In our project, we will identify social reforms and social innovations undertaken within social care services in order to tackle societal challenges such as growing need for care, demand for more quality and individualised care, shortages of care workers and budgetary constraints. We will undertake country case studies in 7 European countries of the reforms and social innovations which have in most cases involved: (1) Shift from institutional care to semi-institutional, homecare and cash transfers (allow ances, tax refunds and tax credits); (2) Change in the distribution of responsibilities between the public, private and the third sector as well as the family. (3) Introduction of user choice models changing the relations between caregivers and cared-for persons.
Our focus will be on care services themselves rather than on certain group of users. Hence, our case studies will include one common service provision across 7 countries and another service provision that our consortium regards as the most affe cted by social reforms and social innovations in the particular country. Moreover, we will examine what actors and types of services are involved in the reforms and social innovations as well as their outcomes for the users and care workers. The project w ill identify legal, financial and organisational changes affecting who provides care, what services the users can receive/choose, and where and when care is provided. Finally, the consortium will identify best practises and develop policy options that can tackle the important societal challenges and hindrances confronting public care services. Our countries, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain, represent different welfare state models due to different allocation of respons ibilities between the state, the market, the third sector and the family. Moreover, these countries have also been hit differently by the crisis. Our consortium will consist of researchers and stakeholders.