Good start. Self-help and self-advocacy of carers of people with disabilities
empowerment of vulnerable groups
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-02-2021 - 31-01-2023
Project cost:
75 665,20 EUR
75 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
self-organization / self-help, self-advocacy, respite care / supported housing
Target groups:
caregivers of dependent persons

The project addresses the problem of the lack of support for parents and carers of people with disabilities and the low involvement of this group in self-advocacy and self-help activities. There are more than 54,000 people with disabilities living in Poznań County, of which more than 3,000 are children under 16 years of age. Many of them require constant care from their parents, who experience an overload of responsibilities, stress, frustration and financial problems. At the same time, the parents’ movement is one of the most important factors in civic change of the support system, as demonstrated, among other things, by the 2018 parliamentary protests. There are activities for parents and carers of people with disabilities in Poznań, but this support is insufficient, sometimes limited to narrow groups or inaccessible due to financial barriers and lack of assistant care.

The project initiated self-help groups for parents and carers. Twelve thematic workshops and 10 working group meetings were organised for them. Topics of the meetings included issues such as the participation of people with disabilities in social life, methods to support carers in daily care activities, participation in a self-help group, mutual support, self-advocacy. Parents also benefited from specialist consultations and then prepared advocacy activities (mainly statements on social media, but also speaking at conferences). A volunteer respite care programme was also developed and implemented in the Project Promoter’s daily work. The March for Yes in Poznań, an annual event to celebrate the Day of People with Down Syndrome, was also organised.

The project’s participants included 141 parents and carers. Thanks to the activities implemented, an informal group of people interested in continuing self-advocacy activities emerged. The project brought them tangible benefits in the form of exchange of experience, faster and easier access to information, relief from difficult moments. At the same time, people participating in the project have gained self-confidence and committed to speaking in their own voice about the problems they experience and their needs.

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