Today, EASPD launches its latest report: “Staff Matters: from care workers to enablers of change”. The report summarizes the conclusions of the Helsinki Conference “Staff Matters: Disability Workforce of Tomorrow” and follows the publication of the new European Commission’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2020, which highlights their priority to create an “economy that works for people & planet”. EASPD’s report provides 5 Action Points to put this in practice in the social services sector by transforming Europe’s 11 million strong social services workforce into enablers of change in the lives of persons with support needs.
On the 17th December, the new European Commission published the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS) 2020, which outlines its economic, social & environmental priorities in Europe. Under the leadership of the new President, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, the ASGS represents a new format for the European Commission with a commitment to align economic, social and environmental goals to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Regarding the interests of the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), the ASGS highlights the need for Europe “to address more efficiently the inequalities borne by groups at risk of exclusion, including persons with a disability (…) to ensure that they can make full use of their potential to contribute to the economy, social protection systems and society”.
EASPD sees care and support providers and their workforce as crucial players in addressing these inequalities. Social Care and Support is Europe’s biggest job creator with 11 million professionals and 2 million new jobs created in the last decade. As such, EASPD also launches today its latest report “Staff Matters: from care workers to enablers of change”, which summarises the conclusions of the Helsinki International Conference on the disability workforce of tomorrow.
The report highlights five key drivers that policy-makers, service providers and others must consider for staff in social services to become enablers of change for persons with support needs and vulnerable groups; to help them live full and active lives in society. These include ensuring that work in Social Care and Support:
- is important and meaningful;
- is done by people for people;
- is about local communities and welcomes very diverse skills, profiles & perspectives;
- requires resources and investment;
- needs leadership by all;
Presenting the report, Mr Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General of EASPD, said “the 11 million and growing staff in Social Care and Support will be crucial to achieving Europe’s economic, social and human rights ambitions. But we have to make sure we create the right eco-system to empower these professionals, to help them create positive change in the lives of people across Europe. Our report is the right starting point. We look forward to working with the Commission and others to put these five drivers at the heart of European policy initiatives. Let’s start with the European Disability Agenda!”
In addition to the EU institutions, EASPD also encourages national and regional public authorities, social service providers, social partners and user organisations to consider how they can contribute to these 5 drivers for change through their own respective activities. In the months to come, EASPD will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to highlight the crucial role that staff in social care and support can play in the future of Europe.