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EASPD – together with the Dizabnet Federation, FONSS and FDSC - is hosting in Bucharest the European Conference, entitled “Investing in Social Services, Investing in People”, on the 16th and 17th of May 2019  in Bucharest. Welcoming over 250 experts from across Romania and Europe, the conference will include actors from diverse fields: service providers, public authorities, disabled persons’ organizations, and investors.

Additionally to the conference, participants can attend a Gala dinner (16 May), Standing Committees meetings (15 May), Interest Groups meetings (17 May) and the General Assembly only open to EASPD members (18 May).

Working language of the conference: English, Romanian and Romanian Sign Language

Velotyping: English

Accessible for people in a wheelchair

Registration for participants is open here (until 14th of April). Registration is mandatory for all participants. The participation fee can be paid by credit card, through a PayPal account or cash uppon arrival at the conference.

The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) represents the interests of over 17,000 social care and support service providers for persons with disabilities across 34 European countries. Dizabnet is the Romanian network of service providers for persons with disabilities with 112 members across Romania. The Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations Providing Social Services (FONSS) is a Romanian organization with 32 members, with the aim of supporting the development of Romanian NGOs in the field of social services. The Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC) is an independent, non-governmental organization, which develops the capacity of civil society organizations in Romania to act efficiently for the benefit of their communities.

Organized jointly between these four organizations, this International Conference will give the opportunity to 250 participants to gain practical and theoretical knowledge about the variety of effective funding models across Europe and explore their suitability for the development of quality support services, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Rationale & Objectives of the Conference

On a day to day basis, quality social services provide the care and support which enables millions of people in Europe to be socially and economically active: the persons with support needs themselves, their families and close network, as well as the millions of dedicated professionals and volunteers who provide the services. This has a knock-on effect for Europe as a whole; allowing all people to participate, our communities to strengthen and our economies to develop. In short, investing in social services is about investing in people!

Guaranteeing the continuity and development of person-centred social services is a necessity for the continent: legally, politically, economically, socially and especially in terms of access to human rights. Adequately funding quality social services should thus be a priority for Europe. This can only be achieved if Public Authorities assume their role in developing and guaranteeing sustainable funding frameworks to support the development of quality person-centred social services.

Social services have significant and growing investment needs: to support and strengthen the transition to person-centred and community-based services, to recruit and retain qualified staff, to build the right infrastructure, to innovate, to digitalise and to reach out to other mainstream stakeholders.

The Conference will be the opportunity for participants to gain practical and theoretical knowledge about the variety of effective funding models across Europe and exchange views on their suitability for the development of quality support services, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.