Early Childhood Intervention and Early Rehabilitation System in the Republic of Belarus STATISTICS Total number of children in Belarus as of 01. 01. 2011 – 1 733 400 Children with special needs – 126, 785 (7,3%) Out of them: 1, 53% - children with multiple disorders 8, 64%- children with disabilities Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) in Belarus • The first Resource Center was established in 2002 in Minsk. • There are 32 Early Intervention Rooms and 2 ECI Centers. • ECI is one of the priorities of the national social policy, in particular “National Programme on Demographic Security in Belarus for 2001-2015”. UNICEF assistance to national ECI system development • Advocate and strive to promote intra-and inter-agency coordination; • Assist to Ministry of Health in enhancement of unified national system of early childhood intervention, including development of standards and identification, registration and monitoring of young children with specific needs in psychological and physical development; • Strengthen capacity-building for specialists; • Assist in ECI services development including innovative methods of diagnosis, evaluation, and rehabilitation of young children with specific needs and methodological recommendations for practical use; • Analyse and identify ways for stabilization and decrease of primary disability of children up to 18 y.o.; • Raise public awareness on the specific social, educational and human rights needs of young children with special needs, in order to overcome stigma and improve status of these children and their families. Services for Children with Special Needs and their Families Correction and rehabilitation centers - 143 Ministry of Finance Integrated groups in kindergartens 376. Special preschools - 48 Ministry of Education Ministry of Health Integrated groups in schools – 5 475 Specialized schools - 16 Special boarding schools - 47 Children’s homes / orphanages - 5 Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Territorial Center of Social Services for Population ECI centers and rooms in children’s polyclinics Child/Adolescent psychoneurological dispensaries Medical rehabilitation centers/ Departments rehabilitation policlinics Infant homes of in ECI Functions • Education of parents in early care and support to young children with special needs aimed at full development of child’s potential at a maximum possible capacity; •Development of individual rehabilitation plan for young children, its implementation, and monitoring; •Provision of social and psychological support to families raising children with special needs. ECI Principles Early start – early identification and rehabilitation of children with defined level of disability risk. Continuity – ECD specialists in partnership with parents ensure everyday rehabilitation at the place of residence. Succession – observation and monitoring of status and progress in specialized institutions and in outpatients. Comprehension – provision of medical, psychological, pedagogic, and social rehabilitation package. Individuality – development of the individual rehabilitation and integration programme for each child. Example of ECI Services for Children Under 3 (Brest oblast) 1 stage (0-1 months.) Maternity Hospitals Identification of children at risk to have neurological disorders Intensive therapy departments in maternity hospitals 2 stage (1 month-1 year) Early rehabilitation in cases of identified organic brain damages and psycho-motor delays 3 stage (1-3) rehabilitation at early stage of Children’s cerebral palsy Children’s Polyclinics Psycho -neurological departments in children’s hospitals; ECI rooms in Medical Rehabilitation centers For children with psycho-neurologic disorders Medical Rehabilitation Centers for children with psycho-neurological disorders Children’s Polyclinics Habilitation Centers for Children with Disabilities Rehabilitation Centers for Children with Disabilities Children’s Polyclinic (ECI departments) Rehabilitation Center of the |Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Impact of interagency cooperation for ECI The interagency cooperation strengthening shall contribute to the achievement of the following results: Strive to 100% identification of children with high level of risk to disability as a consequences of nervous system damage; Strive to 100% coverage with quality rehabilitation services for children under 6 months at high risk level of disability; Decrease number of children with disability status (especially levels 3 and 4), including neurological disorders, through ensuring each child has access to and receive comprehensive rehabilitation services; Example of inter-agency cooperation piloted by the Center “Tonus” (Brest oblast) • Providing multidisciplinary rehabilitation services for children U3 with special needs under.; • Coordinated efforts of healthcare, education, and social protection service providers; • Regular update of the unified U3 children Database by all responsible parties; • Development of individual rehabilitation programme and work plan with engagement of parents at all stages. ECI priorities in Belarus • Strengthening inter-agency cooperation on the stages of early identification, tracking and follow-up to increase effectiveness of ECI; • Capacity building for specialists; • Insuring access to the complex ECI services for children and families, in particular in rural areas and at community level; • Integrating innovative approaches and methods to ECI system. • Development of comprehensive services aimed at education, consultation, and support provision for parents. • Active parents’ engagement to ECI programmes and services; • Prevention of institutionalization of infants and children U3 with special needs; • Promote effective transition to inclusive preschool and primary school services.