International Number: 0032 2 403 72 26
Government – Aug 2015

Profile: Social Services for adults, Esbjerg DK


Municipalities in Denmark are required by law to give help to all citizens, who, because of reduced physical or mental level of functioning (disabilities) have a need for support in development and compensation for handicaps.

The target group resembles the population in regard to the desire to live a satisfying everyday life with family, friends, work, and recreational activities.

In order to create an overview of the span of the target groups’ disabilities, Social Services has chosen to define handicaps based on how far citizens are from being able to master the challenges of everyday life.

Disabilities are assessed in relation to three dimensions:

– Physical

– Mental

– Social behaviour

Furthermore, each citizen’s level of functioning is assessed in relation to seven dimensions, based on WHO’s International Classification of Functioning:

– Practical aspects of domestic life

– Self Care

– Communication

– Mobility

Community Life

– Social Life

– Health

The Strategic Lines of Focus

The department has five target lines, which are given below:

1.Early and coordinated interventions in relation to assessment of the citizen’s resources and challenges followed by intervention through relevant actions.

  1. Based on the citizen’s level of functioning, individual support is given to develop the individual’s competencies in order to allow them to live a life as close to normal as possible with regard to employment, education, recreational, and housing.
  2. Everyday life is to be structured proactively and oriented towards learning, making it possible for the individual citizen to grow beyond current service frameworks and current level of functioning.
  3. Through flexible interventions across formal structures, the citizen’s needs are met optimally by using the fewest possible resources.
  4. Development and experimentation with methods for involving civil society in Social Service provision.

The perspective of the human condition behind the target lines maintains that a citizen must be offered services with a minimal amount of invasion. This perspective puts its focus on what the individual can master independently. Interventions are derived from the individual citizen’s needs instead of from a more limiting target group thinking, where the contents of the existing services define the interventions available for the individual citizen.

Triangular Dialog for Assessment and Referral

Assessment and referral of the citizen plays a central role, as services are by referral only, with only a few exceptions.

The principle communication process in assessment and referral is called “The Triangle” between: Citizen, Case Worker, and Service Provider.

Results- Based Management

Results-Based Management (RBS) is the focus for the future management of the department. The essence of RBS is documenting results at an individual level, and out of this starting a process of learning and reflection, so the organization can direct resources towards interventions that work. This is done by registering the citizen’s starting point (baseline) at referral, and at relevant points in time, to measure development.

These measurements of effect can be used both within the individual citizen’s case, and more generally to improve management of services in Social Services.


Britta Martinsen

Head of the department Social Services for adults with disabilities at the municipality of Esbjerg

Tel: +45 51335197

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