What is it about?

Key Publications

Journal Article: The amazing rise of Buurtzorg and what we can learn for home care reforms
Buurtzorg (Care in the neighbourhood), a most innovative model that has revolutionised the organisation of home care in the Netherlands, was presented to the German-speaking public by Kai Leichsenring in an article published in "ProCare" (Vol. 20, No. 8), a journal providing information for health care workers in German-speaking countries. Contact and further information: Kai Leichsenring
Journal Article: Öffentliche Räume kooperativ gestalten / Cooperation in the public sphere
Die neue Ausgabe des Schweizer SuchtMagazins widmet sich dem Thema Suchthilfe und Polizei. Einen Beitrag dazu leistet der Artikel von Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl, Kurt Fellöcker, Katrin Gasior und Judith Haberhauer mit Beispielen aus Österreich. Dem Artikel zu Grunde liegen Ergebnisse aus dem Projekt AGORA, das sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, zur Weiterentwicklung der Kooperation von Polizei und Sozialarbeit beizutragen und dabei verschiedene Regionen in Österreich in den Blick nimmt.

The latest volume of the Swiss SuchtMagazin focuses on drug counseling services and police. It includes an article by Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl, Kurt Fellöcker, Katrin Gasior and Judith Haberhauer with a focus on Austria. The contribution is based on the project AGORA that aimed at the development of cooperation structures between police and social work in different Austrian regions. The article gives an overview of the project, its outline, methods and fieldwork results.
Policy Brief: From care in homes to care at home: European experiences with (de)institutionalisation in long-term care
The December Policy Brief, by Stefania Ilinca, Kai Leichsenring and Ricardo Rodrigues, focuses on identifying a series of core principles for deinstitutionalisation in long-term care, by analysing European experiences in different care regimes. Four case studies are used to exemplify: Austria, Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic. Drawing on an analysis of the complexities and challenges involved in maintaining a sustainable balance between different care settings the Policy Brief synthesizes the dos and don'ts of deinstitutionalisation. The necessity to support the development of alternatives to residential care both in the family and in the community and the need to integrate and coordinate across settings, emerge as key drivers. The full text is available here.
Report: The Dilemma of Integrated Care, Choice and Competition
This study, commissioned by the Swedish Ministry for Health and Social Affairs, investigated on the apparent conflict between two concepts that aim to improve outcomes for users in long-term care: Are market-oriented governance mechanisms that underline choice for users and competition between providers compatible with efforts to integrate health and social care that call for cooperation and guidance? Different coping strategies of integrated care initiatives in competitive environments were analysed in a comparative perspective, based on a literature review and empirical fieldwork in selected municipalities in Sweden and Germany. The report offers many salient lessons and recommendations for policy-makers interested in public governance and reforms in health and long-term care. Read more
Contact: Kai Leichsenring, Ricardo Rodrigues
European protection systems in the areas of childcare and long-term care: good practices and lessons learned
Deinstitutionalization of care services for individuals with limited autonomy and the provision of community-based services are core goals of social welfare systems in Europe but remain a challenge in many contexts. As part of an effort to generate evidence in support of the national reform on deinstitutionalization in social protection systems in Serbia (SAVE project), Stefania Ilinca, Kai Leichsenring, Eszter Zólyomi and Ricardo Rodrigues outline the key features of childcare and long-term care systems and the progress of deinstitutionalization in Europe. The report includes an overview of the Serbian child and long-term care systems, detailed case studies on Austria, Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic – each emphasizing key lessons to be learned from each experience and best practices – and a discussion of transferability potential to the Serbian context. The full text of the report is available here.


Kick-off: Comparative Study of Family Care Leave Policies and Legislation
Combining paid work and caring duties for older family members, sick children, or disabled relatives is becoming a challenge for many people of working age, especially women, with the share of employees with caring commitments likely to continue to rise in the future. Supporting endeavours for an improvement of the framework conditions for employed relatives providing care in Switzerland, the European Centre just launched a study for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health with the aim of providing in-depth analysis of good practices related to care leave policies and legislation from other countries, and developing a conceptual framework for the analysis of (typical) care leave models in European countries and beyond. Read more
New project: Gender and Social Class Inequalities in Active Ageing
As active ageing crucially depends on the availability of opportunities and resources throughout the life course, some population groups face higher barriers than others in its achievement. The project aims to take a critical look at existing evaluations of active ageing policies and extend them with a view to gender and social class differences, a perspective largely neglected in the EU’s policy discourse on active ageing to date. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, the European Centre team will propose an extended framework for the analysis of active ageing policies and will formulate policy recommendations for addressing inequalities in active ageing for present and future cohorts of older people. More information is available here.
Families and family policy in times of crisis
A new Eurofound study shows how the situation of families with children has changed during the crisis years and how politicians responded to it. Together with Sonja Blum (ÖIF), Katrin Gasior presents a first teaser of the results for Austria. Although the overall situation of families in Austria has remained relatively stable, low work intensity leads to higher insecurity, especially in lone-parent or large-family households. Against this background, seemingly small financial support or benefits in kind may help to improve the situation of vulnerable families (e.g. free transportation of pupils). Read more: Policy Brief, Project


Pre-Conference Workshop: Long-term Care in Austria between Quality Management and Financing
Public policy-makers often struggle with keeping a balance between high-quality care and containing costs in long-term care for older people, especially with a view to rising care needs in the population. As a member of the Working Group on Long-term Care (AG Pflege) within the Austrian Health Economics Association (ATHEA) the European Centre is co-organising a Workshop for practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in Austria interested in long-term care economics on 25 February 2016, ahead of the 2nd ATHEA Conference. Key note speakers include Ricardo Rodrigues, providing a European view on financing schemes for long-term care systems, and Kai Leichsenring, who shares his expert knowledge on quality management in the long-term care sector from the perspective of (formal and informal) caregivers. More information here
Evaluation of the effects of deinstitutionalisation in the social protection system in the Republic of Serbia
Kai Leichsenring and Eszter Zolyomi will participate in the International Conference "Evaluation of the effects of deinstitutionalisation in the social protection system in the Republic of Serbia" on December 17th 2015, in Belgrade. The conference is the final activity of the SAVE project, supported by the PROGRESS Programme and has the goal of informing policy-makers and practitioners on the results of research activities carried out over the last 2 years. In their presentation, the European Centre experts will discuss experiences with deinstitutionalisation in EU countries, will present good practice examples and will contribute to the definition of recommendations for further improvement of the deinstitutionalisation process in Serbia.
Migrants as a Low-cost Solution? Formalising a Dual Care Labour Market in Austria
In a presentation at the MOMENTUM Congress in Hallstatt (Upper Austria), Andrea Schmidt explored how care, migration and employment policies in Austria have shaped the long-term care labour market and whether the legislation of personal care by migrant carers has contributed to bridging the cleavages between the so-called "24-hour care sector" and the formal long-term care labour market. She concludes that migrant care policies have been unable to address persisting inconsistencies at the interface between the different segments of the care labour market, but rather foster a dualisation of the care workforce. The contribution was based on a recently published chapter in the book "The political economy of household services in Europe" (Palgrave Macmillan).
European Quality of Life Survey
Katharine Schulmann participated in two expert workshops held at Eurofound's offices in Dublin in November, in preparation for the roll-out of the 4th wave of the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS). The workshops, two in a series, were convened to gather insight from specialists conducting research in areas related to the various modules of the EQLS, in this case: Participation in Society and ICT, and Work-life Balance and Care Responsibilities. The EQLS is a pan-European survey developed by Eurofound and dedicated to gathering information on Europeans' quality of life, with modules covering health and well-being, employment, income, work-life balance, and housing, among others.
International Seminar: Development of a web-based tool for the assessment of health and economic outcomes of "EIP on AHA"
Dr. Boehler presented the MAFEIP-tool, a generic and flexible web-based application for monitoring the health and economic impact of the social and technological innovations carried out by more than 500 stakeholder groups participating in the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing. His presentation outlined the approach for developing and implementing this tool, its main characteristics and capability to provide specific outcomes that are of value to the developers of an intervention, as well as a series of case studies planned before wider rollout.
More information about the MAFEIP-tool and the MAFEIP project can be accessed here and here.
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Integrating services - A long-standing research focus of the European Centre is gaining grounds across Europe
A wide range of initiatives across Europe are currently emphasising the need for more integrated service delivery, an issue that has shaped the activities of the Health & Care Unit at the European Centre over the past decades. The European Social Network (ESN) promoted issues about service integration during a workshop in Manchester (UK), where Kai Leichsenring gave an input with a view on "Integrating health and social care services to provide long-term care" (5-6 November 2015). Contact and further information: Kai Leichsenring
Contributing ideas for good strategies to develop long-term care
Many European countries, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, are preparing strategies to enhance their policies to develop the delivery of long-term care. Kai Leichsenring contributed conceptual considerations, examples of good practice and policy recommendations to policy-makers and other stakeholders in Bratislava in the framework of a Policy Dialogue organised by the WHO Country Office Slovakia on 4 November 2015. In the context of similar endeavours to reform long-term care policies in Slovenia, Kai Leichsenring provided an overview of current trends and potentials for mutual learning in a Policy Workshop on long-term care, organised by the Ministry of Health, WHO Europe and the European Observatory for Health Systems and Policies in Ljubljana (25 November 2015). Contact and further information: Kai Leichsenring