Decentralisation in the social domain

The social domain will be undergoing a dramatic change after 2015. This is when three decentralisation initiatives will transfer responsibility to municipalities for providing support and services to a larger group of residents. The Dutch cabinet has announced that municipalities will be given a great deal of policy freedom in this respect, although the decentralisations are also expected to generate additional savings.

‘One family, one plan, one coordinator’ is the underlying principle of the three decentralisations in the social domain. Changes in the Participation Act, the transfer of components of the Exceptional Medical Expenses Act (AWBZ) to the Social Support Act (Wmo) and youth services will require significant changes in municipal policy as from 2015.

There is also a fourth decentralisation: the introduction of ‘appropriate education’, which assigns a duty of care to schools. In this respect, connections need to be established with the other decentralisations.

Berenschot has a wealth of in-house expertise and experience related to the decentralisations. Our clients include many municipalities, healthcare and youth care providers, sheltered employment organisations, welfare agencies, courts of auditors and sector organisations, such as VNG, Divosa, Cedris and MEE Nederland.

Frequently asked client questions

Jeroen Gelevert_klein

There will be many changes over the coming years. Municipalities face a major challenge: they will have to perform more tasks with less money. They will become integrally responsible for youth care, will be given new tasks within the Social Support Act (Wmo) and will have to help a larger group of people find work. On the other hand, this development forces providers such as healthcare and youth care institutions and sheltered employment organisations to think about their role and position. The changes in the social domain offer opportunities for establishing smarter ways of doing things. Sometimes, the link between transitions is essential in this respect, but it is not a conditio sine qua non. For some tasks, an implementation arrangement at local or district level is preferred, while regional collaboration is more suitable in other areas. The challenge for the coming year is to make fundamental choices. For municipalities, this means that they must apply a rational decision-making process as much as possible. For providers, the main challenge is to seek dialogue with municipalities.

Jeroen Gelevert

Managing Director Berenschot

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