COMMUNITY CHILD CARE SERVICES HAVE COME a LONG WAY IN THE FIELD OF DISABILITY SERVICES. BY USING RELATED LITERATURE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA CRITICALLY DISCUSS HOW THESE SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY ARE REACHING OUT FOR THE HOLISTIC NEEDS OF THESE DISABLED CHILDREN AND HOW THESE CAN ACTUALLY BE IMPROVED.
Community child care services for children with disabilities
Community child care services have experienced much progress during recent years, as studies and an increasing amount of efforts have worked together in providing disabled children with a series of privileges. Several acts implemented during the last few decades have made it possible for children with disabilities to be accepted into the social order without being discriminated on account of their particularities. Every child is unique and it is extremely important to help children with disabilities become an active part of society. Providing disabled children with care has become a primary agenda in many developed countries, as the authorities there go through great efforts in order to improve social skills in these children and to have the masses gain a more complex understanding of the role significant differences can play in a person's life.
Many people have trouble accepting the term 'disability' because it apparently sends mixed messages with regard to a child's condition. However, community care services use this term with the purpose of emphasizing the fact that these children should not be treated with prejudice.
Children with disabilities are typically entitled to the same set of healthcare opportunities as normal children. This makes it difficult for many of them to be able to integrate society properly and some experience great hardships as they try to cope with their disability. As a consequence, community child care services are dedicated to helping these children and to make it possible for them to go through lesser difficulties as they concentrate on being as 'normal' as possible.
Depending on their condition, some children may require long-term assistance from specialists. Numerous institutions have thus gotten actively involved in providing such care and in supporting children overcome their problems. "One example of this is the growing number of residential resources for children affected by autism." (Miligan & Stevens, 2006, p. 10) With many long stay hospitals being closed on account of limited resources, short break facilities have become more common with community care being available in a greater number of areas during recent years.
Community child care services appear to be the solution to the fact that numerous disabled children have little to no access to greater institutions. "In both the disability and non-disability sectors, the size of units has changed from the relatively large-scale institutions and orphanages of the early to mid-twentieth century, gradually moving towards smaller, more community-based units of the present time." (Miligan & Stevens, 2006, p. 10) Such services have also became more diverse, with children with disabilities being able to interact with specialists that are well-acquainted with how to deal with particular disabilities.
The residential role of child care services directed at dealing with children with disabilities has extended significantly during recent years. These communities have become places where specialists focus on increasing awareness concerning the rights of children in general and the treatment strategies that need to be employed when considering disabled children.
The masses have a limited understanding of legislations such as the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. The common misconception is that this law only applies in the case of child care institutions installed by the government. However, community child care services meant to deal with children with disabilities actually need to comply with title III of the act. This respective title relates to how community child care services need to interact with all individuals that they serve, ranging from parents of children with disabilities, to teachers, and to children themselves. "The ADA requires that child care providers not discriminate against persons with disabilities on the basis of disability, that is, that they provide children and parents with disabilities with an equal opportunity to participate in the child care center's programs and services." (COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILD CARE CENTERS AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT) The act in general was designed with the purpose of providing individuals with disabilities with the right to have equal access.
Title III of the ADA is in charge of providing courses and examining institutions dedicated at assisting children with disabilities. Such an institution can be both home-based and located in a center. Regardless of its status, it is considered a place of public accommodation under the act's title III and needs to act in accordance with the values it promotes. The fact that they are professional caregivers makes these institutions responsible for acting in agreement with a series of laws, one of them relating to how they need to assist children with disabilities integrate the social order while also protecting them from being discriminated (Questions regarding the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III (Title 3) and Child Day Care Operations).
Disabled individuals are not only a cause of concern when they are very young, as adolescents in this situation also need to be provided with significant attention. "Legal guidance for the transitional process is provided by the Disabled Persons Act 1986, which requires that young disabled people have a future needs assessment carried out at 14 years of age." (Teare, 2009, p. 86) The authorities have thus devised a strategy to assist disabled persons throughout their life.
The international community has several principal ideas with regard to disabled children and the attitudes that should be employed when dealing with them:
They need to be prepared from a vocational point-of-view so as they can have the chance to start a career
They need to have access to academic institutions specially designed for them
Health programs have to provide privileges to disabled children
Children need to be encouraged to become independent
Their families need to be instructed with regard to the assistance they need to provide their children with There need to be special services available in order for disabled children to have the chance to reduce issues associated with their disability
The international community has highlighted the fact that disabled children need to be provided with the chance to have dignity and a decent life. The authorities want to ensure that disabled children have an active involvement in their communities.
There is a high demand for institutions that can assist children with disabilities and this leads to centers like the Buddy Bear School. The school was established by the Buddy Bear Trust with the purpose of supporting charity sponsorship for children with disabilities. The Buddy Bear School was established in response to tutors expressing an increasing need for educational institutes to provide their children with help dealing with cerebral palsy and a series of other disorders involving motor disabilities. The school is based in Northern Ireland and adopted techniques developed by the Peto Institute in Budapest, a community that specializes in conductive education (Conductive Education Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy and Motor Disorders).
The Buddy Bear School has acknowledged the fact that children suffering from motor disabilities are in a phase in their life when they need to be provided with all the help they need in order to reach their optimum level of autonomy. These children want to behave similar to healthy children and conductive education has provided a solution to them being unable to have relatively normal lives. Concepts like conductive education make it possible for children to live to their full potential. Even with the fact that their disabilities limit them, these people achieve the point where they have a complex understanding of their condition and do everything in their power in order to reduce the negative effects it has on their lives (Conductive Education Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy and Motor Disorders).
The International Human Rights Agenda promotes the idea that "State Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child." (Ghandhi, 2012, p. 100) Local care communities thus have to concentrate on understanding special needs of disabled children and attempt to provide these respective children with treatment that can help them experience as little problems as possible as a consequence of their condition.
Numerous influential international figures have expressed special interest in providing disabled children with more rights. The Oisin foundation has a Trust containing the "Disability, Access, & Children International Consultancy" and it deals with raising funds meant to assist children with disabilities. The institution is basically focused on "traditional fund raising projects including donations and building projects, but we are also seeking to raise funds directly from financial institutions in a method not previously envisaged. (Disability, Access, Children International Consultancy)