PRISSM: Newsletter #1

PRISSM: Newsletter #1

Promotion of integration in the planing and provision of social services within Local Authorities through municipal staff vocational training - A Lever for Local Development

Dear Readers,

The PRISSM project consortium welcomes you all to its first newsletter. Throughout the implementation period of the project four newsletters will be issued in total, aiming at offering updated information on project status, on current and forthcoming events, as well as on the deliverables by providing a detailed overview of all achievements.

Over the past few decades, social services have been subject to deep reforms, in order to reduce costs, better coordinate the services and respond in the best possible way to users’ needs. The findings of the CARMEN project have shown that separate services don't always serve the users’ needs in the best possible way. Integration is a key-word in order to achieve this goal and, therefore, its implementation in the social services sector has to be enhanced.
As a concept, integration has attracted a lot of attention, but its implementation seems to be far than easy. Policy structures, legislation and funding are not suited to this frame of mind and action. Organisations are based on specific division of labour and tasks, and professionals are trained within a system that rewards specialisation and fragmentation. This project aims to encourage integrated functioning within the entire spectrum of local authorities, offering professionals new roles, which can utilise their professional skills, while stimulating increased job satisfaction.

In This Issue

The PRISSM project has a specific set of goals to meet:

  • To upgrade the qualifications of professionals participating at the planning of social actions and at the provision of social services.
  • To raise the quality of the municipal functional system of planning and provision of social services (simplification of the decision making processes, elimination of communication failures, lifting of barriers, reduction of bureaucracy, increase of professional power).
  • To ensure better use of human and financial resources within local authorities.
  • To develop policy guidelines for the design and implementation of administrative models of integrated social services.
  • To deliver bottom – up social actions and services.
  • Conventional vocational training in integration for employees of the participating municipalities accompanied by a relevant study visit for some of those employees.
  • Realization of trainers’ training.
  • Pilot implementation of integration within the participating municipalities.
  • E-learning courses for local authorities’ employees throughout Europe.
  • Issue of an Implementation Guide.

KICK-OFF MEETING Athens, 13/11/12

Fig. 1: Introductory session of the kick-off meeting at the Head Offices of EETAA in Athens, 13-11-2012

The kick-off meeting of the project took place in November 2012 at the Head Offices of EETAA in Athens. Representatives from all partners, as well as from the Greek National Agency, attended the meeting.

This first meeting aimed at setting the tone for the project’s success. The focus of the attending project partners was on administrative and financial management rules, as well as on work plan development.

During its course were also presented and discussed the timeframe of activities, the project’s dissemination plan as well as the monitoring and communication plan within the consortium.

SECOND MEETING Athens, 4/7/2013

Fig. 2: Second PRISSM meeting at the E.E.T.A.A head offices
in Athens, 04-07-2013

The second meeting of PRISSM took place on the 4th of July 2013, again at the head offices of EETAA in Athens, in order to assess the first steps of the implementation of the project and to programme the next ones.

During this second meeting the focus was on presenting key deliverables and activities accomplished and on discussing the course of future ones.
  • Trainees Selection procedure in each municipality (Municipality of Agia Varvara, Alytus, Trikala)

Following an internal sensitization period and the establishment of selection criteria, the municipalities of Agia Varvara, of Trikala (guided by project partner E-Trikala) and of Alytus have drawn up their pre-final lists of candidate trainees together with the sublist of trainees for the study visit.

  • Training Material- University of Reims

The training on integrating social services and actions involves the adoption of an extensive and evolving perception of the hierarchy of services, combining solidarity and shared knowledge with a common culture of service. The training focuses on assessing the risks and opportunities of integration strategy and on analyzing the different levels of integration leading from autonomy to fusion, through various degrees of coordination. The adaptation of services to users' needs is also a focus point of this training.
Managing reorganization related to integration means to conduct the change with a set of steps based on a tough methodology involving the programming of integration, its implementation, the reorganization of services and the role of human resources in the process.

The basic issues that the training material addresses include:

    • The meaning, necessities and goals of integration
    • The assessment of the risks and opportunities of an integration strategy
    • An analysis of the different levels of integration
    • A structured analysis of the needs
    • A theoretical approach of managing reorganization related to integration
    • A presentation of the propositions of actions and reorganization of the policies managed by the local communitie
  • Dissemination Activities: E.G.T.C. Amphictyony

Timely and accurate dissemination of information is very important for the success of the PRISSM project. E.G.T.C. Amphictyony has undertaken this task. So far, it has sorted up a database of communication, comprising over 300 institutions, public agencies, universities and municipalities in the participant countries, as well as all over Europe. An informative letter has been sent to all those recipients and press releases in all four languages of the programme (namely English, Greek, French and Lithuanian) have been dispatched to electronic and published media in the respective countries. A brochure in all four languages is on its way.
Furthermore, on December 5th 2012, E.G.T.C. Amphictyony organized an info-day for its members at the Head Offices of E.E.T.A.A, during which the PRISSM project was presented and the participants pledged to actively participate in the future.
Finally, E.G.T.C. Amphictyony took the initiative to publicize the project PRISSM through the Bulletin of International and European Issues of Local Administration of the Greek Ministry of Interior. You can read the publication at the following link:
(issue No. 38-39, August-September 2013 – in Greek only)
The database is open for all those who would like to receive informative material. Please see contacts at the end of the present newsletter.

Fig. 3: Belfast Town Hall

Fig. 4: Executive director of nursing at the NHSCT
Study Visit in Northern Ireland 10-12/9-Northern Health and Social Care Trust

The study visit to Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT), in Antrim (Northern Ireland) took place from Tuesday 10th September through to Thursday 12th September 2013. Additionally, upon a specific request set by Agia Varvara’ s delegation, a separate meeting was organized by NHSCT in Ballymena regarding community children services on Friday 13th of September. 

This very packed and dynamic study visit aimed at sharing the NHSCT’s integrated health care system with the rest of the PRISSM partners. The system of NHSCT proactively provides patients with timely, high-quality care in the lowest-cost setting without unnecessary duplication of health care services.

Participants from Agia Varvara Municipality: Mrs. Alexandra Fegi, Vice-Mayor for Social Policies, Mrs. Athanasia Siapera, Head of the Department of Social and Cultural Services, Mrs. Foteini Petrogianni, responsible for the services concerning the elderly, Mr. Dimitris Tsatabas, Head of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Mrs. Spyridoula Martinou, employee at the Department of Administrative and Financial service with a long-standing experience at social services as well.

Participants form Alytus Municipality: Mrs. Aira Visockaite, Deputy Director of administration, responsible for social care, medical care, culture, sport and education; Mrs. Roberta Kisieliene, Deputy head of social care department of municipality administration; Mr. Kęstutis Ąžuolas, Director of municipality administration, responsible for the entire municipality administration as well as for work with politicians (council members). Also he is a head of working group which has the duty to prepare strategic plans in the social care sphere; finally, Mrs. Adele Dimsiene, city council member and deputy head of municipal polyclinic.

Participants form Trikala Municipality: Mrs. Maria Mavromatidou (Directorate of Social Care and Health/ Department of Planning and Supervision of Social Welfare), Mrs. Vassiliki Voka (Directorate of Planning, Organisation and Informatics/ Department of National and European Programs), Mrs. Maria-Xenia Pliatsika (Directorate of City Planning/ Department of Urban Applications), Mrs. Eftychia Gkagkatsiou (Municipal Enterprise for Social Development -D.E.K.A- of Trikala).

The study visit was monitored by the coordinator partner (E.E.T.A.A.) represented by Mrs. Valentina Bellou and Mrs. Valia Pelekanou.

Content of study Visit

During the first day of the study trip Dr Marina Lupari focused on the concept of integration and introduced key integration innovators and leads from the NHSCT. The participants had the chance to meet the lead commissioner for services Mrs Deborah McCord, lead for nursing integration Mrs Sadie Campbell and Lead Social care commissioner for older people Mrs Eileen Kennedy. Attendees also met and spoke to key leads taking forward the Northern Ireland Transforming Your Care strategy. Various sites of care across the NHSCT were visited at the end of the day.

Second day
On Day 2 the attendees worked with key innovators and champions of the Northern Ireland Single Assessment Tool. Attendees were given the opportunity to view the system, learn from local staff using it and consider how best to adopt a single assessment approach for their localities. Furthermore, staff making integration happen on the ground had the chance to talk to the participants.

Finally Day 3 focused on examples of the NHSCT case management model. Study attendees were given the opportunity to meet lead staff undertaking this role and hear real examples of how integrated working has been achieved to make a real change to experiences of people.
On Day 4 attendees of municipality of Agia Varvara had the chance to meet with leads of Children Services at Trust Headquarters in Ballymena (Mrs Maura Dargan Head of Service, Safeguarding and Family Support and Ciara McKillop, Principal Practitioner for Family Support) and to visit a municipal Center for Child Abuse.
A more detailed report of the study trip to Northern Ireland will appear on our next issue.

It is evident that integration is a notion that has to be applied to a large extent and not only within the framework of the present project. PRISSM will only be successful if it achieves widespread dissemination and if it manages to arouse the interest of a large number of municipal authorities; the electronic platform of training will offer the opportunity to as many municipal employees as possible to imbue the ideas and precepts of integration and to be trained in its implementation. Therefore your contribution to the dissemination of the PRISSM activities is useful and welcome. Our next newsletter will be issued at the beginning of November 2013 with the results of the trainers and trainees' training.

Meanwhile you can stay in contact with the program using the official portal of the project: or through the portal of E.G.T.C. Amphictyony:
or through the internet sites of both co-ordinator and partners (see Consortium)
or, finally, via e-mail communication with:
Mrs. Aphrodite Kamara: [email protected]
Mrs. Valentina Belou: [email protected]

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] 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.