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EU Best Practices

Integrated approaches to combat poverty and social exclusion. Best Practices from EU Member States

In 2016, Malta’s LEAP centres were recognized as Best Practice from EU member states as stated by Integrated Approaches to Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

According to Jetta Klijnsma, Secretary of State for Employment and Social Affairs of the Netherlands, an integrated approach means looking at the individual (or household) situation from a broad perspective – ranging from a lack of income to social exclusion. It also implies the recognition of the role of, and consequences for, a whole range of life-domains such as employment, health and long-term care, education and housing. It requires constructive cooperation with all the parties involved, in the public, private and civil society spheres. An integrated approach is characterised by comprehensive, continuous and coordinated intervention tailored to the respective life-domains – thereby providing a single point of contact.

An Integrated Approach

Malta’s LEAP centres are an integrated approach as they offer multiple services under one roof, varying from information, professional advice and support in a number of areas, such as employment, access to training and child day care, to social work and community services with an outreach component for a comprehensive response to the needs of surrounding communities.

Through the LEAP project, a wide participation of local stakeholders was and is continuously promoted in order to ensure that individuals receive the necessary support and guidance to improve their success prospects. A multi-disciplinary team, consisting of service area leaders, community works and social workers work together to help alleviate poverty and create an inclusive community.

A Best Practice

These LEAP Centres are considered a best practice as they have led to greater cooperation with civil society and other organisations; providing a more outreach-oriented approach within deprived localities and a more bottom-up approach to service provision, leading to a less bureaucratic and a more accessible structure which humanises and empowers service users. This facilitated access to services is seen to have overall led to a greater efficiency and less duplication of work; improved sharing of information; mutual understanding; and a healthy sense of ownership amongst stakeholders and service users in general. It has also led to greater opportunities for cooperation between the government, civil society and private entities as well as across ministries.

The main target issues of the LEAP Project are training and mobility, which aim to enhance employability prospects, improving the outcomes and quality of life of those who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion.  

 EU Best practice. (2 files merged).pdfEU Best practice from EU member states