Redesigning Social Services

The aim of the CoSIE pilot in Houten (within our local program of participation and inclusion), is to improve public service delivery to unemployed citizens in order to increase citizen participation in the community of Houten.

We want to:
1. Create a learning environment for users, professionals, civil servants, and other stakeholders, in order to create room for innovation and innovative behaviour and to determine what professional development is needed.
2. Strengthen the communities of users and engage them in the pilot (narratives).
3. Identify criteria for the new social services regarding participation
4. Identify where and how the present system obstructs our goal, where adjustments are needed, and what infra can be still of use.
5. Provide recommendations for spin off for other local public services.

 Schedule: The pilot runs January 2019–November 2019.

 Geographic area and target groups:
Citizens of Houten who wish to find a job or participate in voluntary work. Especially people with a distance to the labour market. Most of them are clients in social services (not only municipal services). Users will be involved as participants in the pilot and in the role of experience experts.

Professionals, civil servants from agencies dealing with employment and social integration (work and income), as well as employers and social entrepreneurs. Professionals and agencies are involved in the change of work processes based on narratives of users. Employers an social entrepreneurs are involved to organize participation/work opportunities.

Pilot actions:
2018: introductory training-the-trainer activities embedded within the program that will provide opportunities for participants (professionals and citizens) to take their first steps towards becoming Community Reporter Trainers.
2019: (pilot Phase): Pilot with 20/30 citizens (a new “open” route on social services regarding employment and participation), collecting feedback by using narratives of experience experts, experimenting with new ways (living lab), defining criteria for the innovation of local social services.
2020: a good reflection on the pilot and follow-up plan to further implement the changes and improvements in the municipality.

CoSIE partners involved:
Houten municipality
University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Eva Hijmans,
Jessica Dijkman,