Network G Reconciling family and professional life, as well as the reintegration of men and women who have left the labour market, by developing more flexible and effective forms of work organisation and support services.
Project name To Live a Full Life – Supporting Parents of Children with Disabilities
Project number G0084

Project description

The Project is about occupational and social integration of parents with disabled children,who require permanent care due to the severity and kind of disability. At least one of the parents has to give up his/her job in order to be able to provide the disabled child with round-the-clock care and years-long rehabilitation effort. A prolonged break in occupational activity contributes to obsolescence of skills, which is an additional factor of labour market discrimination and contributes to a worsening in income status of their households.

According to a survey and consultations with final beneficiaries (parents of disabled children and employers) carried out by the Partnership under Activity 1, an integrated system of support to households, involving an improvement in parents' vocational skills, promotion of flexible employment schemes and the provision of care and rehabilitation services to the disabled children while parents are at work, is required in order to prevent discrimination of parents with disabled children.

A Vocational Advice and Job Agency Centre was established to facilitate improvements in vocational skills. A full-time job counselor will provide advice to final beneficiaries so that model career paths are established for each parent. The paths will be considered in development of training subjects, as required for an improvement in beneficiaries' skills. Two kinds of training are planned. The first category are so-called comprehensive training events attended by all final beneficiaries of the Project. Parents will gain basic skills that are commonly thought after by employers. The second category will be tailored to the skills already held by the beneficiaries.

Support groups will be established, whereby psychologists will attempt to change parents' approach to employment; first of all, they will try to convince parents that children care should be entrusted to professional caretakers who are able to provide adequate care and rehabilitation. To this end, the Care and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children will be established at the Early Response Centre of Polish Association for Persons with Mental Handicap. The Centre's operation hours will match the needs of working or learning parents. In addition, a Crisis Response Centre will be established to provide parents with psychological assistance along with child care and rehabilitation.

In order to provide an insight into flexible working schemes, a series of training events (lectures) will be delivered to promote the idea of flexible employment among employers and parents of handicapped children. These activities are expected to result in employment of people from the
target group. Project beneficiaries will be encouraged to start their own business that would allow for reconciliation of business activity and family life.

The activities conducted under the Project are subject to evaluation by the beneficiaries and verification on an ongoing basis.

The cooperation with parents of handicapped children will survive the Project, insofar as they will use the services of Early Response Centre, including care of disabled children, legal advice from the lawyers of Polish Association for Persons with Mental Handicap and Vocational Advice and Job Agency Centre.

Good practice will be disseminated and included into mainstream policies through publication of information materials, hosting conferences and seminars (with the participation of final beneficiaries) and establishing cooperation with local, regional and national policy making institutions. Project outcomes will be available to all those who take care of care-dependent persons.