Espai Obert, an alternative service to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities.

Espai Obert, an alternative service to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities.

Fundació Support-Girona Foundation and Healthcare Assistance Institute (IAS)

Alternative resource to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities, which offers them social and health support based on the pact and their free will to use the services of the facility.

It is aimed at people who are in a situation of social exclusion and even homelessness, due to mental and behavioral disorders or substance abuse problems, and who have no family or social support or financial resources,

Espai Obert aims to reduce the stigma of these people and overcome the barriers that stand in the way of their social and community inclusion. The intervention methodology is based on low demand and free use.

As a first phase of intervention, the aim is to cover the basic needs of hygiene and food. Therefore, the service is equipped with a kitchen, living and dining room, washing machines, patio and shower and hygiene areas, and the users participate in the routines of the center (preparing meals, laundry, taking care of the garden…). Once this first phase has been achieved, a bond of trust is built, in order to work on the development, skills and well-being of each person, as well as socialization with other people in the space and other resources in the area.

This pioneering intervention model is one of the tools to be deployed in Catalonia in the process of reconversion and transformation of long-stay psychiatric hospitalization with functional recovery and life project units based on the successful experience of the counties of Girona, where in 2004 the long-stay psychiatric hospital in the former Salt Psychiatric Hospital was closed, generating a network of community mental health and addiction services, with alternative resources.


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.

One View, a predictive and preventative homelessness system

One View, a predictive and preventative homelessness system

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Predictive system that allows social services to anticipate, prevent and reduce homelessness in the territory.

The One View system analyses the data set related to services for adults, children and homeless people. The analytical model includes data on income, benefits and schools, and obtains a comprehensive overview of citizens and households in the territory in order to identify existing risk situations that may lead to homelessness in the near future.

One View enables this preventive approach by using advanced analytical models to identify people at risk, with the aim of detecting potential problems 6 to 9 months before a crisis. In addition, the service provides long-term monitoring, so that social services can also evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions put in place, and adjust them. The specialised software provides robust information governance and security, with strict protocols that determine access levels.

The service enables the district to achieve three objectives. The first is to improve the quality of life of residents by providing the necessary contact and assistance when needed. Secondly, a prevention of evolving needs with better informed and targeted interventions. In other words, social service professionals in the district have a unique view that allows them to select the most appropriate and effective course of action in each case. Finally, it contributes to the management of the demand for social and housing services, generating savings due to the combination of improved interventions and predictive information to identify at-risk situations.

Bizkaia Saretu, school for the prevention of unwanted loneliness

Bizkaia Saretu, school for the prevention of unwanted loneliness

Grup SSI

School of training and dynamization of anti-loneliness agents, people over 55 years of age who, thanks to a qualification and accompaniment, specialize in early detection and preventive action in relation to loneliness.

The initiative refers to unwanted loneliness, i.e. the subjective feeling or experience that is identified with individual dissatisfaction that the person has in terms of relationships. This social isolation, especially related to the elderly, is perceived as a limitation, lack or absence of primary or natural relationships; friendship, partner, family, neighborhood, etc.

The project offers training and awareness-raising activities for people interested in the subject, whether they want to acquire knowledge in this area or are part of organizations, companies or associations. In this case, they can become part of the Agents Network, the other main activity of the project. This network, formed by people over 55 years of age who are not in a situation of loneliness and want to commit themselves and create proposals for action, consists of identifying situations of loneliness, design and creation of prevention projects, in order to accumulate evidence and be able to be implemented.

In addition, the initiative also has a repository of knowledge and good practices, where projects, methods or systems that involve the community and relational spheres can be found. The SSI Group understands that the connection between initiatives is a key element to guarantee the success of the projects. Therefore, Bizkaia Saretu is a project with a preventive perspective, which promotes a destigmatizing vision of loneliness, promotes mutual help and focuses on the individual needs and demands of each person.

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.

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

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