Date: January 14, 2014

The quality of life of children and adults deinstitutionalized from the Orhei Residential Institution for children (boys) with mental disabilities, with the support of the "Community for All - Moldova" Program, has improved essentially, compared with the period prior to project implementation. These data are revealed by the Sociological Study "Beneficiary Impact Assessment of the "Community for All-Moldova" Program". The study was conducted by Ludmila Malcoci, PhD in Social Sciences and Inga Chistruga-Sinchevici, national consultant in the period May-July 2013.

The research assesses the changes occurred in the lives of persons with disabilities, both those, who were deinstitutionalized from the Orhei Residential Institution for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities, with the support of the "Community for All - Moldova" Program, implemented by Keystone Moldova, and those, who have benefited from support and thus were prevented from institutionalization.

More than two-thirds of respondents believe that the support provided by Keystone Moldova is fully focused on the needs of Keystone beneficiaries. The same share of respondents is satisfied with support received. The increase of satisfaction with the relationships that people with disabilities maintain with the social assistant and other social actors in the community denotes favorable changes in their approach and protection. At the same time, the obvious increase of the community social service attendance and participation in the decision making process show the changes that are happening in the process of training/education of persons with disabilities for adult life.

Study results reveal that social services, such as Community Home, Supported Living, Foster Family and Shared Living, offer real opportunities for beneficiaries to integrate into community life, to develop abilities of social networking and self-service. Although they have lived in the Orhei Residential Institution for Children (boys) with mental disabilities for a very long time, absolutely all of the beneficiaries of these services have made essential progress at the level of personal development, information about independent life, increase of domestic skills, relationships with society etc. in a very short time.

The life of children assisted by mobile teams has also changed dramatically. The most important achievements of mobile teams are: proper parents' information about the care and education of a person with disabilities, enhancement of children's happiness, development of domestic skills, increase of access to various community services etc.

At the same time, children with disabilities, attending the local school, have changed in a positive way - they have become more sociable, happy, self-confident etc. All participants in the study consider the educational inclusion of children with disabilities a necessary and good practice.

According to the indicator of satisfaction, the general attitude of community members towards all the three categories of beneficiaries (assisted by mobile teams, prevented from institutionalization and deinstitutionalized) has changed considerably for the better, has become more positive. This fact contributes to reducing the level of discrimination against people with disabilities and their inclusion in the services in the community and in society in general.

"This research has shown us ways to improve the work of the organization", said Ludmila Malcoci, executive director of Keystone Moldova. "In this context, it highlights the need for continuous capacity building of the community social service staff and the integration of beneficiaries into the community social services".

The study has been conducted within the "Community for All - Moldova" Program, implemented by Keystone Moldova, in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family and with the financial support of the Open Society Foundations/Mental Health Initiatives and Soros Foundation-Moldova.

The study sample was made up of 83 children/adults with mental disabilities, deinstitutionalized from the Residential Institution for Children with Mental Disabilities (boys) from Orhei, prevented from institutionalization, as well as beneficiaries of the Mobile Team services. Also, 25 in-depth interviews and 11 focus groups were organized with representatives of first and second-level LPAs, representatives of central public authorities, service providers and pedagogues from inclusive schools, and parents of children with SEN. In total, 107 people took part in interviews and focus groups. Given the specifics of the "Community for All - Moldova" Program, 38 person-centered plans and 38 SIB-Rs were analyzed by the method of content analysis. The objectives of the content analysis were to assess the changes and progresses achieved by the beneficiaries, as a result of the "Community for All - Moldova" Program interventions.

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