Description Parallel Stream Session C.2

Description Parallel Stream Session C.2

Parallel Stream Session C (14:30-15:45)
Stream C.2 Capabilities, social policy and social work.

Mara Yerkes (Utrecht University) and Erik Jansen (HAN University of Applied Sciences).

Research on education policy, active aging, homelessness, disability; employability policy; work-family policy; parental leave policy; childcare policy, and youth transitioning from school to work highlight strengths of a capability approach to social policy. At the same time, the edited volume from Yerkes and colleagues (2019) raises a number of conceptual and methodological issues when applying the capability approach to social policy, such as clarifying the role social policy plays in shaping people’s capabilities and the role of practitioners and social workers in the translation of resources into capabilities. Clearly further work is needed on concrete strategies to apply a capability approach to social policy in the everyday practices of policy making and implementation.

This workshop will focus on the role of social policy and social work in helping individuals to achieve the life they have reason to value. Possible analytical entry points include, but are not limited to:

  1. Theoretical discussions of the feasibility of using the capability approach for evaluating European social policies, e.g. looking at theoretical advantages and/or limitations;
  2. Methodological papers focusing on how best to measure policies in relation to capabilities, overcoming methodological obstacles in comparative research, etc.;
  3. Empirical evaluations considering how and to what extent social policies and/or social work enhances (or limits) individual capabilities;
  4. Empirical micro-level analyses on the impact of social policies on the capabilities of different social groups.

Questions to be considered might include: How can (and does) social policy enhance capabilities in the social domain? How can interdisciplinary collaboration in care and social support services be organised? How can a systems-wide integral perspective in policy and service delivery be established? What are suitable ways of evaluating the effects of policies and interventions on individuals’ (clients’) wellbeing? How to achieve development towards more client-central practices?