Slovenia: ‘Conference on the transition from institutional towards community based care’

Slovenia: ‘Conference on the transition from institutional towards community based care’

A Conference on the transition from institutional towards community based care in the republic of Slovenia, BRDO was held in Slovenia on the 6th May 2014. As a result of this meeting  a number of conclusions were drawn up and are listed below:

Deinstitutionalisation, DI, and independent life for various groups, who are living in social, education and health institutions, has to become main political and professional direction of Republic of Slovenia. Therefore it is necessary to strengthen understanding and awareness of the deinstitutionalisation concept as well as development, widening and strengthening of the network of various community based services.

The need for deinstitutionalisation is based on principles and liabilities: of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, ratified by Republic of Slovenia in 2008 as well as others international documents. Main focus of deinstitutionalisation is providing equal opportunities, acknowledgement and granting human rights and preventing segregation of individuals living in institutions.

  1.  Deinstitutionalisation is political and social process enabling transition from institutional care towards independent and equal life within the community. Persons living in the institution must be granted with an opportunity to become fully entitled citizens and take over control over their lives and to transform from passive into active citizens with support of various community based services, providing a possibility of choice. .
  2. UN Convention principles about nondiscrimination, approachability and right to live active life in the community as well as employment and mobility must be set a standard of all political initiatives, plans and actions on the state and on local level as well.
  3. National policies must comprise a comprehensive approach and must be agreed on all different levels; deinsitutionalisation process demands effective approach, which must not be within the responsibility of only couple of ministries . . It is urgent for all stakeholders to comprehend that finance resources for institutions have to be redirect into community based activities, which enable independent life. This is the only way to assure possibilities for equal life and cooperation for all citizens.
  4. Basic conditions for deinstitutionalisation must be fulfilled; such a providing accessible housing (barrier free and price accessible), accessibility towards public services and various kinds of assistance, peer support and other supportive community based services.
  5. Deinstitutionalisation grant a possibility, that children grow up in their families and emphasizes there is no need to live in institution just because of physical, psychical, social impairment or age.
  6. Investment in building of new institutions should be limited and prevent transfer of institutional culture into community based care.

Key principles and conditions for the further process of deinstitutionalization in Slovenia:

  • Community based services have to be tailored to the individual’s needs; her or his physical, psychical characteristics have to be fully respected as well as culture and social circumstances of environment, where she or he lives. The aim of the services is to assure to the individual quality of life as well as her or his family.
  • Community based care is a comprehensive process, which calls for integrated approach, early treatment, transition, permanent monitoring and evaluation, considering various individual’s needs as well as her or his family. Services have to be interrelated, continued, appropriative and assured through the whole life cycle.
  • Community based care means coordinated cooperation among all stakeholders, who provide housing, social and health care, education, employment, culture and spare time activities.
  • Financing of the community based services has to be transparent, traceable , and focused towards individual’s needs (and not providers ).
  • Conditions for advocacy and empowering of individuals and their family represent the basics of deinstitutionalisation process.
  • It is necessary to provide active participation of users, their families and NGOs, who represent them, within the process of deinstitutionalisation and community based care.
  • Community based services have to target user’s needs through clearly defined benchmarks and risk factors, which can be assessed and verified.
  •  Within the process of deinstitutionalisation it is necessary to preliminary provide/grant community based services, tailored towards the needs of the individual and her/his family.
  • Early care of children with special needs as well as admission in regular kindergartens and schools has to be assured.
  • For adults with handicap or special needs conditions for education, training employment and active participation in social life must be granted.
  • It is priority to promote care for older people on their homes with parallel support to their family members and/or other informal care-givers.
  • It is necessary to create conditions and possibilities for cooperation and solidarity among all generations, regarding to interests of younger and adult population.
  • It is necessary to develop tool for effective follow-up, evaluation, monitoring and control of community based services, used by individual or her/his family.

We, participants of the conference, according to above written guidelines , propose following measures to enable development of coherent and sustainable community based care in Slovenia:

  • Change of legislation and budgeting on the area of long-term care, personal assistance, health, education, social care, employment and infrastructure;
  • Prepare a plan of deinstitutionalisation process and development of community based services, adjusted with all relevant stakeholders (local communities, NGO, users,…). Plans have to have clear priorities, operational aims, time-frame, measurable indicators for evaluation, monitoring;
  • Establish national body with an aim to monitor implementation of the deinstitutionalisation process as well as to evaluate community based services development, consisted of the users or their representatives, expert institutions, carriers, local politicians and concerned (adequate) ministries;
  • Through different pilot projects accelerate and support development of new effective types and methods of community based services;
  • Organizing and connecting different stakeholders on the field of community based service development as well as effective use of EU social founds are crucial to realize the objectives, recognized on the conference about deinstitutionalisation.

If you would like further information please contact Grega Fajdiga; gregor@yhd-drustvo.si

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