We are conscious of our role in society. We are responsible for providing many people with an income or part of their income. But we want to go further than that. To expand our social commitment, we are employing initiatives aimed at identifying social problems such as debt, and focussing on the intention rather than the letter of the law.
We are often first in line among government agencies to spot when someone is in debt, or in danger of falling into debt. For example, the SVB may be asked to attach a benefit on behalf of a third party (e.g. the Tax and Customs Administration).
The SVB has trained employees specifically to help clients prevent or reduce the adverse effects of debts. By contacting clients in person when an attachment is levied on their pension or benefit, we can find out whether they need help. If so, we will contact the client’s municipality to arrange for the proper assistance.
We hope that by working together with local municipalities, we can help prevent people getting into financial difficulties.
In September 2016, we started a programme called ‘Working according to Intention’ to discuss problems that our staff come across in their daily work. These are usually situations where clients or society at large would suffer if we applied a rule or regulation according to the letter of the law; situations that make case workers stop and think: ‘This can't be what the law intended’.
In the programme ‘Working according to Intention’, different methods can be used to explore the problem, depending on its nature and complexity. One of these methods is The Intention Workshop (‘Garage de Bedoeling’)'.