Monitoring Report on Specialized Institutions for Children/Persons with Disabilities

On September 15, 2021, the Public Defender's Office held a working meeting with representatives of the LEPL Agency for State Care and Assistance for Victims of Trafficking and specialized facilities for children/persons with disabilities. The findings of a special report drawn up on the basis of the visits paid to the assisted living facilities and orphanages for persons with disabilities were presented and the activities planned in the thematic directions were discussed at the meeting.

The visits were conducted in 2020 as part of the monitoring of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and were aimed at assessing the quality of observance of the Minimum Care Standards in Specialized Living Facilities for Persons with Disabilities and Older People, as well as the Child Care Standards, including in the context of the prevention of the novel coronavirus.

The special report states that specialized facilities for children/persons with disabilities, due to their size and regime, do not meet the requirements of an environment close to the family conditions. The institutional upbringing, lack of inclusive care and necessary educational-rehabilitation services lead to the formation of the syndrome of dependence on the institution and weaken the beneficiaries’s skills for independent living.

The infrastructure of the facilities is in some cases out of order, while the lack of staff makes it difficult to properly protect the sanitary norms.

Observation of the care process revealed that institutions do not properly identify, assess or respond to the incidents of violence. In addition, no anti-alcoholic or anti-drug efforts are made. A particular challenge is the lack of training in complex behavior management.

Problems relating to somatic and mental health were also identified. The need for timely dental treatment and strengthening of psychosocial interventions is acute.

The monitoring revealed that it is necessary to diversify the food menu of the assisted living facilities and to provide safe drinking water urgently.

The fact that service providers fail to realize the essence of the obligation to protect confidentiality has been identified as an important trend; the feedback and protest procedures are not considered as a means of improving the quality of service, which is why it has a formal character in practice.

Due to the spread of coronavirus in 2020, a variety of activities were restricted, which negatively impacted the beneficiaries’ social activity, their emotional state and motivation.

Standards for preventing and controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus in day care facilities for older people and persons with disabilities are not properly observed either.

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