Why this story matters:
Young Romanian with disabilities can now expect to be transferred from care centers to sheltered housing. Additionally, those who are 18 or older will go through specialized programs allowing them to integrate into the labor market.
This is how authorities are attempting to repair a lame care system for the disabled, which mostly consists of a vast network of orphanages inherited from communist times. After the 1989 revolution, steps were taken to de-institutionalize disabled children with adoption and foster care.
However, the progress made so far has not addressed one of the system's most dangerous flaws: once they reached maturity, young people were left to fend for themselves, often ending up on the streets. The new programs will tackle this long-standing oversight.
Details from the story:
- The government has approved two nation-wide programs to support people with special needs.
- One program, worth 13,6 million euros, provides for the establishment of 80 protected homes and 50 support centers. It will be implemented over the next three years by central and local authorities in partnership with NGOs.
- The second program, worth 11,4 million euros, will reduce and prevent institutionalization of persons with disabilities through the creation of specialized services in the community.