Interdisciplinary early intervention for disabled children

"Seven years after the introduction of the complex early support service for disabled children, the law and ordinance on early support have still not been implemented nationwide. ...

Service and remuneration structures in the early support of disabled children and children at risk of disability

... There is an urgent need for further efforts by all those involved", said Karin Evers-Meyer, Federal Government Commissioner for the Affairs of Disabled Persons, Member of the Bundestag, and Helga Kühn-Mengel, Federal Government Patients' Commissioner, Member of the Bundestag, today on the occasion of the publication of the study "Data collection on benefit and remuneration structures in the early support of disabled children and children at risk of disability". "The legislator has commissioned all participating rehabilitation institutions to offer early intervention as a joint, cross-institutional complex service. However, this mandate has not yet been fulfilled nationwide due to a lack of agreement among the service providers on the distribution of costs. On the contrary, we have to fear that a whole generation of children has not already received the benefits necessary for optimal development. Without rapid provision of services, these children and young people are threatened with disadvantages in school, work and social participation that are difficult to catch up with," said the patient representative Kühn-Mengel.

Karin Evers-Meyer: "We definitely see the progress, the good will of those involved and also the problems in the implementation of the requirements of the Early Intervention Regulation and in the cost discussion. However, we are still a long way from the goal of providing disabled children and their families with the necessary services quickly, unbureaucratically and comprehensively, nationwide."

The commissioners once again pointed out the great importance of early support for disabled children or children threatened by disability. "Good early intervention is a prerequisite for equal participation and helps to avoid follow-up costs," said Evers-Meyer.

Cost bearers of early intervention services, municipalities and statutory health insurance funds had declared in a declaration of intent on 1 June 2006 that they would enter into the necessary agreements with local service providers (early intervention centres, socio-pediatric centres) to ensure the implementation of the complex service. Helga Kühn-Mengel: "In some countries there are already visible successes. However, this is not enough. Seven years after introduction of the legal regulation a country wide conversion must take place finally!

The chairpersons announced that they would continue their series of technical discussions on the topic. The next expert discussion with local cost bearers and service providers will take place on 1 September in Gütersloh.

Source: Federal Ministry of Health

*** Translated with (free version) ***

Über die Autorin/den Autor
Diana Saft ist staatlich anerkannte Heilpädagogin und Heilerziehungspflegerin. Sie sammelte bisher Erfahrungen in einem Seniorenheim, in einem Wohnheim für Menschen mit Behinderungen, in einem integrativen Kindergarten und in einem deutschen Kindergarten in den USA.

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