NewsMay – Slovenia

The perspective of families at a conference on de-institutionalisation in Slovenia

On 15th May 2017, COFACE’s Policy and Advocacy Officer Magdi Birtha spoke at an important conference organised by SOUS, the Association of Slovenian Training Organisations for Persons with Special needs, a member of EASPD, the European Association of Services Providers for Persons with Disabilities. The conference looked into some good examples of how to make the deinstitutionalisation process successful and sustainable. Furthermore, it brought some promising practices from Slovenia in the areas of elderly care, inclusive education and early childhood care and development.

At the meeting, COFACE emphasised that family support is key to prevent institutionalisation of children and adults with disabilities. The combination of adequate work-life balance measures and available, good quality community-based services are essential to support people with support needs to live close to their families in the community. Parents, family members and persons with support needs must be given real options to choose from and to be able to use a combination of formal and informal support, through which they can live a dignified life.

Hopefully, there will be political will in Slovenia to start the transition process from institutional to community-based care soon with the use of European Structural and Investment Funds to ensure people with support needs can receive support close to where they live. COFACE Families Europe, current co-chair of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care is happy to support the process.

For more information please contact Magdi Birtha, Policy and Advocacy Officer at

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