Nyitrai Imre:

A key to independent living – The place and role of supported living in the Hungarian social services system

2020/1 | #disabled persons #persons with addictions #persons with mental health problems #social institution #social services #supported living | DOI: 10.31287/FT.hu.2020.1.5

The regulation of supported living (SL) has opened up completely new avenues in the Hungarian social services system. New principles and values emerged along with their operation and associated services. As a new form of service model, arising from international obligations as well as Hungarian strategic needs, its introduction also brought novel and innovative thinking among social services professionals. The regulation of SL has introduced a completely new approach, a person-centred, needs based, service-driven logical structure for social services, which superseded the previous rigid (home-residential care dichotomy) definition.
The focus of SL is on independent living: it includes a personalized, sustainable service that promotes independent living. In other words, the maintainer or institution undertaking to organize and provide the SL must ensure access to coordinated basic social services and housing for given person in such a way that leads to a combination of personalized offers, which requires a fundamentally new approach from all stakeholders such as institutions and social service managers, employees, but also from the staff of licensing and control authorities.
The occurrence of the SL service model shows great geographical variance. Its availability and use is still very limited in Hungary today. The involvement of more flexible civil and religious maintainers of SL raises hope for improvement.
The main task should be to preserve the advantages of the paradigm shift and change in attitudes launched by the introduction and spread of SL, and to continue to consider SL as a real innovation. In order to have a stable vision of the future, important professional debates should be held, which provide a candid review and reflection on the future role of SL in Hungarian social services.