An SCBA as a tool for investment choices

Redesign social teams in Helmond

The Municipality of Helmond has been working according to a more integrated working method in the social domain by means of social teams for a number of years, but wants to redesign this. To optimize this new way of working, Ecorys mapped the social costs and benefits of the redesign. The municipality has used the results to further shape the redesign and has now started a tender process for the new social teams.

The Municipality of Helmond found that the more integrated way of working in the social domain was developing too slowly and that too much specialized care was still being indicated rather than self-supported and scaled down. The redesign therefore shifts the focus of the teams from question clarification and indication to question clarification and providing support themselves as much as possible.

To gain insight into the social costs and benefits, we started with a description of the current working method, the experienced bottlenecks and the interventions of the redesign. We then schematically mapped out the intended effects and benefits for each intervention. This is an indispensable step to get a picture of which intervention leads to which effects and why.

The analysis showed that both the benefits for society as a whole and the financial benefits for the municipality are expected to exceed the costs of the redesign after a few years. The benefits accrue not only to the municipality, but also to vulnerable residents who experience a higher quality of life. The state and health insurers also collect benefits: by preventing escalations, they save on healthcare costs.

Points to consider

  • Learn about the success factors in other municipalities and create room in the implementation to apply them. We think about the development of employees into broadly employable ‘social workers’ and close cooperation between the social teams and external professionals from the second line.
  • Monitor the size of the inflow of clients and the average length of counseling well. One risk of the new way of working is that these will increase more than expected, resulting in higher costs.
  • The cost comes before the benefit. The investment is made now, while the savings will not be seen until later. Give the teams time to master the new way of working in order to realize the expected effects over time.

Based on the analyses, the municipality made the choice to invest in the new teams according to the basic variant. The analysis also gave them insight into the size of the investment needed and they have therefore included this in the tender process currently underway. The study gave the municipality comfort to invest, because of the expected payback effects made visible and the uncertainties involved.

“The study has not only given us confirmation that we are on the right track with our transformation task with the new way of working, but has also provided insight into the preconditions we need to optimize to make the social teams a success.” – Municipality of Helmond

Want to know more about an SCBA and how it can provide insight into the effects of a project in your organization? If so, please contact Wim Spit.

12 May 2021

3 minute read

Key Experts

Wim Spit

Senior economist