International Day of Persons with Disabilities: NASO and ASA
On December 2, 2015, shortly before the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, a discussion, organized by National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) and Agency for Social Assistance (ASA), took place. The topic was “Services for Persons with Disabilities”, whereby NASO and ASA experts discussed questions related to the support of children and persons with disabilities. The topic and the forum conducted were a message to all institutions and organizations engaged with problems of persons with disabilities as well as to all members of society, and namely that the International Day of Persons with Disabilities should be commemorated by common efforts related to increasing the quality of life of disabled persons, including through measures for support and increasing the efficiency of social services.
The National Advisory Center meetings of NASO and ASA take place on a monthly basis and are a result of the partnership between NASO and ASA. They provide an opportunity for exchanging information, solving practical problems and providing support to social service providers coming from throughout the whole country. Within the advisory center meeting on December 2, 2015, the psychological counseling of parents of children with special educational needs at the day care centers for children with disabilities was discussed. It was pointed out that the family relations were a key factor in the psychological development of children, and therefore, it was important that psychological counseling became part of the work of the social service experts. Additionally, knowing the personal story of the children helps understanding their emotional, cognitive, social and behavioral functioning. The psychological counseling gives an opportunity to the parents to express their emotions, which has a positive impact on the relations with their children. Another topic of discussion was the right of social service providers to keep deposits for future expenses, whereby it became obvious that as long as that would not break the law, it was an allowed procedure. The ASA experts pointed out that the services established under the Social Inclusion project, and namely, Family counseling and support, Early disability intervention, Individual pedagogical support for children with disabilities and Development of parental skills should keep on functioning in all municipalities. In this respect, investments in early childhood became a national priority oriented towards the needs of children at young age and their families. All methodologies regarding the provision of social services, including a detailed description of the psychological support, are currently being updated and their public discussion is about to take place, in which NASO will participate as well. Additionally, ASA will introduce a common information system involving all social service providers (municipalities), through which the introduction of data and the interaction among all parties involved will be facilitated.
In 2016, NASO and ASA will continue conducting National Advisory Center meetings, providing methodological guidelines and holding discussions on questions and problems related to the provision of social services and the work with disadvantaged groups. Information on the next meeting of NASO and ASA is to be expected in NASO’s editions as well as on this website.