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COFACE Families Europe and Autism-Europe co-chairing working group on deinstitutionalisation

On 1 March 2024, Autism-Europe took over as the co-chair of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care from the European Disability Forum (EDF). AE will be co-chair for a year, first alongside COFACE Families Europe and then with Mental Health Europe.

COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union) Families Europe is a network, which represents millions of families, volunteers, and professionals with 50+ member organisations in 23 European countries. COFACE advocates for strong social policies that take into consideration family needs and guarantee equal opportunities for all families.

The EEG is a coalition advocating to replace institutionalisation with community-based support. It represents people with disabilities and their families, children and their families, homeless people, people with mental health issues, service providers, public authorities, UN organisations. 

The EEG reminds the EU and member states of their obligation to stop funding and to replace institutionalisation with family- and community-based support based on:

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • The UN Guidelines on the Use and Conditions of Alternative Care for Children
  • European Fundamental Rights Charter.

The EEG provides expertise on the transition from institutionalisation to family- and community-based support. It focuses on how EU funding, law and policy should be used to facilitate the transition:

  • no spending on institutionalisation;
  • resources available to expand the capacity and quality of family- and community-based support services;
  • resources available to facilitate access to housing, early childhood education and care, inclusive education and accessible general public services and built environment;
  • resources available for monitoring of reforms at a national level.

The EEG facilitates the development of quality community-based support; by quality, we mean support that is:

  • respecting the human rights of all people with care or support needs;
  • person-centred.

See more information about the EEG here.