Staff Matters! EASPD Conference 3-4 October 2019

Welcome to Helsinki in October! This conference aims to explore current and future dynamics in social care workforce.

How social care and support workforce can enable human rights in their daily work? What kind of competences, skills and qualifications are needed to provide quality support to persons with disabilities? How to develop leadership skills to manage your services and human resources in an effective way? How to create a community culture that enables great employee experiences that in turn lead to great user experiences?

The conference will focus on the topics of recruitment, retention and training of social care & support workforce in the context of the growing demand for service delivery in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Conference participants will discuss and share best practices on how to manage human resources to facilitate the implementation of the UN CRPD.

In this conference we explore interesting points of view on these and many other workforce related topics from Finnish and European experts. The conference languages are English and Finnish.

The conference is organized in cooperation with EASPD, KVPS and a group of dedicated Finnish partners.

Conference prices:
EASPD members 220 € (early bird until August 1st) -260 € (normal price)
Non-EASPD members 280 € (early-bird until August 1st) -320 € (normal price)
Participants from low GDP countries* 80 € (early bird) -110 € (normal price)

*Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The conference fee covers your  participation at the two-days long conference (including coffee breaks & lunch) and at the gala dinner taking place on the 3rd of October. The conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland, 3-4 October 2019. It takes place in Radisson Blu Seaside, Ruoholahdenranta 3, 00180 Helsinki.

Register now here!

Event info

  • After the official final registration date (13.9.), registrations may be accepted if there is room for the event. Please note, however, that no cancellation is possible anymore.
  • Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation arrangements and travel expenses. Ask recommendations or help on this, please contact

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation can be made before the last official registration date on the 13th of September 2019.
  • Any subsequent cancellations will be subject to 50% of the conference fee.
  • If a person is prevented from coming to the event due to illness or force majeure, it's possible to replace the participant by another person from your organisation. However, this must be communicated in writing in advance to the organizer of the event ( In this case, we do not charge a cancellation fee.


We have made some pre-reservation for the following accommodation possibilities:

Myö Hostel
Myö Hostel is a brand new boutique-hostel just a few kilometres from the center of Helsinki, in the charming Ruskeasuo district. Although our location is central and well connected, they are surrounded by a lush Finnish forest and a beautiful residential area. They offer jobs for people with disabilities and  strive to make the working world more inclusive for everyone.
Normal price is 93€ / single room / night, 105€ / double room per person / night.
You get a -10% discount from the price by using code Conference2019 and booking your room until 31st of August 2019.
More information:

Hotel AVA
Hotel AVA is located in the Helsinki district of Vallila, approximately 3 km from the city center. Hotel Ava has excellent connections to Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, Pasila railway station, and the city center. Prices: 79,00€ / single room, standard / night, 89,00EUR / single room, studio-apartment / night. The breakfast is 9,80€ / per person / night. If you book your room until 4th of September, use code Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability
More information:

Radisson Blu Seaside
Radisson Blu Seaside is our conference hotel. Prices: 140€ / single room / night, 160€ / double room / per person / night. If you book your room until 20th of August, use code BKVPS.
More information:

EASPD - European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities.
#staffmatters #EASPD

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Van Hecke, EASPD, tel.+32 2 233  77 20,
Petra Rantamäki, KVPS, tel. +358 207 713 528,




8.30-9.00 Registrations
9.00 – 9.45

Welcome address
- Kirsi Konola, Vice-President, EASPD
- James Crowe, President, EASPD
- Finnish Government representatives, co-hosts (TBC)

Introductory remarks and housekeeping announcements
- Petra Rantamäki (the conference hostess)

9.45 – 10.30 Future of Work in Social Care
- Jos de Blok, founder and CEO, Buurtzorg
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 – 12.30 Panel session: European Disability Workforce: Trends and Insights

Panel will discuss 4 topics: labour mobility, migration, digitalisation, new models of employment/new types of jobs, austerity measures

Moderation and introduction by James Churchill, Director, Social Care Training Ltd (UK) & Chair of EASPD Interest Group on Workforce Development and Human Resources
- Shereen Hussein, Professor of Care and Health Policy and Evaluation and Associate Director, University of Kent (TBC)
- Teppo Kröger, Professor of Social and Public Policy, University of Jyväskylä
- Daphne Ahrendt, Research Manager, Eurofound (TBC)
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.00 Staff Matters! Future of the workforce
- Johanna Pystynen, Director, People Operations at Vincit Oy
14.00 – 14.30 Couch session: Creating trust in services – ensuring human rights
Moderation and introduction by Jyrki Pinomaa, President, Inclusion Europe & Inclusion Finland
- Representatives of persons with disabilities
- Social care staff representatives
14.30 – 15.30 Workshops: Staff Learning and Development – Human rights, Skills and Competences
- 6 parallel workshops
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.00 Workshops: Staff Learning and Development, Knowledge, Skills and Competences

Training courses for different fields:
- Education
- Employment
- Living in the Community
- Early intervention

19.00 Conference dinner at Restaurant Bank


9.00 – 9.15 Welcome to day II + Recap from previous day
- Petra Rantamäki, Partnership Director, KVPS
9.15 – 9.45 Empathy, leadership and interaction in creating a human-centric work culture
- Katri Saarikivi, Cognitive brain researcher, University of Helsinki
9.45 – 10.30

Panel session: Role of the leadership in creating human rights-based services and staff commitment
Moderation and introduction by Michael Fembek, Director of the Zero Project, Essl Foundation
- Guus van Beek, Owner, It’s All About Quality Consultancy, Role of staff in Social Services in the development of a quality culture
- United Response

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee Break
11.00 – 12.00 Panel session on leadership
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 14.00 Workshops – management level
- Motivation, careers development, etc.
- New ways of team work, working arrangements
- Diversity management
- Change management
14.00 – 15.00

Policy Panel: Way forward: How to improve the image of the sector and attract quality workforce
Moderation and introduction by Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, EASPD

- Rodolfo Cattani, Board Member of European Disability Forum (TBC)
- Sylvain Renouvel, Director, Federation of European Social Employers
- Luca Scarpiello, Policy Assistant for Social Care, Tax Justice and Digitalisation, European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
- Ann Branch, Head of Unit, European Commission DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (TBC)

15.00 – 15.30 - Conclusion and closing

More information