Keywords: Third sector; Social Services; Governance; Social Representations; Government Culture.
The reform of social services started in Italy with the law 328/2000 is far from being fully implemented. Strong differences among districts persist and can be especially observed in the degree of governance applied in the development of local social plans (Piani di zona). Third sector organizations, in particular, tend to be excluded as their role still is not legitimated in the eyes of local authorities despite formal recognition in regional laws. Further comprehension on the gap between formal statement and actual praxis in the process of social planning can be acquired by looking at social representations given by both third sector organization and local authorities.