Keywords: Social services, integration, sustainability, governance, monitoring.
Social area planning represents one of the elements characterizing the implementation of the integrated system of social interventions and services set out by Law 328/2000, as well as the role of coordination of Social Districts (Ambiti sociali) to ensure the creation of an integrated welfare system at local level. In recent years, policies to combat poverty implemented at national and regional level have given a leading role to the Social Districts themselves. This article presents some evidence of the developments in social planning captured through three specific surveys, addressed to the Social District and carried out between 2007 and 2017. The dimensions of the analysis on which the attention is focused are mainly three: the role of the planning offices, intended as technical body to support social area planning; the level of coordination between the system of social policies and other kinds of services and the (perceived) effects of integrated management of social services; the composition of the financial resources to guarantee the sustainability of the interventions and services managed at the district level. The overall picture that emerges from this reconstruction is characterized by a (still) significant territorial heterogeneity and clear margins for improvement in some local and regional welfare governance mechanisms.