The social services administration in Östersund municipality in Sweden uses e-signatures to digitalize the decision-making process when vulnerable children, young people and addicts must be involuntarily committed. "With e-signatures, the chairman of the social services board doesn’t have to come to the office in the middle of the night to sign physical papers. Now they can sign directly with a smartphone – it increases legal certainty,” says Head of Unit Petra Olsson.
When a social welfare officer decides on immediate involuntary commitments or relocations of vulnerable children, young people and addicts, the decisions must be signed by the chairman or vice-chairman of the social services board.
No more nightly trips to the office
"This means that we call them straight away, even if it's in the middle of the night. Prior to introducing e-signatures, they needed to stay in town so that they could quickly get to the office when needed. Now they can sign via smartphone, whether at home or on the move,” says Olsson.
This makes life easier for the chairman and vice-chairman, and it also saves time for the social welfare officers, according to Olsson.
"It’s much smoother for everyone now. And e-signatures increase legal certainty for citizens because decisions can now be taken directly, without delay. Signing electronically is a big improvement,” says Olsson.