Social Services and the Social and Solidarity Economy

Abstract - EN

SSE has the capacity to facilitate empowerment, promote participation of social-service-users and to create opportunities for improving self-determination and personal prosperity. For social services and local social policy, SSE allows the creation of new institutional arrangements in which material and non-material resources can be combined in an integrative and productive way. A basic difference between public social services, market providers, and SSE-approaches lies in the specific bottom-linked, integrative and participative context in which solutions are formed and managed. These solutions follow the basic needs of citizens, such as education, care for those with special needs, and social housing for the homeless, as well as employment or training of young migrants. The special potential of SSE lies in its power to productively combine public and private institutions with civil-society actors. Remarkable recent developments include the use of integrative approaches in disadvantaged rural areas, combining agricultural multifunctionality with innovation of social and healthcare services.