Services affecting the social inclusion of young people that are subject to quality assurance (September 2019)
Services of general interest – in particular needs-based personal services such as social, health care, housing and financial services – play an important role in promoting the social inclusion of disadvantaged young people. They can help them cope with personal challenges, provide support and create opportunities, thus allowing for the development of young people’s full potential. This is why one of the EU Youth Strategy’s main aims is to promote not only access to but also the quality of services.
Different mechanisms can be employed to ensure the quality of services affecting the social inclusion of young people. These include monitoring policies or the number of vulnerable people reached, satisfaction surveys or other types of impact assessments. These types of quality assurance mechanisms can be systematic or ad hoc.
Across Europe, slightly more than half of the surveyed countries have taken some kind of measure (systematic and/or ad hoc) in order to assess the quality of their services. National public authorities or national institutes (e.g. research institutes, inspectorates, etc.) are mainly in charge of quality assurance in both sectors.
In most cases, social services such as social and family welfare services are subject to quality assurance mechanisms. Health care services are also subject to quality assurance mechanism in several countries, most often together with social services.
In some countries, other types of services affecting the social inclusion of disadvantaged young people are subject to quality assurance mechanisms. For example, in the Flemish and French Community of Belgium as well as in the United Kingdom, financial services undergo quality assurance; and in the Netherlands, this applies to housing services.