Thematic Panels

Thematic Panel Discussion 1 | 1 July 2021 | 14:00 - 15:15

Self-Help and Community Support

Text available in:

Presentations in: English, Spanish (session 2)
Interpretation into: English, Spanish

While self-care is about the individual caring for their own needs, community care is focused on the collective: taking care of people together, from basic physical needs to psychological ones. This session will explore a crucial pillar of community care: the support offered to individuals “by’ the community, as well as how the community can help individuals to reinforce their own assets and promote self-help. This has become particularly relevant in the context of Covid-19. In periods of self-isolation and lockdowns, there have been a series of spontaneous and organised community activities to support the most vulnerable.

Delegates at this session will learn about the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare assessment of needs that allows individuals to strengthen their own personal resources to help them participate in community activities. Empowering individuals has had a positive impact on increased levels of participation of older people in the Basque Country (Spain). The region is implementing an older people’s plan that focuses, among others, on a successful dialogue with all stakeholders in the community. Delegates at the session will also learn how Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa works on the personal and social skills of young people leaving care to help them transition to adulthood. Finally, the third sector organisations Leben mit Behinderung Hamburg and Balance Vienna will present how “circles of support’ can build a supportive social network around persons with intellectual disabilities. We will learn how they work with the people they support in their communities and reflect on the impact that Covid-19 has had on their programmes.


  • Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Senior Expert in Disability and Inclusion, Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

1. Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to support individuals needs, goals and outcomes

Erik Wessman, Programme Officer, National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden

2. A public-social participation model for older people in the Basque Country

Beatriz Gaquez Delgado, Nagusi Agenda Coordinator, Basque Government, Spain (ES)

3. Autonomy and Community Integration: supporting the transition to adulthood of young people leaving care

João Bicho, Community Integration Team Director, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, Portugal

4. Circles of Support: building supportive networks for people with intellectual disabilities

Céline Müller, Project Management, Wunschwege, Leben mit Behinderung Hamburg, Germany (DE)

Thematic Panel Discussion 2 | 1 July 2021 | 14:00 - 15:15

Safeguarding in Community Care

Text available in:

Presentations in: English, Spanish (session 1)
Interpretation into: English, Spanish

Safeguarding is about preventing harm happening to people using social services and responding effectively when it occurs. However, most safeguarding protocols have been affected by Covid-19 across Europe. Drawing on examples from the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland, this panel discussion will explore the different safeguarding measures that had been put in place when it comes to the development of a model of care in line with human rights, participation, and staff training. We will also explore how these protocols have been impacted by the pandemic in the countries discussed.


  • Samantha Pace Gasan, Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability, Commission for the Rights of Person with Disability in Malta

1. The Catalan Social Services Ethics Committee: involving people using services in decision-making

Begoña Roman, Chair of the Catalan Social Services Ethics Committee, Regional Government of Catalonia, Spain (ES)

2. Supporting staff to implement a human rights-based approach in community care

Deirdre Connolly, Standards Development Lead, Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), Ireland

3. Training staff to prevent abuse of adults with learning disabilities

Herculano Castro, Senior Group Operations Manager, Mentaur, United Kingdom

Thematic Panel Discussion 3 | 1 July 2021 | 14:00 - 15:15

Innovation in Integrated Minimum Income and Social Services Programmes

Text available in:

Presentations in: Spanish (All sessions)
Interpretation into: English

The Recovery and Resilience Facility Funds and future FSE+ provide a good basis for robust investment in public social services and aim at transforming the care and social welfare support models. Minimum income schemes are among the European recommendations for social welfare systems and Spain launched last year its first national minimum income. This social benefit should be combined with access to social services in an integrated social inclusion programme that guarantees the active participation of beneficiaries in our societies.

Delegates at this session will learn about how the European Funds can be used to promote these approaches using a wide range of resources, including innovation, technology and digital tools, to guarantee their implementation.

Speakers will include senior representatives from national and regional authorities, in cooperation with Accenture.

  • Patricia Bezunartea, General Director of Family Diversity and Social Services, Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 (ES)
  • Sara Buesa, General Director of Benefits and Inclusion, Lanbide – Vasque Service of Employment (ES)
  • Manuel Torres, Managing Director, Health and Public Service, Accenture (ES) – Moderator
  • Javier Fernández Presa, Head of Information Systems and Services at the Regional Government of Andalucía (ES)
  • Esther Pérez Quintana, Deputy Director for Inclusion Policies, General Secretariat for Inclusion and Social Welfare (ES)