The Sara Centre – Integrated Services For Adults With Disabilities

People with disabilities face every day multiple and complex constraints, due to both, the disabling effects of their specific illness, and the social stigma and social exclusion of the community. These people need support in order to make full use of the resources that they have in order to stop living as society`s outcasts, and transform into full members of our society. At the same time, the wider community needs training in order to shift its perception and see differences as opportunities and added value, not a handicap. 

In order to meet the needs of people with disabilities, the Social Services Association Scut, in partnership with the Social Services Department of Brasov, is implementing the project "The Sara Centre - integrated services for adults with disabilities" (april 2014 - april 2016), funded by the EEA 2009-2014 grants, through the NGO Fund in Romania - the 4th component - Basic and social services.

The project, with a total budget of 238165 Euro, out of which 214348,5 Euro is a grant, aims to create the Sara Centre, where adults living with disabilities will receive integrated services that will increase their autonomy, quality of life and social insertion. The target group includes adults suffering from physical, mental, psychological, somatic, visual, auditory and associated disabilities. 

The project`s activities take place in Brasov, at the day centre but also at the homes of the beneficiaries. These activities include:
  • psychological counselling;
  • social counseling;
  • psychotherapy;
  • support groups;
  • training for independent life skills;
  • creative development seminars;
  • medical support.
What`s more, within this project, care givers and families of adults with disabilities will also benefit from these services.

Moreover, these individual and family based interventions are complemented by antidiscrimination and awareness raising campaigns targeting the wider community. We aim to inform, educate and raise the awareness of the wider community of Brasov in regards to human rights, democratic values, equality, or the value of differences, as a complementary action in our efforts to strengthen the social inclusion of people with disabilities. These activities include the Difference as value! campaign, the Human Library public events, and the PhotoVoice exhibitions. 

Overall, here at the Social Services Association Scut we aim to offer support to adults suffering from a mild, medium or acute disability, and who live in Brasov. 

Project "Sara Centre-integrated Services for adults with disabilities" has offered for 26 months free services including psychological and social counselling, psychotherapy, support groups, medical support, training and financial support, developing independent life skills and creative development. We have worked directly with 946 persons and we can say the following about them:

- the average age of adults with disabilities is 66 years and of their caregivers is 56-65 years (41,67) followed by 31-45 (23,61) meaning that the adults with disabilities are looked after by their children or close relatives
- most of the caregivers were women (83,33%)
-almost half of the adults had a profund disability, 41,35% severe and 9,02% moderate disability
- 27% of our beneficiary had a physical disability and somatic, 23,31% mental and phychiatric and 23% multiple disabilities
-466 were adults with disabilities from Brasov and 480 family members/care givers

Our impact on the community was made through the "Diferenta e valoare" campaign as we tried to raise awareness and promote the rights of adults with disabilities. 13 school and highschools were involved and almost 2611 students received our message.Also, the adults with disabilities tried to sent a message themselves through Photovoice, in 2014 the message was "I enjoy life" and in 2015 "Humanity". Another campaign was "The human library" where, in the two editions, 100 volunteers were involved, 88 "human books", 7000 followers on the online environment and over 800 people participating.
 
Being at its end, project Sara was implemented between 1st March 2014- 30 of April 2016 in partnership with "Directia de Servicii Sociale" funded with SEEA Grants 2009-2014. Having this occasion we express our concerns regarding:
1. low standards of living, in some cases extreme poverty for both adults with disabilities and their caregivers
2. the system of social care and support is incomplete, inadequate and insufficient for the needs of adults with disabilities and caregivers
3. the rejection that the adults with disabilities have to face from the local community

1.Low standards of living, in some cases extreme poverty for both adults with disabilities and their caregivers
Recommendations
- most of our beneficiaries only live from the allowance they are entitled to based on their disability, which means they live with 30-400 lei/month
-whereas the amounts of allowances and supplementary budgets provided by Law no. 448/2006 on the protection and promotion of the rights of the disabled, are far from covering the cost of living and care for a disabled person, it is necessary to increase them (minimum recommended amount: minimum wage for persons who have serious degree of disability);
-create or develop jobs  tailored to the resources and limitations of persons with disabilities

2. The system of social care and support is incomplete, inadequate and insufficient for the needs of adults with disabilities and caregivers
Recommendations
-simplification of administrative procedures for accessing local benefits to which they are entitled to and the procedures of obtaining the documents necesary for a new certificate of disability
- implementation of long lasting support programmes for caregivers both informational and emotional
-professional training and monitoring the quality of the activity the personal assistants offer to the adult with disability
-increasing cooperation between specialists and general practitioners, as well as an infrastructure using digital storage for transmission of medical information;
-creating additional financial mechanisms for local community services for both adults with disabilities and caregivers as day centers or respite centers

3. The rejection that the adults with disabilities have to face from the local community
Recommendations
-informing and training the employees from the publich health system to corectly assess resources of people with disabilities, stimulate them and guide them to access community resources
-implementation of community actions and campaigns (consistently sustained) in order to  raise awareness of the general population with respect to chronic disease, disability, handicap;
-creating additional financial mechanisms to support autonomous living of persons with disabilities in the community by supporting social housing

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Granturile SEE, 2009 – 2014
Fondul ONG

This website has been modernized through the "Sara Centre - integrated services for adults with disabilities" project, financed by the EEA Grants 2009-2014, under the NGO in Romania. The content of this website does not necessarily represent the official position of EEA Grants, 2009-2014. The entire responsibility for the accuracy and consistency of information belongs to the initiators of the presented website. For official information about the EEA and Norway Grants, visit: www.eeagrants.org.