We all know how important it is to prepare for the future! All the more so in the current volatile and uncertain environment, where the field of social assistance finds itself at a crossroad where huge opportunities meet astounding challenges.
The process of horizon scanning performed using foresight methods allowed us to identify four main drivers of change influencing the social field in the next decade that you can explore below.
In the following we propose a short journey, with a maximum duration of 30 minutes, to the future of the social field.
Your contribution will help us not only to reach our destination succesfully, but also to find out how we can better prepare for it!
Explore each stopover!
Among Demographic & Economic factors which can influence the future of social field we mention increased lifespan and growth of the aging population to urbanization, migration flux, income polarization.
The next ten years are a time of painful restructuring as the economy grows more competitive and jobs themselves unbundle, plus the envisaged crisis generated by the current pandemic. Social workers need to be prepared to work with senior users, but also with clients on financial capabilities, employment, education, and other issues related to economic well-being.
1950 VS 2025 – I CHOSE MY OWN LIFESTYLE
This cluster of change is about the process of interaction and integration among the people, culture, organizations, and governments of different nations. We notice how also in the social sector, initiatives are headed toward greater exchanges and integration across geographic borders, especially in the context of current and future migratory flows driven by the search for a better life or a job. Increased mobility brings important challenges in providing social services for dependent family members (children or the elderly) remaining in the country of origin, but also overcoming language barriers and cultural differences for professionals in destination countries working with clients and beneficiaries with those more diverse origins.
The necessary approach – a holistic one.
We are witnessing an expansion of health as a concept. We are talking more and more about the continuous management of fitness, alternative approaches such as those proposed by NEWtrition, preventive or remote healthcare. Social professionals, due to their involvement in the forefront of activities at Community level, are in tehe best place to make a substantial contribution to this process. We invite you to explore the signals of change that indicate the following major themes: the redistribution of power to service users, the increasing importance of peer-to-peer support groups and the evolution of the place of service provision / treatment.
So we need to talk about technology and digital skills. To what degree will the social work profession harness and leverage technology to advance its work?
How might social work education prepare students to operate at the nexus of social work and technology? How might social work education better integrate existing and emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, apps, wearable technologies) and big data into the curriculum? Let’s have a look on technological factors as well and on the human machine collaboration:
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.