Child mental heath practice in Novosibirsk region should be adopted nationally
The Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Anna Kuznetsova, has acknowledged the quality of
care charities in the Novosibirsk region are providing for children with mental health issues. She has
also suggested expanding effective and successful regional projects to a federal level. Kuznetsova
was introduced to the family-style care offered to children, to their physical rehabilitation
programme, and to ways in which they enjoy ‘assisted living’ in small-scale residential
accommodation. Here they are supported by specialist workers in preparation for independent life.
According to the Ombudsman’s Press Office, Kuznetsova said: ‘I feel it is important that projects
such as this should be reflected at the federal level. Very often you need our help less than we need
your experience. The problems you face in your work could help provide a basis for new
legislation and successful projects could be expanded and transferred to other regions.’
A specialist boarding school in Oyash currently houses about 400 children. Pupils are cared
for from infancy to adulthood, and taught essential life and professional skills which they can then
apply in a training area, or by working for specially created ‘micro companies’ (such as a greenhouse
or a milk production factory). Pupils who have graduated from the school are given accommodation in a socially funded hotel.
At the ‘Sea Cove’ (Morskoy zaliv) regional centre for assistance to families and children, Ana
Kuznetsova was introduced to special programmes designed for groups of children with rare genetic
disorders. Special residential schedules and diets are created for them, but above all the children
and encouraged to feel that they are not alone. In addition, the children’s ombudsman was shown
the system for distance learning for sick or disabled children and introduced to the way pediatric
palliative care is organised in the Novosibirsk region.