Hundreds of thousands of children, persons with disabilities, persons with mental health problems, homeless persons and older people across Europe continue to live in long-stay institutions where they face lives of social exclusion, poverty and labour market exclusion. In order to promote social inclusion of people with support needs in line with the targets set by the Europe 2020 strategy, countries must move away from the institutional model of care towards a system of person-centred community-based care and support. The transition process is complex to manage and politically sensitive. In the past EU funds have been invested in bad practices to refurbish or build residential institutions, thus reinforcing social exclusion. External expert guidance and support is therefore urgently needed in many EU Member States and candidate countries to promote good social investment in quality and sustainable community-based services.
The European Disability strategy 2010-2020 provides the framework for empowering people with disability to fully participate in society and ensure they can enjoy their fundamental rights. The strategy reiterates the EU committed to promote the participation of disabled people in leisure activities, employment, education, health, social services and to achieve the transition from institutional to community based care.
More information on community-based care and good practices here