Social Innovation: The role of service providers and the impact on social services


5 December 2013


Renaissance Hotel

Rue du Parnasse 19 - Brussels



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On 5 December 2013 the European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR) organised the Public Affairs event in the hearth of the European quarter in Brussels in order to reflect on the important role that innovation plays in the social services sector. The hearing gathered relevant stakeholders from the sector including some key officials of the European Commission, Directors and Managers from EPR members and other relevant representative of the European civil society.


The event, chaired by Jan Spooren – EPR Secretary General – welcomed Angela Kerins – President of EPR and Director of RehabCare in Ireland – for the opening session,  Raymond Maes, from the Cabinet of Commissioner Andor who is responsible for Employment and Social Affairs in the European Commission and Conny Reuter, Secretary General of Solidar and Chairman of Social Services Europe to give to the hearing their insights into the opportunities and potential impact of social innovation on social services.  


Two EPR member organisations presented innovations that they have introduced into their practice to enhance their service delivery. Reuben Jayawardene from RehabCare in Dublin talked about “The invisible mouse”, which is a very creative use of assistive technology. Pablo Gomez from INTRAS in Spain talked about community-based services for people with mental health problems and the necessity to develop models of continuity care.


The closing speech of Harald Hauben, Senior Consultant Eftheia bvba, invited the hearing to reflect about the meaning of social innovation and how innovative idea, products, processes, methods, models and services offer opportunities to continuous improvements in whatever sector and in social services sector.


The event was followed by a short debate and a complimentary cocktail giving to participants the opportunity to interact with each other and to exchange opinions and personal considerations.





Summary report



The invisible mouse - Creative use of assistive technology

Reuben Jayawardene, Programme Facilitator RehabCare, Ireland


Community-based services for people with mental health problems
Pablo Gomez, Director INTRAS, Spain


Social innovation as a driver for continuous improvement
Harald Hauben, Senior Consultant Eftheia bvba



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