Social inclusion, employment and residentiality for disabled young adults in Faenza (Italy)

Project location: Italy, Faenza
Project start date: August 2014 - Project end date: August 2015
Project number: 2014-020
Beneficiary: Associazione Genitori Ragazzi Down di Faenza


The project goal is setting up a small residential aided centre in addition to the employment supported placements in a variety of working environments for young adult people intellectually disabled who cannot be included in the employment market. A sort of "market point" to manage in partnership and with the support of: Az. Agricola Quinzan, Az. Agricola Marchi Roberto, Az. Agricola Ca'San Giovanni, Cantina di San Biagio, Az. Agricola Pedrosola di San Cassiano, CAB di Brisighella, La Pietra Scartata Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII di Rimini, Az. Agricola Ortolani di Faenza, La Modigliantica di Modigliana, Fethi Atakol re-using education & social responsability.
The "Si può fare" ("You Can Do") project was created to provide young adults with intellectual disability, quality service delivery, as provided by law (L. 104/92). The project is born to propose a change of perspective: put into play not only the role of public institutions but also of all civil society actors that can contribute to the satisfaction of social needs (families, voluntary associations, Scientific Research Universities, foundations, cooperatives , parishes, companies, etc.).

In the "I'm going to live alone" phase, given the size and the distribution of space in the apartment made available, it will be possible to simultaneously accommodate one or two guys and two educational operator who take turns to preside the experience of continuative residency. The boys must strongly desire to embark on a path of autonomous and independent life, they must have the desire to learn and experiment. Upon entry into the apartment they do not have to be in a moment of life with an emotional imbalance but they must be in a period of serenity.
Parents must accompany the son in this process and must rely on the scientific manager. The operators of the apartment must have the responsibility for the process and must be able to make decisions supported by University team.
The actual need is to work with professionals who follow the project consistently. It is difficult to maintain stable the figure of the operators if they do not have a good professionalization.
Every guy will address two monthly modules inside the apartment at the end of which he and his family will decide how to continue the path of housing autonomy.
The apartment is a place to learn, not just to live, and for this reason it is like a university: you go to the apartment in adulthood to learn to be self-employed and it must be thinking that the apartment is like a school. The entire house should be a place where learning conditions are made and you start to build a protected residentiality experience in family size areas.
Flexible model: the projects' model predicts that is the disabled person to make decisions (intentionality). The model involves a flexible organization, it cannot be stiff. If the guy does not have a desire to learn and to live alone then the path is interrupted. Even to go home on weekends must be a choice of the boys.
Families must be trained to deal with the changes of the boys. Families must understand that once the boys successfully live the experience then they will not want to go back home. Is therefore necessary a psychological support for families that are central to favor the path of autonomy of their son / daughter.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project to achieve the following goals:
1. Demonstrate that it is possible, at lower cost, an alternative to the "Centri Diurni Occupazionali" (Occupational day centers) and to the "Residenze protette" (sheltered housing) funded by the local government.
2. Build a small residential aided center in addition to the employment supported placements in a variety of working environments for young adult people intellectually disabled who cannot be included in the employment market.

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