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Door-to-Door for Change

Winner - Spark!

Competition: Spark:Experience
Designer: Lea Ward - Creative Director
Design Type: Service Design
Company / Organization / School: Cnote
Website: http://cnote.nl
Team Members: Jan Donders, Social Services, The Hague Evelyn Smeets, Client Manager, Cnote Marieke Greeve, Concept Designer, Cnote and Jan Donders, Gemeente Den Haag and Mathijs Tuynman, Trimbos Institute

“Door-to-Door for Change” is a pilot project that targets families in The Hague who have been on social assistance for 3+ years. The goal is to have 15% of parents find work and 50% increase their community engagement. To be successful, the project needed to answer 2 difficult questions: 1) How to get parents – who have long been dependent on the state and are often socially isolated – to change their lives? 2)How to excite social workers who may be skeptical of “yet another initiative”? A structured design process started with delving into and mapping the needs of families and the social workers. Based on this contextual research, the program and supporting materials created a journey that builds on the underlying motivations of parents and social workers. During house visits social workers start by having participants identify why they would want to work, if they could (for the income? to feel better physically?). Once a participant’s own personal “what’s in it for me?” is identified, this guides the program he or she will follow to find work. Social workers register progress versus that goal in “My Plan”. The tools social workers use help foster an active dialogue and open communication with participants. The materials use a visual language with simple text in an informal, non-bureaucratic style. This creates a more human relationship between family and social worker. Initial results are positive and the pilot has been expanded to an additional 350 families, with 8 more social workers joining the team.