Birmingham City Council welcomed two delegates from the Catalan capital, Mr Alex Masllorens, the Deputy General Manager of Social Services, and Mrs Angels Canals, the Director of the Municipal Institute of Social Services. The purpose of their visit was to find out more about how social services in other European cities are organised to inform their own city’s changes. They had previously also visited Rotterdam as a model city.
A full day’s schedule gave the visitors a profile of Birmingham’s demographic and social challenges. Professionals of the field gave the delegation an overview of social care services and other forms of support provided or commissioned by the Birmingham City Council such as Neighbourhood Offices, the Birmingham Commissioning of Excellence and the Adults and Communities Access Point.
In the afternoon they met Jean Templeton, the Chief Executive of St Basil’s, to discuss its Youth Hub’s one-stop approach to help prevent youth homelessness. Together with other dedicated workers they took a tour through St Basil’s facilities and were able to have many questions on this
area of social challenge answered.
The delegates found that the visit had given them a valuable insight into Birmingham’s social care model. They will seek to follow up on some ideas that were formed during their visit in building a new model for social services for Barcelona.