Public Defender’s Statement on Termination of Child and Adolescent Development Center of Child Development Institute

Public Defender of Georgia Levan Ioseliani echoes the reports about the termination of the operation of the Child and Adolescent Development Center of the Child Development Institute. The center is located in Ilia State University’s building C.

The Public Defender emphasizes the need for early development and rehabilitation of children with disabilities for the protection of their rights and full inclusion in public life. Continuity of such services is vital for the juveniles with relevant needs and their interruption creates the danger of losing the results achieved through rehabilitation.

In the reports prepared over the years, the Public Defender has clearly indicated the lack of services for children with autism spectrum disorders and the overcrowding of service centers. Accordingly, the Public Defender has been urging the responsible agencies to expand the relevant services and ensure their geographical accessibility.

Given that the unfavorable situation in this direction further complicates uninterrupted continuation of the service and the process of offering appropriate alternative space to more than 100 beneficiaries of the services of the Child and Adolescent Development Center, the State should make special efforts to solve this issue urgently.

The Public Defender calls on the central and local authorities, service providers and all responsible persons to provide timely and complete information to the beneficiaries of the service, their legal representatives and the therapists providing the service, both about the reasons for the termination of the service and the relevant alternatives, as well as to ensure the substantial participation of the legal representatives of children with disabilities in the planning and decision-making processes and to take all measures, taking into account the best interests of the children and on the basis of appropriate consultations, to provide the habilitation/rehabilitation service without interruption.

The Public Defender, on his own initiative, has already started studying the issue of the termination of the service provided by the Child and Adolescent Development Center and will take all the necessary measures within his mandate.

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