The EEG guidelines refer to deinstitutionalisation as the process of closing institutions and developing a range of services in the community, including prevention, in order to eliminate the need for institutional care.
UNICEF defines deinstitutionalisation as 'the full process of planning transformation, downsizing and/or closure of residential institutions, while establishing a diversity of other child care services regulated by rights-based and outcomes-oriented standards.'
Why transition from institutional to community-based services (Deinstitutionalisation)?
'Across the European Union, hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities, mental health problems, older people or abandoned and vulnerable children live in large segregated residential institutions. Such institutions were originally created to provide care, food and shelter, but by now evidence has shown that they cannot ensure person-centred services and appropriate support needed to bring about full inclusion. The physical separation from communities and families severely limits the capacity and preparedness of those living in or growing up in institutions to participate fully in their community and wider society. The shared European values of human dignity, equality and the respect for human rights should guide us as our societies develop structures of social care and support fit for the 21st century. The implementation of adequate reforms of care systems needs to take place in Member States' (EC, n.a.)