An evaluation of the Social Support Act 2015

Experiences of applicants, informal carers and assessment officers

Original title: Zicht op de Wmo 2015

To enable them to live independently at home and participate in society, people with disabilities often need support. The 2015 Social Support Act (Wmo 2015) stipulates that Dutch local authorities should provide that support. This support is in addition to the help that people arrange for themselves and receive from family or friends. To request this support, people must apply to their local authority, which will then examine what is needed and what support can be offered. Local authorities have a good deal of freedom to set their own policy for coordinating this process, and to gear the social support they make available to the local situation.
This publication describes how the process from first contact to the provision of support operates in a cross-section of Dutch municipalities. It does this from the perspectives of people with disabilities who contact the local authority for social support, as well as their informal carers and local authority assessment officers who engage in dialogue with them regarding their need for support. The report also examines the extent to which the policy goals of independence and participation are achieved for those requesting Wmo-funded social support, and to what extent social support contributes to this.

The structure of the long-term care and support system in the Netherlands was changed with effect from 1 January 2015. At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) is carrying out a national evaluation of the reform of the Dutch long-term care system covering the period from 2015 to 2017 inclusive. Several interim reports will be published as part of the evaluation of the Dutch long-term care reforms, culminating in the publication of an overarching final report in 2018.