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Putting a Human Face on Social Services

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Social work today is challenged by a paradox: while social services are tackling various workforce challenges, such as recruitment and retention, the digital divide, and cutbacks leading to diminished service accessibility, there is a compelling need for government to reclaim a human face – a relatable and responsive presence. 

Prof. Dr. Steven Van de Walle will explain the importance of accessibility of social services so citizens appreciate government effectiveness. Through real-world examples and research insights, he will explore the intricate correlation between services performance and trust in government and present practical recommendations to address this challenge effectively. 

If reclaiming a human face is so important, the question is how is this possible in the current context? Flemish municipalities will guide us through good practice examples on how they are addressing the challenges while reintroducing a personal touch in their interactions with citizens. How are their social services organised and how are citizens involved in creating or improving them? What strategies can be useful to bridge the gap between citizens and public services and the workforce?

The session will involve interaction with the audience to capture and discuss more ideas on resolving these issues.

Organisation: Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) 

Keynote speaker: Steven Van de Walle, Professor of Public Management, KU Leuven, Belgium  

Presentation Language: English