Strengthening counseling services and local support for the parents of children and adolescents with ASD

Project financed by the EEA Grants 2009-2014, as part of the NGO Fund in Romania.

A project run by the Foundation

Romanian Angel Appeal logo

The results of an evaluation performed by Romanian Angel Appeal in 2013, on services provided in the 40 counseling centers for people with autism and their families (TSA centers), open within the project They should have a chance, show that parents have a great need for psychological support once their child get diagnosed (for acceptance, understanding and mobilization in order to establish a plan of action).
Counseling and support for parents of children with ASD increase the chances of social integration, as an important aspect of the successful intervention in autism is the collaboration between parents and professionals.
Supporting the extended family members (siblings, grandparents) is also important. All family members need to access information and advice on interacting with children with ASD.
The possibility of interaction between members of families affected by autism, the opportunity to share experiences in order to find support in the positive examples of integration of other children with ASD are valuable resources for an autistic child’s family.

The project “Strengthening the services for advice and support, at local level, for parents of children and adolescents with ASD” addresses both parents of children with autism and TSA staff in 10 TSA centers in the country, working in the local DGASPC.

Goal: to increase access to basic social services for children with ASD and their parents from 10 Romanian counties and increase skills and awareness of professionals involved in service delivery.

Objectives:
1. Increase access to social services for 200 parents of children with ASD, through counseling and mediation offered in TSA centers in 10 counties, for 18 months
2. Increase chances of social integration for 100 children with ASD through interventions in order to recover TSA, offered in 10 centers, over a period of 18 months, and the distribution of informative guides for family members (grandparents, parents, siblings).
3. Improve the capacity to provide services to 10 TSA centers, through the participation of 20 professionals in two training courses (counseling and mediation training), provision of consultancy visits and case analysis from a specialist, and provision of working materials.
4. Increase motivation and engagement in recovery for 20 families of children with ASD and 10 professionals, participating in a support camp

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Main activities:
– Elaboration and dissemination of a study on the assessment of service needs among parents of children with autism
– Development of counseling and support programs for parents in 10 TSA centers in Romania.
Training of more than 20 professionals, in 10 centers, in advising parents and mediating access to services (2 courses)
– Provide expert advice to at least 200 parents within the 10 centers, by the end of the project
– Offer workshops in order to facilitate community integration for 100 children and youth with autism
– Inform at least 400 caregivers on ways to interact with children with ASD through printed guides: First 100 days Guide, Parents Guide, Grandparents Guide, Brothers and sisters Guide.
– Organize a pilot camp for 40 parents of children with ASD and their children (typical and with autism) from 10 counties. Children will be involved in social activities with specialized guidance, and parents will participate in workshops, support groups and classes.

The project “Strengthening the services for advice and support, at local level, for parents of children and adolescents with ASD” started on July 1, 2014, has a duration of 22 months and is co-financed by the EEA grants 2009-2014, within the NGO Fund in Romania, with the amount of 187,485.35 euros, 209,950 euros representing the total eligible costs.