Establishment of the project unit for the DI implementation

As a project partner, the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Social Protection, together with the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities, seeks to provide a basis for completing the deinstitutionalization process (DI) in Slovenia.

We strive to meet the requirements of many international documents at the European Union, the European Council, and the United Nations. The Common European Guidelines for the Transition from Institutional to Community Care emphasize that institutional forms of care are segregating, unfit for life, and even harmful to residents.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Slovenia is a signatory, also recognizes the right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community and calls on States to take effective and appropriate measures to ensure that they enjoy this right.

Despite European trends of deinstitutionalization, Slovenia faces a significant lack of community forms of living and community services. The care for people with psychosocial and mental disabilities is still covered mainly by institutional care.

To meet the requirements of international documents, the project unit has been established at the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities.

The project unit will:

-study the situation in the field of DI in Slovenia in cooperation with IRSSV,

-identify areas of DI that still need to be regulated;

-prepare draft laws and national strategies that will enable coordinated implementation of activities for the establishment of the DI system;

-bring together all relevant stakeholders in the field of establishing a DI system, provide them with professional resources and materials;

-prepare expert bases for the implementation of other operations within the competence of the investor in the field of DI and

-supervise the progress of the construction of the DI system.

The main goal of DI is to organize and establish services that will better address each person’s individual needs and replace inadequate institutional care. We strive to ensure that people living in institutions can move back into the community, and those in need of care will never have to leave it, as they will have the adequate support of long-term health and social care providers available.

The ultimate goal of DI is that someday all people could live in a home environment. We know that the road to get there may be long and challenging, but we also know the goal is achievable.

A prerequisite for this is quality community care staff and an extensive network of community services. We have already set out on this path with deinstitutionalization being in full swing in the special social welfare institution Dom na Krasu in Dutovlje and the Center for Training, Work and Protection (CUDV) Črna na Koroškem. In both institutions, our team is implementing a community resettlement program.

Our activities are also related to the implementation of the analysis of the situation and the review of existing institutional care and community care services, as well as informing and raising awareness of various publics.

We have created a website where it will be possible to find a knowledge base with relevant information in the field of DI, professional and scientific literature, good domestic and foreign practices, and visualizations of data and studies. We will add content, notifications, and news about various DI-related events and other content.

We want to create a modern, up-to-date, and interesting website aimed not only at those who are directly affected by DI but also at the general public. We are convinced that it is an important topic for every citizen.

As we believe that opposition to and disinterest in deinstitutionalization can stem from unfamiliarity with the complex processes and professional expertise behind these complicated terms, we will organize one-day consultations and focus groups.

We hope that these and other events will help people know more about this issue and loosen all the contradictions. At the same time, we hope to arouse the interest of as many people as possible. We will also prepare other materials that can be found on the website.