Name of Practice: SWALLOW Service
Organisation: Hand in Hand Foundation
Description of the organisation:
Hand in Hand Foundation has been working since 1993 to create a society in which the individuals with disabilities can live with dignity. Their primary objective is to promote the cause of the people with disability, especially the ones who live with intellectual disabilities and the most disadvantaged backgrounds as well as the ones living with multiple disabilities. Their main principles include reforming, continually improving, conscious and planned system, professional credibility and maintainable quality, system-based and multipliable solutions and accountability and transparency.
Country: Budapest, Hungary
Year of Initiation: 2005
Funding: Primarily funded by the Human Resource Ministry of Hungary
Link to UNCRPD: Article 19 – Living independently and being included in the community
Description of practice: The SWALLOW Service provides periodic support within the homes of families raising people with disabilities in Hungary, offering a range of services including home care, supervision and other temporary services all of which are available 24/7.
Problem Targeted: Caring for a child with a disability demands an enormous amount of effort by the family members, who often need to sacrifice their jobs and free time to be able to sufficiently take care of those who need additional support. Moreover, many of these families have limited access to the necessary community-based services therefore needing to consult specialist centres which are often located far from the public. This leads to further distancing from mainstream society. As a result, these families may not have the time needed to lead their everyday lives.
Solution Offered: The SWALLOW staff are well-equipped and experienced in supporting persons with disabilities, enabling them to bond easily and build strong relationships with the family members. The Hand in Hand Foundation is responsible for a general methodology for the whole service system which is delivered by 10 service providers across Hungary.
To ensure accountability and transparency of the service, service providers are validated by the Hand in Hand Foundation, annually audited, and receive trainings throughout the year. Trainings are organised regularly in order to develop skills. The service also has its own information technology (IT) support system that helps to organise and manage the service itself and to collect demographic and statistical data.
Impact generated by the practice: The service currently caters for 300 families, offering each one with at least 12 hours of support per month. The service is family-centred, and provides the personal assistance needed to prevent exclusion from the community which can lead to further problems including anxiety, depression, and poverty. The families who have received the services so far have provided positive feedback. SWALLOW has allowed the families to take the time to (re)connect with society and maintain their full-time jobs whilst remaining assured that their family members are being well-taken care of.
Sustainability of the practice: In terms of scaling up, Hand in Hand Foundation has been continuously lobbying since 2007 for the extension of the service throughout Hungary. Hand in Hand hopes to expand its funding opportunities for the service, with its aim being to have at least 20 centers (1 per county) could function in Hungary, which each center providing services for 100 families at least.
Contact Information: Ákos Pordán, General Manager: Pordan.Akos@kezenfogva.hu