Investing in social services 

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Dear members and friends of ESN,

2012 has been a successful and active year which helped strengthen our growing and diverse network. It was nevertheless a challenging year for many colleagues struggling to deliver social services in difficult financial circumstances. ESN’s work programme covered a wide range of themes that proved to be key issues for many of you.

We started the year with the launch of a new working group on ‘Leadership, Performance, Innovation’ to look more closely at the impact of the crisis on managing social services. While starting a new project, we concluded another – we held the final sessions of our ‘Managing Change’ training programme which helped a group of policy makers in the Visegrád countries to develop effective strategies for de-institutionalisation. We also published a report on ‘Developing Community Care’ which we will continue to promote as a tool to support this important transition.

Our spring seminar in Rome focused on vulnerable youth in transition from a twofold perspective: care and support into adulthood, and early school leaving. With the autumn seminar held in Stuttgart, we looked at investing in independence and inclusion in later life in the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

I am grateful to all of you for your commitment and involvement in 2012 and I look forward to working together in the year ahead. ESN will continue to provide members with opportunities for networking, mutual learning, and policy and practice development throughout 2013. Find out more in the last section of our report.

Best wishes,

John Halloran
Chief Executive 

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