MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
The hostel has 10 apartments for 60 young people. After completing a course of rehabilitation and socialization, most of them will be able to live independently.
A project has started in the capital that will allow young people with mental disabilities to prepare for an independent life. Sergei Sobyanin visited the educational and training dormitory of the accompanied living center, where graduates of the centers for promoting family education will be able to master social skills.
“We have been implementing a systematic program to reduce orphanhood in the city for many years. And the most important part of the work is so that the children stay in families and do not end up in orphanages. It is most important. But if one way or another the child ends up in an orphanage, then it is very important that he finds his family again. This is also a big serious system program. All this together led to a three and a half times decrease in the number of children in orphanages, ”said the Moscow Mayor.
However, some children, as Sergei Sobyanin noted, remain in orphanages. And some children with mental disabilities end up in psycho-neurological boarding schools, although some of them could adapt to everyday life.
“We started such a project at the beginning with public organizations and foundations. The first project, implemented on a city site, is, in fact, such a training center, when young people are taught for several years of independent life: self-management, life planning. Moreover, they are not kept in isolation, but on the contrary, they try to make them come to life: they communicate with their peers, work at some enterprises, study in our colleges, “added the Mayor of Moscow.
About 12 thousand people live in city psycho-neurological boarding schools for adults. These are mainly young people who entered here after graduating from centers for promoting family education. As a rule, they suffer from serious disorders – autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, Down syndrome, and so on, often in combination with serious somatic illnesses. However, the passage of a course of rehabilitation and socialization allows some of them to adapt to life in society.
To help young people with mental disabilities, the city’s first assisted living center was created. Its main task is to teach young people over 18 years of age the skills of independent living, help in unleashing their creative abilities and mastering a profession, preparing for integration into society.
The educational hostel of the accompanied residence center is located in a two-story building built in 1977. Its area is 2.8 thousand square meters. Previously, it housed the center for promoting family education “Yuzhny”, but due to a significant reduction in the number of orphans, the need for it disappeared.
The hostel building has been renovated, new furniture has been installed. There are 10 apartments here, which can accommodate 60 young people with mental disabilities. Each apartment has two bedrooms for three people each, a living room, a kitchen-dining room, two bathrooms and an entrance hall.
The rooms are furnished with the same furniture and equipment as in ordinary apartments. These are sofas, tables, cabinets for personal belongings, chairs, armchairs, wardrobes and TVs. Kitchen-dining rooms have everything for self-catering – stoves, dishes, refrigerators and storage space.
An accessible environment has been created in the building – all premises, furniture and household appliances are adapted for use by people with disabilities without assistance. Apartments on the ground floor are fully suitable for people with limited mobility, including those who move in wheelchairs.
The hostel has a multifunctional hall with multimedia equipment, video, sound and digital equipment. If necessary, it can be transformed into a cinema.
The building also houses a special EMO class for remote communication of young people with each other and with the outside world. This is helped by the “EMO” communication simulator, which allows you to receive and send messages in private chats and saves the history of correspondence. Text messages replace picture messages.
The hostel does not have large assembly halls, workshops and recreations, as in ordinary boarding schools, because the main task here is to include young people in an ordinary urban environment for their maximum socialization. Young people live with the constant accompaniment of social workers, defectologists, psychologists, legal counsel and other specialists. With the support of mentors, they are taught independent living skills. Many of them attend college or workshops and even undertake internships in enterprises with the possibility of further employment.
“Six people here are already working with a work book at Moscow enterprises, and they work with pleasure – this is an additional income. We employ them on the free market – in Renault, IKEA, Utkonos. They travel to factories on their own. Initially, we built the route, some were accompanied by volunteers, but now many people just get there on their own, ”said Irina Shpitalskaya, director of the center for promoting family education.
Pupils of the center are engaged in various programs that help them develop everyday and creative skills and even fulfill orders.
“This is not the first time we have ordered. The guys work not only at home individually, but also collectively. Today we are collecting chips that will be used for board games. That is, we are useful to society, ”emphasized Natalia Ichinskaya, social educator.
Pupils are also trained for social volunteering. For example, they teach how to buy groceries and prepare food.
It is expected that it will take young people three to five years to develop and consolidate the basic skills of independent living. After that, they will be able to move on to the next stage of the program – moving to the apartments of the training residence, where the mentors will be with their wards only during the daytime.
After completing the entire program, specialists will determine how much a particular young person is ready for ordinary life. It is expected that most of the wards will be able to live independently, receiving social services at home if necessary.
“This means that some young people have a chance for a normal life, for happiness. And it’s worth a lot. I am grateful to our volunteer and public organizations that initiated this project. It is very important for the city. I hope everything will work out, ”Sergei Sobyanin stressed.
How else does the city help people with mental disabilities?
The adaptation program for graduates of centers for promoting family education is just one of the city’s projects to improve the quality of life of young people with mental disabilities. Some projects are implemented in partnership with non-profit and charitable organizations.
Elena Alshanskaya, President of the Volunteers to Help Orphans Charitable Foundation, suggested that the city organize an information campaign to develop tolerance and accept special people into society.
“In fact, everyone has the right to live in society. The question is how to make it safe for humans and for society. These are really those additional services and the kind of assistance that Moscow can develop and be a leader in this regard, ”she said.
The Mayor of Moscow emphasized that the capital’s enterprises provide jobs to boarding school graduates, realizing that they need to be given special attention.
“Our orphanages have also become centers for family support, upbringing, family assistance and so on. This is one of the functions, they can quite cope with it, ”said Sergei Sobyanin. He added that the boarding schools should continue to be put in order and made more human.
Since 2014, the Life Path charitable foundation has been implementing the House under the Roof project. In three training apartments donated by the city to the foundation, young people with special needs learn to live independently. A total of 39 people have already participated in the project.
Now three families, whose children were trained in training apartments, united and bought their own apartment for their grown-up and more independent children. Four more families are going to do the same. The Foundation will continue to support young people.
Since 2018, the project “Training apartments of the Yablochko Regional Public Organization” has been implemented. In nine apartments in a building on Kirpichnaya Street (house 18, building 1), transferred by the city, 36 people can simultaneously undergo comprehensive social and domestic rehabilitation. The training course lasts 30 days and can be repeated if necessary. After him, young people return to their families. Within the framework of the project, 792 individual courses were held.
It is planned that by the end of 2021, urban and partner projects of accompanied and training accommodation will reach more than 700 young people with mental disabilities.
“In our orphanages, I think we need to pay more attention to the socialization of children, and not just keep them there. Now it turns out that in orphanages we first keep the children largely isolated from everything, then move them to this area and socialize. By and large, this should be a single process. And of course, with the subsequent accompaniment of the children, ”said Sergei Sobyanin.
Pilot project “City boarding homes of a new type”
In the system of social protection of the population of Moscow, there are 21 boarding schools with a psycho-neurological profile. To improve living conditions in these institutions, it is planned to create a safe environment, as well as new opportunities for leisure and communication.
Instead of multi-bed living quarters, living rooms for up to four people will be created with access to common halls and corridors. Ceiling curtain screens in the rooms will allow residents to isolate themselves from neighbors. Each room will have bathrooms adapted for people with limited mobility. Comfort will also be enhanced by special furniture handles, handrails, armchairs and chairs with armrests.
In the general-type departments, kitchens, household rooms and multi-zones with mobile partitions for group and individual lessons will be created. And the corridors and doorways will be made wider for movement in wheelchairs.
For the implementation of the project “City boarding homes of a new type”, a center of competence has been created, as well as a unified coordination center and a commission for the protection of the rights of citizens living in city boarding schools of a psycho-neurological profile.
The Competence Center was opened in December 2020 on the basis of the Peredelkino scientific and methodological gerontological center. It is planned to train 3.5 thousand assistants for caring for the elderly, including those with cognitive impairments (geriatrics and gerontopsychiatry), people with mental illness and young people with mental disabilities.
The center has 11 classrooms equipped with mannequins, phantom systems and everything necessary for conducting master classes and trainings. After completing the training, the center’s experts will monitor the quality of work in boarding houses.
A single coordination center deals with the quality of services provided and control of the availability of social assistance in a stationary form. From March 1, 2021, a hotline will be launched, where it will be possible to find out about the possibilities and features of each boarding house, the necessary documents for registration of a voucher to a boarding house and the procedure for moving, as well as inform about the quality of work of boarding schools.
The specialists of the unified coordination center will also help to contact a loved one living in the orphanage, inform the home-based social service about the transfer of a person from the orphanage, advise the status of consideration of the package of documents and monitor the timeliness of social assistance.
The Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Citizens Living in City Boarding Houses of Psychoneurological Profile was launched in December 2020. It will help improve the quality of life of boarding schools wards and introduce additional forms of social rehabilitation work.
The employees were representatives of city departments of labor and social protection of the population, health care, education, as well as members of socially oriented public organizations. They receive citizens living in boarding schools on legal status issues, as well as their representatives and relatives, send individual recommendations on the provision of social and legal services and coordinate activities to change the legal status of residents.
One of the most important criteria for the success of the commission’s work will be an increase in the number of resolved cases to improve the legal status (cancellation of recognition as incompetent) of citizens living in boarding houses. Cases on deprivation of legal capacity will be sent to court only after a positive conclusion of the commission.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.