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To facilitate access to services: a social information help desk

Launched by the canton and several institutional and associative partners, the social information office has reached a new phase in its development with the enhanced aim of combating the non-use of services. To this end, the cantonal, municipal and associative partners have joined forces to provide beneficiaries with a “surgery”, offering direct access to professionals, open from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. at the Plainpalais community centre, beginning on 4 February 2021.

Bureau information sociale

An evaluation of the social information office, launched against the backdrop of the health crisis, shows that this type of surgery met a very real long-term need. With this in mind the canton, through the intermediary of the Department of Social Cohesion (DCS), the City of Geneva, via the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, and the Hospice général, have developed a social information help desk open to each and every inhabitant in the canton.

The help desk also has a website which presents all useful information. This service has been designed as a first resort surgery bringing together different entities in order to inform and guide people regardless of whether they are directly impacted by the current crisis. Support is provided on issues such as indebtedness and financial aid, housing, poverty or psychological distress. In order to cover the entire canton and reach the different groups of the population, the social information office will henceforth be housed in a central location in the city, at the heart of the Plainpalais district in the community centre at 3 rue des Minoteries.

High-quality information on a range of issues

On site and without requiring an appointment, anyone can obtain basic social information as well as guidance in contacting the most suitable organisation to answer their questions. The help desk handles all matters in the strictest confidence and people can request to remain anonymous in their contact with the staff.

The social information office is the fruit of collaboration between the representatives of the Department of Social Cohesion of the Canton of Geneva, the social works of the Canton of Geneva, the Hospice Général, the staff of member associations of the Collectif d'associations pour l'action sociale (CAPAS) and the different municipalities.

Thanks to the presence of a representative of the Office for Social Action, Insertion and Integration of the Department of Social Cohesion, those people eligible for social services will benefit from immediate aid in preparing or updating their application file, be it for health insurance subsidies, supplementary family benefits or other financial allowances.

With regard to housing, representatives of ASLOCA Geneva and the Association pour la sauvegarde du logement des personnes précaires will provide legal advice and information concerning tenants’ rights. A specialist psychologist from the Association genevoise des psychologues (AGPsy) will provide advice and support, if necessary directing beneficiaries towards suitable therapeutic monitoring. The HETS also participates in this service by means of a constant presence of several of its student social workers.

The creation of this social information office is therefore the result of a clear and shared desire to facilitate access to services. The office also offers all the entities active in this sphere the possibility of strengthening their network action and adopting a complementary approach in order to provide beneficiaries and claimants with the tangible responses.

The surgery will be open every Thursday from 4 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. for a period of at least 10 weeks starting 4 February at the Plainpalais community centre at 3, rue des Minoteries, premises made available by the City of Geneva.

The public can also obtain information concerning the premises and the services available on the website.

For further information

  • Canton: Mr Thierry Apothéloz, State Councillor, through Mr Henri Della Casa, deputy secretary general responsible for communication, DCS, tel. 078 674 69 95
  • City of Geneva: Ms Christina Kitsos, Administrative Councillor, through Ms Manuelle Pasquali de Weck, DCSS Tel. 079 446 40 13
  • The Hospice Général Mr Christophe Girod, Director General, through Mr Bernard Manguin, Media Officer, tel. 022 420 51 54

Espace de quartier Plainpalais

Rue des Minoteries 3
1205 Genève
Tél. +41 22 418 97 60

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Article modifié le 04.02.2021 à 17:18