Modernising Social Services in Spain

Designing a New National Framework

image of Modernising Social Services in Spain

Social services in Spain are confronted with a series of challenges, including growing demand due to population ageing, changing family models, rising inequality and labour market changes. Services are fragmented and, with multiple providers, lack reliable and comprehensive data. There is also a discontinuity between primary and specialised care. The decentralised model of competences generates complexity in management and financing of services. With the current governance and financing system, there are disparities in the type and quality of social services provided across the 17 Spanish Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities. In addition, there is a lack of portability of benefits throughout the country. This report suggests ways to improve the legal context, move towards more universal services, strengthen quality, and move towards more evidence-based policies.


The complex legal framework for social services across Spain

The focus of this chapter is the current constitutional regulation of the public social services system in Spain and the possibility of strengthening central government co‑ordination of the system within this framework. The first section describes the constitutional obligation to provide a public system of social services and the scope of the competence of Autonomous Communities in this area. The second part elaborates the possibilities of central government intervention in general terms, and the third part the concrete co‑ordination options through a harmonisation law or a law guaranteeing the basic conditions of social rights.


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