and Operative Social Provision (DOST Agency), Azerbaijan

The aim of the project is to ensure universal access to labour and social protection services. The management of DOST centres and the organisation of services are carried out online, based on the principles of ‘social justice’, ‘one-stop-shop’ and ‘people’s satisfaction’. The project is currently developed in 8 administrative districts of Baku, but by the end of 2023 it will cover the whole country and services provided in 31 centres; 132 employment, disability and children’s accredited services; social services; call centres; mobile services  and on-line activities.