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The challenge to innovate social work: How BMINCOME brings about a shift

Author:Laura Colini

UIA Expert


“When you’re in a peer group and you see the person “shining”, giving their opinions, contributing their ideas […] you see the ability of people to really push an initiative forward and drag other people along”

BMINCOME social worker speaking about the power of community work

In almost every country in Europe, the welfare state has been retrenched in recent years, badly hit by the financial crisis. Insomuch, public support is more necessary than ever to help people to face the challenges of unemployment and care most soaring now in our current ageing and unequal society1. The job of social workers is coupled to those changes, being called on to respond to people’s needs arising from rapid and unstable societal transformations. Hence, the competences of social workers requires a strenuous learning process to best intervene at ground level, assisting clients in distress to coping with problems all stages of life. A learning process that by definition has to overhaul its operating models and respond to fresh demands with new tools and methodologies.

The experiences of social workers in UIA BMINCOME is of particular interest in this regard because tell a story of change and success, in which Barcelona social workers reconfigured their traditional provision of social services towards the community.


Through the voices of social workers, this account traces the path of this challenge and its main outcomes. In conclusion, the reflections of BMINCOME reveal valuable lessons for cities across Europe and beyond.

Read / Download here the Journal on UIA website