Across Europe millions of social services, like yours, work in their communities every day to provide vital support to those who need it including: older persons, persons with disabilities, homeless persons, persons in or at risk of poverty, those with abusive partners or family members, vulnerable children and young people, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as people with addictions. These services play a key role in empowering all those living in Europe to take an active part in their communities, fully enjoy their human rights and participate in society on an equal basis to others. In short, social services are essential services.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, support service providers have reacted quickly to be able to continue to deliver support to their users and clients, ensuring that those who may be more vulnerable and their families are not left behind in this pandemic. Despite the essential nature of social services and the crucial role they play in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union’s response to COVID-19 has yet to address their needs.
In particular services need:
1. Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) &Testing for staff and users
2. Sufficient Staffing in social services
3. Access to funding to cover the costs of adaptations needed to keep service user and staff safe and ensure to keep the services running
As support service providers you are the best people to tell the EU about the specific needs of your service during this pandemic. For this reason we would like you to join us in our social media campaign to call on EU leaders to better support social service providers in COVID-19. This campaign will serve as a platform to showcase the essential work your service performs and your needs in responding to COVID-19, and to raise your voice to reach EU leaders.
We’d also like to invite you to join us and other support service providers from across Europe for our online summit, ‘Social Services & COVID-19: what role for EU?’ on 25th June 10h00-12h00 CEST.
During the two hour event we will bring together grassroot social workers facing COVID-19 in their services and representatives of the European Union to identify how Europe can support social service provision in the months and years to come.
Here’s what you can do:
A guide to the social media campaign
● Take a picture of yourself in your place of work. Using the social media frames found here, instructions on how to add the frame to your picture can also be found here. Post this picture on Facebook or Twitter in a post that includes either/both of the hashtags #IAmAnEssentialWorker #WeAreEssentialServices. Be sure to tag us @EASPD_Brussels and the EU leaders suggested below.
o In this post include a reference to the service you provide, the people that you support and any key challenges you have faced in continuing to deliver the support that you provide.
o In particular we encourage you to mention 1 of the following challenges as it applies to your service:
▪ Access to PPE & Testing for staff and users
▪ Sufficient Staffing in social services
▪ Access to funding to cover the costs of adaptations needed to keep service
user and staff safe and ensure to keep the services running
o Please encourage your staff and members to share their own picture and share and
retweet these posts!
● To continue to show your solidarity with the sector we also encourage you to use our frame on your social media profile pictures.
“#IAmAnEssentialWorker I work with Name of Service to provide service provided for people experiencing / people with population supported. Since the beginning of Covid-19 we have struggled to get hold of PPE necessary to protecting our staff and continuing our service.”
“#WeAreAnEssentialService At Name of Service we provide essential support to people experiencing/ people with population supported. Since the Covid-19 outbreak we have had to adapt our service to protect service users and staff. We need financial support so we can cover this extra cost.”
Tip: Save space in your tweet and tag the photo instead!
Who to tag in your photos:
Members of the European Parliament:
Please tag any MEPs from your country who have contacts with, or would like to be more aware of the issues that you face.
4th June: Launch of the campaign
25th June: Online Summit: Social Services & COVID-19: what role for EU?