Final conference of the OPEN ARMS project held in Belgrade
EU support to people with mental disabilities

 

More than 160 people with mental disabilities were moved out from social care institutions after years spent in institutions, more than 200 people are prepared to move the institutions and more than 900 people used community based services. It was all made possible thanking to the activities of the project OPEN ARMS funded by the European Union with 5 million EUR.

Activities of the OPEN ARMS project made significant steps to the process of deinstitutionalization of people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities and create conditions for their social inclusion in society and local communities.

At the final conference held in Mikser House in Belgrade on 25 November 2015 in the presence of Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of EU Delegation in Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labor, Employment, and Social Issues and Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health, 19 projects implemented by social and health care, civil society organizations and local governments as part of the OPEN ARMS project were presented. Aim of the projects is social inclusion and deinstitutionalization of the persons with mental problems.

“Users of services are people who spent most of the life in institutions and this is the way for their life becomes better and fairer. Regardless of handicap they can be productive members of society and have the right to joy and hope”, said Minister Aleksandar Vulin. He added that the project must be involved into the system and expand to whole Serbia.

“The project was a successful and all these people thanks to the project are not in hospitals. They went to their homes. We want everyone to help and we can do that” said Minister Zlatibor Loncar.

Addressing to the participants Ambassador Davenport emphasized that all who participated in the project through their commitment and efforts contributed to bring people back into the community. He added that project proofs that “the joint efforts of ministries, local self-governments, civil society organizations and health and social institutions can do a lot”.

Presentation about the project achievements were held by Dr. Monika Gabanyi, project Team leader and Dr. Jan Pfeiffer, project key expert. Dragan Jevremovic, Director of residential institution (RI) from Veliki Popovac and Mirko Jankelic, Director of RI in Curug presented experience of these pilot institutions gained through process of transformation. Tatjana Stokin Markovinovic, user of social care services from Novi Becej addressed to participants. Organisations which will continue to work on deinstitutionalization process were presented at the event by Marko Milicevic, RI from Curug.

Within activities of these projects for whose implementation the EU donated more than 2.3 million EUR, new community based services for persons with mental health problems have been developed, new houses were built and equipped for independent living where users were moved, programs for foster families were created, and to prevent further risk of institutionalization (placement in institutions), mental health centres, day care centres and home care services for these people were established. People with mental health problems were prepared for leaving the institution supported by many different experts in all institutions.

Facilities with “supported housing” were opened in Veliki Popovac, Curug, Novi Becej, Stara Moravica, Stari Lec, Jabuka, Vlasotince. Program dealing with adults in foster families is developed in Kulina and Aleksinac, daily mental care centres were opened in Sabac and Valjevo, and support was given to similar centres in Belgrade. Service “home care” was introduced in Jagodina, Cicevac, Zabari and two centres for mental health were opened in Kikinda and Vrsac.

The professionals from the social and health care institutions, the local self-governments, the non-governmental organizations jointly worked on initiation, maintenance, innovation of these services with great enthusiasm. It is necessary to introduce these services in the system and to define sustainable sources of funding and capacity expansion running in the future.
During project implementation from September 2013 until December 2015 major project achievements are:

– The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs of the Republic of Serbia formed a Working Group for management and coordination of deinstitutionalization;

– The National Program of Deinstitutionalization was developed;

– All 11 social care institutions prepared detailed and realistic plans for transformation;

– Feasibility study was prepared and it showed that there are enough human and financial resources for the implementation of modern mental health care with respect for human rights. “The new system of protection” would be based mainly on services such as primary health care and community mental health teams. A feasibility study has also shown that the current use of resources (mainly hospitalization) is inefficient and system of care is fragmented and unable to provide the necessary continuity of care;

– Employees in social care institutions participated in numerous training sessions on the new, modern approach in social protection whose essence is the individual client-oriented approach;

– This approach improves the quality of life in the institution and enables professional preparation of users for the relocation out of the institution as soon as possible. Training programs will be officially accredited as will enable the viability of transferring knowledge throughout the process of transformation of institutions and further deinstitutionalization.

The conference was attended by representatives of numerous organizations and institutions, NGOs who implemented the projects as well as users of social and health care services who begin new life in community. The film “My new life” was presented at the conference which shows some of users who were moved from institutions.

The film is available on the OPEN ARMS project website and on EUIC YouTube channel 

Many items produced by users of social care were presented at the event.

The projects were implemented by institutions of social and health care, NGOs and local-self governments from Vrsac, Kulina, Aleksinac, Novi Becej, Vlasotince, Novi Knezevac, Jagodina, Sabac, Curug, Veliki Popovac,Valjevo, Jabuka near Pancevo, Stari Lec, Stara Moravica and Belgrade.

Since 2000, the EU has donated 144 million EUR to support social sector in Serbia.

OPEN ARMS project final conference

logo-newThe final conference of the project OPEN ARMS will be held in Belgrade, 25 November 2015 in Mixer House (46 Karadjordjeva Str. Savamala).

The event is designed as a fair of 19 successful projects implemented by institutions and organizations that were involved in the project activities with aim to improve deinstitutionalization of the persons with mental and intellectual disabilities. The project outcomes and results related to the process of deinstitutionalization of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities will be presented at the conference.

The event will be attended by H.E. Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation in Serbia. It is expected that Mr. Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Issues and Mr. Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health will participate the event, numerous NGOs, organizations and users of social and health care services as well as the embassies of EU member states and other countries.

The project OPEN ARMS is funded by the European Union with aim to mprove social inclusion of persons with disabilities and mental disorders. The project is implemented in cooperation of Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Policy and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia.

Full event Agenda download here

OPEN ARMS on Radio Television Serbia – TV Mreža

About the Project

The project “Enhancing the position of Residents in Residential Care Institutions for Persons with Mental Disability and Mental Illness and creation of Conditions for their Social Inclusion in the Local Community (OPEN ARMS) is funded by the European Union. The project is implemented in cooperation of Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Policy and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia.

Project activities started in September 2012.

of reports for grant scheme projects

Main goal of the project is improvement of social inclusion of persons with disabilities and mental disorders.

The project consists of three components :

1. Transformation Plan for the estimate of 11 residential institutions and feasibility study for the psychiatric institutions and Development Plan for cross-sectoral community based social and health services prepared.

2.Capacities at national and local level to improve range and quality of coordinated community based care for people with intellectual disabilities and mental disabilities built, in line with Development Plans.</p>

3. Support to the Grant Scheme for provision of community based social and mental health services

The project focuses on 11 social protection residential care institutions for persons with mental disability and mental illnesses (Kragujevac, Veliki Popovac, Kulina, Tutin, Stara Moravica, Pancevo, Blace, Curug, Stari Lec, Becej, Aleksinac) and five special psychiatric hospitals (in Gornja Toponica, Novi Knezevac, Vrsac, Kovin and “Dr. Laza Lazarevic” in Belgrade).

The project “Enhancing the position of Residents in Residential Care Institutions for Persons with Mental Disability and Mental Illness and creation of Conditions for their Social Inclusion in the Local Community” was awarded to the consortium of Hifab, Bolt International Consulting, Pro Mente Austria, and SSPMH.

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News

Final conference on the project
“Development of comprehensive Independent Living Support System in Central Serbia”

DSC_2421The final conference on the project ”Development of comprehensive Independent Living Support System in Central Serbia”, dedicated to setting up a sustainable, high quality home care service for adult and elderly users with intellectual and mental disabilities was held on 3 December in Paraćin. The purpose of the conference was to present project results and to consider, based on expert presentations and joint discussion, factors of service sustainability.

The conference gathered 43 representatives of local governments and social service providers from as many as 13 local governments – Požarevac, Žagubica, Žabari, Svilajnac, Despotovac, Jagodina, Rekovac, Ćuprija, Paraćin, Ćićevac, Knjaževac and Novi Pazar. Social service providers were strongly represented, with 36 participants from both public and civil sector.

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New life in Veliko Gradiste

2Vera and Nedeljko with four other tenants, all of them in their thirties and forties, after many years spent in the Residential Institution for adult and elderly “Gvozden Jovančićević” Veliki Popovac, have started an independent life. Seven months ago, they were relocated from institution to the house in Veliko Gradiste, which was renovated under the project “Get a life”, organized jointly by the Czech NGO “People in Need” and RI Veliki Popovac starting from June 2014.
Next to the house in Veliko Gradiste, two more houses were settled in Veliki Popovac and Petrovac na Mlavi so that another 20 people was deinstitutionalized.

Tenants of the “pink house” live a new life, acquire new habits and friends. In the house they get along well and share the responsibilities. The spacious house has a place for everything. The house was assigned to the RI by the family whose son was also its user. “We have cable television, wireless Internet”, says Vera Puškarić. Nedeljko is the chef. He recently won second place in “Pasuljijada”, a competition in cooking beans. “The beans must be put a lot of onions – of both kinds, smoked meat and browned flour definitely”, said Nedeljko.

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Center for Mental Health in Kikinda

6For many years, Stela Z. from Kikinda struggled with psychosis and mental health problems. Her health condition deteriorated. From Kikinda, she used to go to New Kneževac where he often stayed in the Special Psychiatric Hospital “Sveti Vracevi”. The disease progressed. Stela was losing health, friends, life.

This young woman now regularly comes to the Center for Mental Health, opened in May this year in Kikinda as an organizational unit of the Hospital in Novi Knezevac, where with the assistance of doctors and medical she staff feels much better now.
“I find it much easier now. When I found it difficult and I do not feel good, I come here to my Zoka and the doctor to speak to them. No more traveling to Novi Kneževac and it means a lot. I’ve got everything here”, says Stela, adding that people are prone to bias”. “And my mother was depressed. Nobody likes people who are ill. I have no one to drink coffee with me”, she adds.

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New life in Jabuka

4After more than two decades she has spent in the Institution “Srce u Jabuci”, Mirjana (40) has a new life now. Together with seven other users she moved out from the institution and began a new life in a new home. Staff from the institution helps them (special educator, psychologist, social worker) now, but also during the preparations for independent life after leaving the institution.

The two houses were built and equipped within the project “Increasing the capacity for independent living in the community” and financed by the European Union within the Open Arms project in the amount of € 130.000. Currently eight users are accommodated here and Mirjana is one of the tenants. The participation of the Institution in this project was financed by the Provincial Secretariat of Finance of Vojvodina in the amount of € 23.000

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Kulina – small city

8More than 300 adult people with intellectual disabilities live in Institution for Adults Placement “Kulina”. First users were based in Institution in 1953. In the last three years, the Institution is in the process of transformation.
The Institution “Kulina” implemented the project “ A way from the institution to the independent life” – Strengthening the capacities of the key actors of institution transformation and de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities into the local community” in cooperation with Humanitarian organisation “Child’s Heart””. The project is funded by the European Union as part of the OPEN ARMS project activities. Project was implemented from June 2014 – June 2015.

Electronic magazine of the project >>>Link for direct download<<

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New life in Stara Moravica

114 users of services in the Residential care institution “Otthon” in Stara Moravica are moved from institution into three houses which were opened on 15 September 2015. Two new houses were built and an existing building was adapted with support of the European Union through the project “Contribution to enhancing the social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental health disorders currently placed in residential care institution “Otthon” in Stara Moravica (Open Arms StM).

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New trainings in Novi Becej and Kulina

WP_20150706_11_41_05_ProTraining on “New social services in the community – Independent living” was held from 6-8 July 2015 in the Residential care institution for persons with mental disability “Sv. Vasilije Ostroški Čudotvorac” in Novi Becej. The training was attended by employees of this institution. Participants were informed about the stages of work in the community, the types of services in the community with a focus on service supported housing and its organization, selection of beneficiaries and location and organization of work of employees in the provision of these services.

This training program will be prepared and submitted for accreditation by the relevant institutions. Training was held by members of the project team of the Residential Institution for adults and older “Gvozden Jovancicevic” from Veliki Popovac (employed in the RI and the NGO “People in Need”) – Marko Desic, social worker, Milos Antic, Alzbeta Stropnicka and Ivan Gojkovic and Ivan Karakli, teacher from RI “Srce u Jabuci” from Pancevo who had previously completed the whole cycle of education within the framework of the Open Arms project activities.

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New trainings about deinstitutionalization

logo-newTraining on Normalization for the employees of the Residential Institution “Curug” was held on 8 – 9 June 2015 in Curug. Training was presented and leaded by teachers Milana Pocuca and Armin Farkas from the RI “Otthon” in Stara Moravica, and participants were employees from RI “Curug”. Training was held with aim to disseminate new knowledge and skills to the employees necessary in the process of deinstitutionalization.
The teachers previously attended and passed the “training of trainers” that was implemented within the project framework. All six courses shall be accredited by the authorized institutions.

After the training in Curug, the new Training on Preparation and Role of Transformation Plans was held on 10 – 11 June 2015. Training was implemented in Stara Moravica and participants were employees from the Residential Institution “Otthon” Stara Moravica. Training was held by the expert team from the RI “Curug”.
Through these activities Project Open Arms is significantly contributing to the creation of conditions for deinstitutionalization of persons with mental disabilities and mental illness. Following trainings on Personal planning and Organization of New Services, planned for the mid-July, are to be held in Kulina and Novi Becej.

Preparation of plans for transformation of the residential institutions

WP_20150604_12_40_13_ProThe work on preparation and implementation of individual plans for transformation of residential institutions was continued as part of the project activities. New workshop was held in Belgrade, on 4 June, 2015 attended by the representatives of five residential institutions. The workshop was led by Dr. Jan Pfeiffer, an expert on the project.

The participants discussed about current situation of process of deinstitutionalization and main necessary changes needed to be done at national level. On the agenda of the workshop were also other topics such as: establishment of network and provision of local services in community, implementation of new financing model with expected changes in the law on social protection, cooperation with centers for social work and local self-governments, training of users for independent living in the community, and new working conditions for employees.

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New trainings held

2As part of activities of the OPEN ARMS project, new training was held on 18 – 20 May 2015 in Veliki Popovac. The training “Risk Analysis” was led by Jelica Maric, Provincial Institute for Social Protection and Aleksandar Nedic, Residential Institution for persons with mental illness in Stari Lec. The training was attended by employees from Residential Institution for adults and older “Gvozden Jovancicevic” in Veliki Popovac.

The second training “Team work in deinstitutionalization” was held on 21 – 22 May 2015 in Stari Lec led by trainers Dragoslav Randjelovic, Aleksandra Genov, Sladjana Simic and Jelena Jovanovic from Geriatric Center “Jelenac” from Aleksinac and Institution for Adults Placement “Kulina”.

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Forum of service provides for persons with disabilities held

image3The second Forum of service providers for persons with disabilities was held in Belgrade on 24 April 2015 organized by the Center for Society Orientation and Republic Institute for Social Protection with support of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities.

The topic of the Forum was process of deinstitutionalization in Serbia, successes and challenges of this process. Experiences were presented by representatives of institutions, organizations and service providers who are involved in this process.

Dr Monika Gabanyi, Team Leader of the OPEN ARMS project held presentation about deinstitutionalization in Serbia and the project’s experiences gained so far.

House in Veliko Gradiste opened

1The adapted house in which new life will begin for six users of the Residential Institution for adults and older “Gvozden Jovančićević” from Veliki Popovac was opened on 18 March 2015 in Veliko Gradiste. This is one of the first results of the project “Getting a life” which is as of June 2014 implemented through cooperation of the Czech NGO People in need, RI from Veliki Popovac in cooperation with the Municipality of Veliko Gradiste and the Center for Social Work of Veliko Gradiste and Golubac municipality. The project is funded by the European Union under the OPEN ARMS project.
The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Labour, Veteran and Social Affairs, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Serbia, the municipality of Veliko Gradiste and the Centers for social work of Braničevo district.

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Accreditation of the training program

logo-newThe three-day workshop on the accreditation of the training program was held in the period from 4th to 6th March 2015, at the Hotel “Ždrelo” in Petrovac na Mlavi. The workshop was led by Miroslav Brkić, Vito Flaker, Dragana Stanković and Andrea Rafaelič, project experts and was attended by representatives of all social care institutions involved in the project and also modules for future training programs.

The workshop initiated work on the preparation of educational programs for accreditation in the social welfare system, or the Republic Institute for Social Protection as accreditation body.

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Two plans for transformation presented

1The two plans for the transformation of the residential institutions were presented at the workshop held in Belgrade on 26 February 2014. The first panel was attended by more than 40 representatives of the 11 residential institutions (RI) included in the OPEN ARMS project.
The workshop was opened by Dr. Jan Pfeiffer, a psychiatrist, an expert on the project. In the introductory part of the meeting, he said that deinstitutionalization process will be long and the transformation plans will be changed and adapted through years.

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New house opened in Tesica – a gate for new beginning

WP_20150213_022Process of deinstitutionalization of persons with mental disability and mental health disorders started in Aleksinac municipality and the new service “supported housing” is established for the first time. This activity is part of the project “An Open Gate for a New Beginning”.

On 13 February 2015 in village Tesica, near Aleksinac the prefabricated house was opened for four users who were relocated from the Working Unit in Tesica which is part of the Geriatric Center „Jelenac“ from Aleksinac.
The house was opened by Mr. Ramunas Janusauskas, Head of Information, Communication and Press of the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran Care and Social Issues, Republic of Serbia and Mr. Dragan Veselinovic, Director of Geriatric Centre. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Nenad Stankovic, Mayor of Aleksinac, employees of the Working unit Tesica and representatives of other institutions.

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Social Care about persons with mental disability and mental health disorders in Cicevac

3Dusica Radovanovic (58) with mental disability lives alone in a family house in Stalac, a village in the municipality of Cicevac. In the backyard lot of snow, the last day of December is very cold. Her sister takes care about her, but in the last two months Jasmina Milicevic, nurse taking care also about her. Jasmina is visiting her every day and spending with Dusica two hours.
Jasmina and other five women from the municipality of Cicevac have been trained to provide social care for people with mental disability and mental health disorders. After two decades of “waiting for the job” Jasmina says she is finally “happy because she has a job, and helping others.”
Jasmina and other five nurses taking care about 24 persons with mental disability and mental health disorders in Cicevac under the activities of the project „Development of comprehensive Independent Living Support system in Central Serbia” funded by the European Union.

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Workshop on preparation of reports for grant scheme projects
1The workshop on reporting for projects awarded under the Open Call for proposals “Support for de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” (grant scheme) was held in Belgrade on December 15th 2014.

Workshop was attended by the representatives of social care institutions, local self-governments, civil society organizations awarded under the grant scheme, representatives of the EU Delegation and the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran Care and Social Affairs.

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Conference about deinstitutionalization held in Belgrade

WP_20141208_09_18_41_ProConference „Advancing the process of transition from institutional care to community-based services in Serbia“ was held in Belgrade in Palace Serbia on December 8th 2014 organized by the European Expert Group on transition from institutional to community-based care and Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs of Serbia.
Opening speeches were held by Mr. Aleksandar Vulin, Minister, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Prof. Dr. Vladimir Djukic, State Secretary of Ministry of Health, Mr. John Halloran, Co-chair, European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG) and Mr. Holger Schroeder, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Serbia.

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Accreditation of Education Programmes

WP_20141028_13_51_29_ProThe workshop related to the process of training of trainers for selected group of experts in fields of health and social protection was held in Belgrade on October 28th, 2014. The representatives of residential institutions/project pilots, as well as representatives of special hospitals and Provincial institute for social welfare involved in the trainings attended the workshop led by Prof. Dr. Miroslav Brkić, Prof. Dr. Vito Flaker and Mrs. Dragana Stanković, project’s experts.
Considering that in the summer completed was the first round of the training programmes of the Personal Planning, Normalisation, Risk Analysis, Teamwork and Organising New Services modules, a common meeting of the representatives from all the training modules was organized in order to set the next phases and start working on the accreditation of the programmes. The evaluation of the first round and defining of educational needs for the second round of trainings was done jointly and onsite.
Since the training process is running and entering the phase of selection of potential trainers specialised in five educational topics, the discussion was, also, focused on the accreditation procedure of educational programs in the social care system in Serbia.

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Sustainability Evaluation Workshop

WP_20141027_11_01_05_ProMore than 50 representatives of residential and health institutions as well as civil society organizations and local governments which were awarded for grants on the Оpen Call for Proposals “Support for de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” as part of activities of the OPEN ARMS project, attended the workshop on sustainability of projects carried out in these institutions and organization.
The workshop was held in Belgrade, on October 27th 2014 aiming to define key factors for sustainability of services, identification of examples of good practices, the most common problems faced by the projects as well as steps to be taken for creation of action plans for sustainability.
Participants were welcomed by Aleksandra Čalošević, Mihaela Janša and Brankica Jeremić, OPEN ARMS project experts.

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New project`s activities

 

After two years of implementation of the OPEN ARMS project, new project activities will be realized from September 2014 until December 2015.
The Project will closley work with 11 residential institutions and focus on preparation of Transformation Plan for these residential institutions, the feasibility study for the psychiatric institutions and Development Plan for cross-sectoral community based social and health services prepared.
The Project will continue to built capacities at national and local level to improve range and quality of coordinated community based care for people with intellectual disabilities and mental disabilities in line with Development Plans. Also, project team will provide support to the Grant Scheme for provision of community based social and mental health services.
The project focuses on 11 social protection residential care institutions for persons with mental disability and mental illnesses (Kragujevac, Veliki Popovac, Kulina, Tutin, Stara Moravica, Pancevo, Blace, Curug, Stari Lec, Becej, Aleksinac) and five special psychiatric hospitals (in Gornja Toponica, Novi Knezevac, Vrsac, Kovin and “Dr. Laza Lazarevic” in Belgrade).
Project team will continue work on the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Policy and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia.

Second training on Normalisation

The second training on personal planning was held in Residential care institution for persons with mental disability “Sv. Vasilije Ostroški Čudotvorac” in Novi Becej, on August 4-6, 2014.
Training was led by Prof. Vito Flaker and Prof. Miroslav Brkić, project experts. The representatives from residential social care institutions, representatives from Centers for Social Work, Special Hospitals and the Provincial Institute for Social Welfare attended the training.
The participants were trained in active participation. They expressed their concerns and explored new possibilities through discussion with project experts and other participants.
The workshop was closed with discussion about implementation of personal planning.

Training on Normalisation

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The training on normalisation was held in Stara Moravica on July 1- 3, 2014 led by Prof. Dr. Vito Flaker, project expert.
The aim of the workshop was to get an insight on the current life situations of users of social care, understanding and examining personal values, choices, self-determination and possibilities for their achievement; to look at them in the role of the professional, free individuals and in the role of a person living with a mental health or intellectual disability who resides in an institution.
The first day of training started with introducing of normalisation and social role of valorisation and proceeded with an exercise ‘on lifestyles’.

 

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Training on personal planning

The three-day training on personal planning was held in Novi Becej on June 25- 27, 2014 as part of the project activities aiming to provide practical overview on process of deinstitutionalization.
The training was designed by Prof. Dr Vito Flaker and led by Prof. Miroslav Brkic, project experts. Basic concepts, key differences between traditional and person-centred care planning and different methods of personal planning were presented.
The participants worked in 4 groups. In each group there was one person playing the role of the professional, one was portraying the user and the rest were observers.
The experts from the institution prepared basic description in advance of four different users from the institution that was presented, only to the person who played the service user in each group; while the observers were given a list of questions which was intended to provide as much as possible information as possible about the user, their personality, aspirations, dreams and goals, needs, daily routine, wishes, strengths and observation, risks, social contacts and formal and informal support network.

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Focus group about financing of deinstitutionalization

GlavnaFocus group dedicated to financing of deinstitutionalization and community based services was held in Belgrade on June 23, 2014 as part of the project activities.

Meeting was led by George Boulton, project’s expert for financing. In open discussion the representatives of the residential institution (Institution for Adults Placement “Kulina”), local self-government (Aleksinac), NGO (Karitas Sabac) and Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran Care and Social Affairs stressed importance of cooperation between social and health sector for future deinstitutionalization.

During the discussion the participants analyze current situation of financing services in residential institutions. They underlined importance that real costs of services which will be provided during process of deinstitutionalization should be established.

Two Focus groups on collaboration between social and health care system in providing assistance for people with mental illness

GlavnaRepresentatives of social and health care institutions and organizations participated in the two Focus groups addressing the issues of organizational and legal aspects of collaboration between the social and the health care system in providing assistance and support to persons with mental illness and challenges faced by both systems. The meeting of Organizational Focus group was held in Belgrade on June 10th 2014.
In his opening speech, Prof Dr Miroslav Brkic, an expert on the project, spoke about organizational functioning of the social welfare system and the problems that the system faces. Brkic indicated that social services (community services) in the future should be inter-sectoral, and provided by both systems – social and health care.
Dr Zoran Vesić, an expert on the project, spoke about the collaboration of the health and social systems in the provision of services to persons with mental disabilities, and pointed out that it is necessary to Mental Health Centres’ competencies and their funding to be defined.
Afterwards, there was a discussion about the main difficulties and responsibilities of health and social services for the development of community services.
The second day, on June 11th, a Focus group on legislation issues in health and social care system was held. The meeting was led by Dr Marta Sjeničić. Dr Sjeničić presented basic obstacles to achieving deinstitutionalization of people with mental disabilities and intellectual disorders. During the meeting, the participants sought through an active discussion to propose adequate legal solutions that would, if it were adopted, could contribute to overcoming organizational barriers to deinstitutionalization.
Participants defined recommendations for improving organizational cooperation between social and health care systems.

Ceremonial award of the projects selected under the Open Call for proposals “Support to de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems”

GlavnaThe European Union has granted more than EUR 2,3 million to social welfare and health care institutions, civil society organizations, and local governments in Serbia under the Open Call for Proposals on “Support to de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems.”

Ceremonial award of grants for 19 projects aimed to support persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems was held in Belgrade, “Palace Serbia” on June 4, 2014 attended by Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran Care and Social Issues, Government of the Republic of Serbia, Dr. Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health and H.E. Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia.

“Today, we believe that a little bit better life started for around 999 people. Not only for them but for their families and the environment where they live. We can say that the world has become today a little bit more human and fairer place to live. I want to thank our friends in the EU that have enabled all of this, but you too. Without you – all the money in the world would not have a great sense,” said Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran Care and Social Issues, addressing the audience.

Minister of Health Dr. Zlatibor Lončar said the EU financial support would enable special psychiatric hospitals “Dr. Slavoljub Bakalovic” in Vrsac, and “Sveti Vracevi” in Novi Knezevac to take a part of their activities to a local level. Loncar said primary health care should be strengthened, above all, by training doctors to recognize the signs of mental disorders more easily.

“The fact is that the area of mental health is not among publicly debated topics very often. This particular area is of critical importance for individual, human, as well as the welfare of the whole society,” said Ambassador Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia.

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Workshop on Development of Individual Plans for Residential Institutions

1More than 20 representatives of residential institutions involved in the project took part in a workshop on Development of individual plans, which was held in Belgrade on May 15, 2014.

Dr. Monika Gabanyi, Project Team Leader, opened the workshop and said that the workshop was organized with the aim to provide support to residential institutions in developing individual plans in the process of transformation.

Milutin Cvetkovic, IT Expert, presented a software solution that has been developed by the project and will be available to residential institutions in order to provide data collection, data entry and storage, as well as to search and edit personal information. One purpose of the software is to follow the Ris transformation and development plan in a unified manner. The software solution is easy to use and application performance can be independent from the Internet. Implementation of the program is planned for the end of May.

Mirko Jankelić, Director of the RI „Čurug“ from Čurug, presented the planning process of de-institutionalization through the example of their own institution. Mr. Jankelić defined deinstitutionalization as a process of reform or change from institutions to local or alternative services, which is being implemented under the assumption that persons on institutional care can be provided needed services and support for independent life outside the institution, ie . in the community.

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Working meeting on transformation plans for the special psychiatric hospitals

GlavnaThe plans for the transformation of the special psychiatric hospitals were discussed on the working meeting held in Belgrade on May 14, 2014 attended by the directors of the special psychiatric hospitals from Vrsac, Novi Knezevac, Kovin and Gornja Toponica.
The meeting was opened by Dr. Jan Pfeiffer, a psychiatrist, an expert on the project. In the introductory part of the meeting, the directors of special psychiatric hospitals presented the current situation in hospitals and problems they faced in their work.
In followed discussion they talked about possibility for deinstitutionalization and community based services (opening of community mental health centers, sheltered housing), new ways of financing services. The participants pointed out that for successful transformation of specialized psychiatric hospitals the role of psychiatric department of general hospitals is very important. This department has to increase their capability to care about all acute clients from their catchment area and to send them to specialized psychiatric hospitals. They also do have a role in developing community mental health centers in their territory.
It has been stressed that community mental health centre should not be on the level of primary health care centers but of great importance is psychiatrists in primary health centers play a role of gate keepers to secondary mental health care. They pointed out that without this broad cooperation and coordination reducing number of patients in the special psychiatric hospitals will not be possible.

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Workshop – Initiation of Development Plans

workshopMore than 40 representatives of the residential institutions included in the project and representatives from institutions of social and healthcare attended at the two-day workshop “Initiation of development plans” held in Belgrade on 27 – 28 March, 2014.
Workshop aimed to support the residential institutions during planning of comprehensive development plans for deinstitutionalization (DI).
Dr Monika Gabanyi, project Team leader welcomed the participants and stressed that project will provide support to all RI during DI. In this regard, the project prepared the software solution that will facilitate planning for residential institutions and community-based services.

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Workshop on transformation process

GlavnaThe two-day workshop on organizational and technical capabilities of process of transformation of residential care institutions was held in Belgrade on 17 – 18 December 2013 attended by directors of the residential care institutions involved in the project (Veliki Popovac, Kragujevac, Kulina, Tutin, Pancevo, Stara Moravica, Curug, Novi Becej and Aleksinac).
On the first day of the workshop participants discussed about lessons learned from a study visit to the Czech Republic. As the most essential lesson they underlined the impression about real possibility of transformation of institutions and de-institutionalization that would contribute to a better life for users and as more human approach to their problems.
Based on study visit, participants also came to a conclusion that plan of transformation process is needed and this process will not lead to losing jobs. It will lead to development of local services.

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Two-day Workshop about Project Status

20131119_102402Two-day Workshop aiming to analyse current project status and project reformulation was held in Belgrade on November 19 and 21. 2013.
The Workshop was opened by Dr Monika Gabanyi, Project Team Leader. She said that workshop was initiated after monitoring mission (Result-Oriented Monitoring – ROM) held in October. One of the mission’s recommendations was to revise project log frame. “We are here today to analyse project status and to discuss challenges which project will face in future”, Dr. Gabanyi stressed. She added that all stakeholders should actively participate in this process which will help project to achieve results and to enable deinstitutionalisation.
Workshop was led by Marjo Lapidaire, Hifab International AB, Regional Director. The participants worked in groups, analyzed and identified problems and challenges encountered in the project.

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Study tours to Czech Republic

1Two study tours to Czech Republic were organized as part of the project activities. First study tour to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Czech Republic and Residential Care Institutions was held on September, 1st – 4th 2013. It was attended by Brankica Jankovic, State Secretary of Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, Branko Puzic, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, Dr. Tatjana Voskresenski, Director of Special Psychiatric Hospital from Vrsac, Dr. Nada Markovic, Ministry of Health, Dr. Monika Gabanyi, Project Team Leader, Prof. Dr. Miroslav Brkic, Project Expert and Dr. Jan Pfeiffer, Psychiatrist, Project Expert.
Meetings were held with representatives of the Czech Ministry, representatives of Sector for social work of Visocina Region. Delegation from Serbia visited social institutions where number of users was reduced during the transformation. The representatives of non-governmental sector shared their experience gained during this process. They delivered various services to people with mental and intellectual disabilities who live in local community.

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Needs assessment scale training

DSCN0522Scale for measuring functional efficiency was presented at the training held in Belgrade on October 14-15 2013 attended by representatives of the residential care institutions. The training was led by Mr. Miroslav Brkic, an expert on the project, the author of Scale.
Scale of funcional efficency (funcional efficeny is ability of person to independently fulfill basic needs among different aspects of a daily life), was developed in cooperation with service providers in the system of social protection. Based on this assessment’s instrument, needs assessment for users would be in place for residents in institutions and those who should be settled there.
Brkic said that unique Scale was not used in residential care institutions in Serbia until now but some of institutions have developed their own scales based on the assessment of users needs mainly in area of ​​everyday self-care. He added that the Scale was made for all user groups, because “scale refers to their operational efficiency.”

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Visits to residential care institutions

logo-newDuring September, the project team visited residential care institutions included in the project Open Arms. On the meetings with representatives of the institutions, the project team analyzed draft transformation plans per each residential institutions and concrete ideas regarding community based services.

By the end of September, all 13 residential institutions included in the project prоvided draft transformation plans.

 

Training for participation in the Open Call

trainingFollowing the Information sessions where Open call for proposals “Support for de – institutionalisation and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” was presented, as part of the project activities training for potential applicants was held in Belgrade on September, 19th 2013.

The training was organized in order to provide additional information to the potential applicants about the process of transformation of institutions; community based services as well as the process of de-institutionalization for people with mental and intellectual difficulties.

The meeting was opened by Mr. Vladimir Pesic, Assistant Minister for protection of persons with disabilities in the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy .

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Information sessions held through Serbia

Sesije za tekstThe Оpen Call for Proposals aiming to improve social inclusion of persons with disabilities and mental disorders was presented at the Information sessions held on August 5 – 9, 2013 in Novi Sad, Subotica, Kraljevo, Vranje and Nis.

More than 300 representatives of health and social institutions, local-self governments, non-governmental organizations attended the sessions and will be in position to apply for grants.

Ms. Jelena Mujcinovic and Mr. Branko Puzic from Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy were present on the sessions, while Ministry of Health was presented by Mr. Aleksandar Rankovic. Deputy Mayor of Kraljevo Mr. Milun Jovanovic welcomed participants on the session held in Kraljevo. Dr. Zoran Perisic, Mayor of Nis welcomed participants on session in Nis.

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First Information session in Belgrade

Medija Centar Beograd

Medija Centar Beograd

The Оpen Call for Proposals “Suport for de – institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” with total budget of EUR 2.55 million aiming to improve social inclusion of persons with disabilities and mental disorders was presented at the first Information session held on August 1, 2013 in Media Centre in Belgrade.

Introductory speeches were given by Prof. Dr. Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, Minister of Health of Republic of Serbia, Adriano Martins, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and Brankica Jankovic, State Secretary of Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy…

Prof. Dr. Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, Minister of Health said that people with mental disabilities are often discriminated in society, even left by their family, and remain in psychiatric hospitals for months or years. It is intended in Serbia to raise the level of services of care of this people at the local level when they return to their communities from specialized institutions, Minister added…

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Presentation of the Open Call for Proposals

Support for de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness

logo-new

Open Call for Proposals Support for de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” in scope of activities of the Open Arms project will be presented on Information session in Belgrade, Thursday, August 1st 2013, at 12:00, Media Centre, Terazije 3/I, Big room.

Open Call for Proposals “Support for de-institutionalization and social inclusion of persons with mental disability and mental illness” in scope of activities of the Open Arms project will be presented on Information session in Belgrade, Thursday, August 1st 2013, at 12:00, Media Centre, Terazije 3/I, Big room.

Key speakers:

Prof. Dr. Slavica Đukić Dejanović, Minister of Health of Republic of Serbia
Mr. Adriano Martins,Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia
Ms. Brankica Jankovic, State Secretary of Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy
Ms. Ana Milenic, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia
Mr. Marjan Gabriel, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia
Ms. Aleksandra Calosevic, Grant scheme Expert..

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Two Day Workshop in Belgrade on the Transformation Process of Residential Institutions for the Mentally Disabled and Disordered

Workshop

Workshop

A two day workshop to discuss in detail the transformation process for the 13 Residential Institutions involved in the Open Arms project and to initiate the process of developing transformation plans for each institution was attended by more than 30 representatives from Residential Institutions. The workshop was held in Belgrade on July 16th and 17th 2013.

Dr Monika Gabanyi, the project Team Leader opened the workshop proceedings and held an introductory speech regarding the transformation process in Serbia. The first day of the workshop was devoted mainly on financial issues. Mr. George Boulton, Senior Expert in Finance presented a summary baseline analysis of 2012 financial data from all social care institutions and in addition a flow of funds model regarding the current financial mechanisms for Residential Institutions, Community Based Social Services and Psychiatric Services in Serbia. The afternoon session continued with financial issues discussion and was concluded with personnel and manpower issues under the guidance of Ms. Ivana Pupic, Senior Human Resources Expert.

Participants acknowledged that the process of transformation of institutions would take some time before all conditions would be in place at the national and local level for deinstitutionalization of persons with mental disorders and disabilities. In addition they argued that there were both long term and short term financing and resource issues that had to be addressed during the planning process. Mr. Boulton stressed that the overriding consideration throughout the transformation process was the principle of social inclusion and all plans need to be coasted against this principle….

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Grant scheme consultative sessions held

Consultative session

Consultative session

More than 60 representatives from residential and psychiatric institutions, local gself-governments (LSG) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, the Delegation of the European Union and other institutions from Serbia participated in the two consultation sessions held on 20 June 2013 as part of the project activities.

Meetings were held with aim to exchange lessons learned of the process in deinstitutionalization so the grant scheme experts would prepare the framework taking into consideration the needs and obstacles that actors face in the field. On the other hand, institutions, LSG and NGO will be able to start with preparing applications for the local projects.

Dr. Monika Gabanyi, Project Team Leader held the opening speech at the sessions and presented the project objectives and the main challenges that the project has met. The audience was addressed by Aleksandra Čalošević, senior grant scheme expert on the project. She provided objectives and framework of the expected call for local projects with grants in the total amount of 3.2 million EUR financed by the European Union, with co-financing of 15%.

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