Social reporting for the municipality of Esch: Social infrastructure and quality of life from the view of socially disadvantaged circumstances
The study analyses the social infrastructure and quality of life in the city of Esch-sur-Alzette by taking on the point of view of socially disadvantaged citizens.
For the city of Esch as well as for the state of Luxembourg, this social reporting marked the beginning of a municipal social planning. For that purpose the social infrastructure and the quality of life of people in problematic situations was examined. Through the inventory an overview of the quantity, structure and quality of the social services could be provided. The survey of selected people in problematic situations examined the quality of life of these people. Various aspects of the term “quality of life” were considered in detail: income, cultural participation, recreational activities, integration into a social network etc.
The city of Esch decided to start a continuous monitoring of the social sector in 2001. At regional level, the social reporting aims at supporting a comprehensive and citizen-friendly social planning. Thus, on the one hand the social reporting surveys the living circumstances of the citizens (e.g. income, housing, health etc.). On the other hand, the social reporting verifies the social infrastructure, which represents the answers to the social needs.
The research is devided into two parts. Firstly, an
inventory of the social infrastructure was made. A standardised
questionnaire was sent to the social services to receive the
desired information about e.g. sponsorship, key activities,
personal situation etc.
Secondly, the research conducted a deeper examination of the circumstances of citizens in problematic situations (e.g. unemployment, single parent, foreign citizen etc.). Therefore, 30 citizens in socially problematic situations were chosen for interviews.
The survey of the social infrastructure resulted in a number of specific findings. Some prevailing findings for all services are:
- The social infrastructure of Esch is marked by an extraordinary broad supply of social services.
- The services are relevant for people far beyond the borders of the municipality.
- Child care for those up to 4 years and for pupils up to 12 years is quite good but still does not meet the existing needs.
- The services are rather small and highly specialised.
- Many services have reached the limits of their work capacity.
- There are no specific services for the large share of citizens of foreign background.
Condensed main findings of the interviews are:
- There is an overall low contentment of people with their future perspectives.
- Mobility and flexibility are limited; the housing situation is not satisfactory.
- The problems of the people are hard to solve with the standardised instruments of the magisterial support
FOREG Forschungsstelle für regionale Sozialforschung Dr. Manfred Schenk
Service du développement social de la Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette