AbstractThe new Dutch law on social support (Wet op maatschappelijke ondersteuning) fits in with a broad international social innovation of the welfare state, more in particularly the social sector. Privatisation, an empowering civil society, goal oriented strategies in stead of universalism and localisation of social policies are basic elements in social innovation. It is quite uncertain what the outcomes will be for citizens and social workers. In the second part of the article the author identifies two opposite strategies for steering: a market approach and a concerted community approach, and claims that we have to look for new and smart ways of reconciling both strategies. In the third part recent developments in social care, social education and community work are presented. The final section focuses on the impact on social work. It is said that social work is adopting a broader concept and should be based on the three pillars of modern citizenship: self care, social responsibility and access to social rights and social services. Social workers support citizens in coping with daily live (living and working conditions), with social responsibility and living together and in realising access to society, the social institutions and their social rights.