The family standpoint on deinstitutionalisation of people with disabilities
COFACE is actively working on this in the Ad Hoc Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care. This group of independent experts was convened by Commissioner Špidla (former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities) in February 2009 to look at the whole complex of issues around the reform of institutional care – i.e., Deinstitutionalisation (D-I).
The experts based their work on a strong commitment to foundational human rights and social inclusion, and a cross-cutting approach for people of all ages and conditions: elderly people, children, and people with disabilities, including people affected by mental illness.
At present, the group is working on developing common Europe-wide guidelines for the transition from institutional care to community-based care and is continuing to provide realistic advice on how to achieve the de-institutionalisation process (and what not to do) distilled from the experience of those Member States where such reforms have already been implemented.
COFACE’s input has focused chiefly on the recognition of holistic support to families and family carers as key policies for successful and sustainable deinstitutionalization.