COFACE Families Europe is founding member of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG), which was convened by Commissioner Špidla (former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities) in February 2009. The EEG is a broad coalition gathering stakeholders representing people with care or support needs and their families, including children, persons with disabilities, homeless people, people experiencing mental health problems; as well as service providers, public authorities and intergovernmental organisations.

The Group’s mission is to promote person-centred, quality and empowering models of services and formal and informal care that fully respect the human rights of all people with care or support needs. The Group supports national efforts to implement the necessary reforms, in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (in particularly with Article 19), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Charter for Fundamental Rights.

The Group has developed the Common European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to Community Based Care and a Toolkit on the Use of European Union Funds for the Transition from Institutional to Community Based Care (last updated in 2014). These two key documents provide the framework for the work of the Expert Group and offer Member States guidance on how to carry out a sustainable deinstitutionalisation process and how EU funds can support national, regional and local authorities in designing and implementing structural reforms. Deinstitutionalisation is not only about closing down large-scale residential institutions, where human rights violation often occurs, but refers to the whole process of developing a range of services in the community, including prevention, in order to eliminate the need for institutional care.

Europe is now negotiating the future budget for 2021-2027. The EEG is actively advocating for ensuring that investment will support deinstitutionalisation reforms that access to funding will be made conditional to promote the shift from institutional to community-based care and to strengthen involvement of all stakeholders, including civil society in the programming of the interventions from the Structural and Investment Funds.

COFACE Families Europe’s expertise lies in bringing the family perspective to DI and advocate for holistic support to families in order to avoid institutionalisation of children, or other relatives with support needs. For a successful and sustainable DI process, we want Member States to ensure investment in the development of high-quality community-based services and along this process, to recognise the social rights and benefits for family carers, as well as providing them with adequate work-life balance policies.

In 2019 the COFACE Disability Platform developed S.H.I.F.T, a guide towards the meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families. The guide aims at inspiring inspire policy makes and key actors in society by highlighting 5 objectives, 15 tools and 45 actions in the areas of support, human rights, independence, families and society transition. S.H.I.F.T. addresses citizens, NGOs, social and health service, funders, policy-makers, self-advocates, family carers, employers, education professionals, urban developments and housing providers, European decision-makers, local and regional authorities, trade unions and employers.

COFACE Disability Platform Meets In Luxembourg

COFACE Disability Platform meets in Luxembourg

Created in 1967 by parents concerned by intellectual disability in Luxembourg, APEMH is the member of COFACE Families Europe which hosted the last meeting of the COFACE Disability Platform on 13th and 14th of June. During the first day, COFACE…

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New Leaflet: All Together For Inclusive Employment

New leaflet: all together for inclusive employment

COFACE Families Europe is a member of a joint European taskforce on co-production of the future social services since 2016. The taskforce is led by EASPD and involving also the European Disability Forum, Mental Health Europe, Inclusion Europe, and the…

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European Day Of Persons With Disabilities 2018

European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2018

On the 3rd and 4th of December a COFACE Families Europe delegation attended conference for the European Day of Persons with Disabilities 2018, hosted by the European Commission, in partnership with the European Disability Forum (EDF). During the two-day conference…

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Call To Action: EDF Petition On EU Elections

Call to action: EDF petition on EU elections

Over 80 million persons with disabilities routinely face easy-to-solve problems in voting including lack of accessible polling station, complicated instructions, unreadable voting ballots and deprivation of the legal right to vote. The European Disability Forum, of which COFACE Families Europe…

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