Mária Losonczi and Csilla Cserti-Szauer, associates of the ELTE Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education, had this to say about the after-effects of the PODIUM project:

Getting ideas from other countries' examples

"The project allowed us to develop targeted and modern training materials, focusing on one of the most important disability issue - self-determination, including supported decision-making and supported accommodation. It's an added value that the two faculties of ELTE have been working in close cooperation ever since, developing a common language for the two specialist fields."

In Denmark, the issue of deinstitutionalisation has been in focus for decades. I asked Bálint Borbás of FSZK, Project Coordinator of PODIUM, who worked towards success together with Miklós Szentkatolnay, about the best practices which the Danish partner shared with the other participants:

"Throughout the project, we often envied the Danish professionals, because what for us - in Hungary or in the neighbouring countries - seemed but a distant vision about deinstitutionalisation, was everyday reality for them. On the other hand, there's also an advantage in following others at a few steps' distance, because this way we can learn from their experiences and difficulties and spare ourselves some unnecessary steps and struggles. Due to the Danish partner, we didn't only learn about best practices, but they also told us what had caused the biggest problem at the beginning of the deinstitutionalisation process in Denmark: they moved people with disabilities into smaller homes even before the supporting services were in place in their environment, which led to very serious consequences. Having learnt from their example, the Hungarian deinstitutionalisation professionals - including the DI managers trained within the PODIUM project, who have since become active players of the deinstitutionalisation process - can already pay attention to that."

In the Eastern Central European countries, this process is still in its infancy in many places, which makes the achievements of the project even more important. The consortium partners have mutually shared a lot of good examples with each other, and thus received inspiration and specific practical advice on how to improve their own national deinstitutionalisation processes and social service systems.

Last modified: 20-05-2020