Scottish national program to help implement Self-Directed Support

Scottish national program to help implement Self-Directed Support

Social Work Scotland

National program to facilitate the implementation of the Self-Directed Support intervention model in local social services in Scotland’s municipalities. It aims to bridge the gap between the regulatory framework and the day-to-day practice of Social Services by providing guidance and support to overcome the challenges faced by social professionals in implementing the model..

Self-Directed Support is a model for accompanying people who are served by Social Services, with a focus on support in decision making. The aim is for people to have control and power of choice over the actions or support plans aimed at improving their living conditions, based on their demands and their rights. Within this approach, this Social Work Scotland program aims to ensure that social workers are able to implement the model based on the principles, perspective and values of human rights. The aim is to empower social workers to be autonomous in implementing the model with each person served.

The program has three main lines of action. First, to promote the autonomy of social professionals in the implementation of the model through the definition of standards and training and advisory activities aimed at improving social intervention. Secondly, to provide a community of practice where public professionals and community entities can learn together to find solutions to the challenges posed by the implementation of the Self-Directed Support model. And finally, to energize a collaborative Scottish network of all public and private stakeholders to contribute to the development of the Scottish national Self-Directed Support framework.

Within this national framework, a library of tools, resources and practical examples for practitioners is provided. In addition, the program is working to get personal assistants recognized as members of the social care workforce, and to bring about changes in the Scottish legal framework to facilitate effective implementation of the model.


The Access Hub, a multi-institutional support center for homeless people

The Access Hub, a multi-institutional support center for homeless people

Simon Community

An innovative multi-institutional counseling and support center for homeless people. It is a space designed to ensure that users feel that their well-being is a priority and to make it easier for them to obtain the accompaniment and support they need.

The key to the center is the participation of more than 20 organizations, all of which offer their services under one roof. This removes many bureaucratic barriers that often hinder access to critical services. In addition, the organizations’ partners are in contact and work more efficiently, offering solutions with multiple viewpoints, even in the most difficult circumstances. Users can access more than 40 supports provided by a wide range of experts, from financial and legal support, to digital, health or wellness advice.

Just walking into the building, the user meets a person instead of a reception desk. The goal is to offer a space of connection and tranquility, giving a welcoming and comfortable feeling to ensure a safe and comfortable place. To achieve this feeling, the space has high quality furniture and finishes. Colors are chosen in a way that is not over the top, but with originality and awareness.

The center hopes to break the mold of the usual service delivery by offering a space that is easily accessible, modern and adapted to the needs of the users.

Konekta2, intelligent sensorization of homes for the elderly

Konekta2, intelligent sensorization of homes for the elderly

Fuenlabrada City Council

A virtual assistant for the elderly that is able to detect changes in movements and routines at home to alert in the event of an incident.

The program is aimed at elderly people with cognitive impairment who live alone. It is a pilot project for which 30 people have been selected, with the intention of being extended to other users once the pilot phase is completed.

Through sensors placed on doors, household appliances or corridors, changes in these can be detected. First, an analysis of each person’s routines is carried out to detect anomalies and check the elderly person’s condition. By this way, if a door is opened at dawn, or the front door is not opened all day (indicating that the person has not left the house), it can be detected and the people nearby can be alerted (every time there is a change, a message is sent to the next contact person). The tool has a voice-controlled virtual assistant, a sensor for opening the front door and the refrigerator, and motion sensors that can be placed in different areas of the house.

The assistant also alerts the emergency services in the event of an accident, since it works as a complement to the help button or tele-alarm that users have at home. In addition, users can call for help using only their voice.

The pilot project makes it possible to anticipate cases of risk, avoiding emergency situations thanks to preventive work. It is a tool that helps the elderly to spend more of their lives at home safely.

Youth and Family Office, community-based model for raising vulnerable children.

Youth and Family Office, community-based model for raising vulnerable children.

Youth and Familiy Office

Community model of care for vulnerable children and teenagers in the Austrian municipality of Graz, which seeks to strengthen resources for families, and to identify and resolve their specific needs. It is designed so that the child or teenager and the family are at the center, with an approach that takes into account the domestic and social context in which they live.

The initiative has been developed in four districts of the city, and focuses mainly on avoiding the institutionalization of the most vulnerable children. The program’s approach is preventive, offering families who are expecting a child to receive information free of charge and to participate in a wide range of activities to prepare them for future parenting. Some of the activities offered are home visits by professionals, as well as free lectures and courses. Attendance at these courses provides a booklet with stamps that provide an economic incentive exchangeable for other services in the city, such as visits to parental counseling centers.

Once the children are born, parents receive counseling, and if special needs are identified, they can be transitioned to specialized services. The program is also aimed at older ages, including adolescence, with services such as nursery schools or youth centers, as well as leisure activities and digital support.

Graz’s model promotes flexible assistance tailored to the needs of each family, which is always involved in the research and identification of solutions.

Getxo Zurekin, community accompaniment at the end of life

Getxo Zurekin, community accompaniment at the end of life

Fundación doble sonrisa

A local community network that supports and accompanies people who are in a situation of advanced illness, offering a model of health, social and community care to improve their well-being and quality of life that goes beyond the resources and capacity of the health and social services systems.

The network acts in different areas: raising public awareness of the importance of care and support for dependent people or those at the end of life; training neighbors in palliative care; and promoting research to foster a paradigm shift in community care.

The network also provides information on the resources available in the municipality in relation to palliative care and the situation of people with advanced illness, in the form of a local observatory that seeks to detect support needs based on a pioneering collaborative methodology where citizen participation is key.

Getxo Zurekin believes in the strength of the community and in networking among people of the same population to take care of each other, to reach where public services cannot reach.

Hoplr, a neighborhood social network to strengthen mutual support and inclusion

Hoplr, a neighborhood social network to strengthen mutual support and inclusion

Hoplr

Social network aimed at creating social capital among neighbors in a neighborhood. It builds local communities that go hand in hand with current social changes to create fully inclusive and participatory cities.

The initiative aims to put community at the center of neighborhood life, as it considers mutual support to be one of the key elements of neighborhoods. It works free of charge for all types of mobile devices and access is based on each person’s address. To connect neighbors in the same area, neighborhoods are geographically delimited and only profiles from the same neighborhood have access to messages posted within it.

People using the application can meet other people living in the same neighborhood, ask for help to carry out different tasks, or help other neighbors with their needs. In addition, it is a good tool for organizing activities or events such as bike tours or game nights. Hoplr promotes care among the people who participate, whether it is companionship when a person is sick, shopping for elderly people who ask for it, or finding a person to take care of children for a few afternoons during the week.

As for public institutions, they cannot see the conversations between neighbors, but they have the possibility of publishing messages to inform about new developments, with which neighbors can interact and contribute ideas. In other words, it is a social network that promotes direct communication between neighborhood demands and the actions carried out by municipal authorities.

It is a social network free of commercial and advertising intervention, which works respecting the privacy of users, to create a safe environment for communication and citizen participation.

Vila Veïna, a new public community care system

Vila Veïna, a new public community care system

Barcelona City Council

A new public care system in the city of Barcelona that aims to achieve a model of social and health care that is smaller and closer to the users.

To achieve this, it structures the service in a set of “Super Islands” of care, which encompass a group of houses and neighborhoods of between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, with a reference point located in an open community space (for example, a library) to manage the needs of service users in an integrated manner. Thanks to this new innovative service model, professionals enjoy greater autonomy in the organization and management of their work, since they know the users more closely and are able to deal more directly and satisfactorily with all of them.

Each Vila Veïna has the essential services and benefits related to care in a centralized manner, in order to be able to deal with them closely. It also has emotional support groups and a resource bank for the care of children and the elderly, which provides material such as crutches, cradles, wheelchairs and other items necessary for the care of children and the elderly. It also offers legal and employment advice for caregivers and families in need, as well as talks and outdoor activities. The aim is to provide caregivers with access to information about existing services, as well as to create communities of care and proximity.

Each Vila Veïna has a professional who dedicates his or her working day to promoting networking, programming activities and attending to citizens in relation to care. The new profile of this professional is essential in innovation and requires a set of skills for community activation, as well as knowledge of municipal administrative systems and other administrations.

The project is aimed at the entire population living in the territory, because it is based on the idea that ‘we all take care of each other’, and the goal is to achieve a more caring community with all the people who are part of it.

In short, it is an innovative model that humanizes services and contemplates the participation of people, both caregivers and those receiving care, who are part of a community network and co-responsible for the collective welfare.

By 2022 there will be 12 Vila Veïna spaces in the city of Barcelona, and the goal is to have 115 throughout the city in the future.

Social Hotel for drug addicts in a homeless situation

Social Hotel for drug addicts in a homeless situation

ABD (Welfare and Development Association)

Hotel Social per a persones drogodependents en situació de sensellarisme

Daniela and Paola, two residents of the Social Hotel

A low-demand temporary residential center for drug addicts who spend the night on the street. It is a pioneering and unique residential resource in Spain, which offers accommodation and coverage of basic needs, as well as a space for professional accompaniment to enable supervised substance use.

It is estimated that 30% of homeless people in the city of Barcelona are drug addicts, a fact that prevents them from accessing the network of shelters and municipal housing for the homeless. In addition, living on the street implies a state of enormous uncertainty and precariousness that hinders any voluntary process of abandoning substance use. Therefore, these people find themselves inside a wheel from which it is very difficult to get out. That is why the ABD Social Hotel does not require abstinence from addictions to enter the center, but offers individualized monitoring of each drug-dependent person without imposing any commitment or specific starting point.

The Social Hotel, which at the beginning of 2022 ABD has been moved to a hotel located in the Horta-Guinardó neighborhood of Barcelona that had been closed due to the drop in tourism caused by Covid-19, has a capacity for 50 people and has single rooms, a dining room and multipurpose rooms, among which there is a room open for those residents who need to consume. In the room there are nurses, psychologists and sometimes a doctor, as well as the necessary material to do so with maximum hygienic guarantees. It is, therefore, an environment in which professionals and users establish relationships of trust that facilitate recovery and personalized follow-up.

Another of the innovative aspects of this new Social Hotel in comparison with other resources is that the shelter works with a gender perspective, since 50% of the places are reserved for women and it has non-mixed spaces and groups to work on gender violence. It also has spaces for people with reduced mobility and places for victims of gender violence.

In short, it is a project that works for the social inclusion of people who are doubly socially excluded: homeless and drug addicts.

The Social Hotel opened during the pandemic, in 2020, in a provisional facility, and since 2022 it has a permanent building in a former hotel. After a year and a half in operation and with 200 residents already having passed through, the professionals of the Social Hotel have been able to note a substantial improvement in the emotional state and health of the residents, some of whom have made a satisfactory transition to other, more autonomous accommodations.

ADB Associació Benestar i Desenvolupament

Luzía, an intelligent watch for the prevention and protection of risk situations in elderly people

Luzía, an intelligent watch for the prevention and protection of risk situations in elderly people

SeniorDomo

Watch to detect risk situations and facilitate healthy aging at home for the elderly from 60 years old. It automatically analyzes data on physical activity, vital signs, location, etc. and identifies any type of strange behavior.

Family members have access to the device’s information and receive notifications on their cell phones. In the event that any anomaly is detected (inactivity, a fall, heart problems, leaving the safety zone…) the watch itself contacts the person at the who is using it to ask how he/she is, and if he/she does not respond it automatically calls the family members or contact persons. In addition, Luzía is able to detect if the answering machine has been triggered or if the telephone it is trying to contact is switched off. Therefore, the watch keeps insisting until it succeeds in contacting someone. Luzía is capable of storing up to 1,000 daily records of each user in the cloud.

The goal is to facilitate aging at home, through an advanced solution for protection and prevention of critical situations. It is an affordable and accessible technology, since it does not require the user to have a cell phone, to improve the quality of life of the elderly.

SeniorDomo

Entourage, a citizen support network for homeless people

Entourage, a citizen support network for homeless people

Entourage

A cell phone application that puts homeless people in contact with other people in the neighborhood or city, to break the spiral of loneliness in which they find themselves and their lack of social relationships.

Entourage is a collaborative network that strengthens the community contacts of homeless people, since the lack of relationships, invisibility and little attention are elements that prevent them from living a life of dignity. In addition, it helps to fight stereotypes, fear and lack of knowledge among citizens about how to act in this type of situation.

The application also has a solidarity guide that offers geolocated information on associations that offer services to the group. Entourage does not intend to be a network of only material help, but a network of egalitarian relationships that allows the humanization of both parties.

Entourage also ensures the protection of the data of the people who participate, as well as the obligatory nature of consent when creating a solidarity action towards the people who receive help. In addition, it has a system of moderation and verification of profiles that can delete content if it is not appropriate.

Entourage