SUCCESS CRITERIA OF DEVELOPMENT OF INDEPENDENCE IN YOUNG PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISABILITY

Vida Gudžinskienė, Jelena Šurpik

Abstract


Education of young people with mental disability is a difficult and complex process, requiring certain amount of knowledge, abilities and experience. The process of educating young people with mental disability remains important and relevant issue. Independence is closely associated with the real participation in social life opportunities: daily -decision making, planning of further activities. Mentally disabled young people must both be prepared to independent and social life, and be able to satisfy basic personal needs (take care of their health, budget, household etc.) in order to become a full-fledged member of society. Research object: success criteria of development of independent living skills in young people with mental disability. Article objective - theoretically and empirically substantiate opportunities of learning and training independent living skills and success criteria for mentally disabled young people at Independent Living Homes. The aim is specified by tasks: 1) to reveal the process of learning and training independent living skills for young people with mental disability; 2) to reveal success criteria of learning and training independent living skills for mentally disabled young people at Independent Living Homes, referring to experiences of social workers. Research methods: theoretical – analysis of scientific literature and documents, comparison, conclusion and systematization; empirical – data collection by using semi-structured interview method; a method of content analysis was used for analysing the survey data.
The study included 7 social workers currently working in X Independent Living Homes of Lithuania. The working experience with mentally disabled people ranged between 2,5 and 7 years for all survey participants. This study revealed that success criteria for young people with mental disability living independently in communities are an ability to live on their own and join the community’s life, as well as satisfy their basic personal needs such as taking care of themselves, setting and achieving personal goals, maintaining the tidiness at home and having an ability to encourage other people to be more tidy too. The ability to maintain at labour market is an important success criteria for young people with mental disability as well.
While educating independent living skills of mentally disabled young people it is crucial to enable them to get a personal assistant services and social housing. Personal assistants would be able to give more attention to one particular young person, get to know his or her environment, be a part of his or hers life and provide support and help if it is needed.

Keywords


education, independency, young people, mental disability, social workers, success criteria.

Full Text:

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-17-15-1-01

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789