Career paths and independence for sick and disabled children, whereabouts after the age of 18

Since 2018, the author has been running Charming Care, a general incorporated association, with the philosophy of “carrying out activities to spread Charming Care” with the aim of improving the quality of life (QOL) of children with illnesses and disabilities and their families through proper Career paths.

“Charming Care” is a term we coined to refer to the physical and mental care of children with illnesses and disabilities, as well as the mental care of their families.

In 2020, we launched Charming Care Mall, the only e-commerce marketplace in Japan that sells medical care goods for sick and disabled children, and in 2022 we launched Charming Care Mall, a job support business for parents of sick and disabled children to help their Career paths. We have also started the Care Ambassador program.

At Charming Care Ambassador, we regularly share issues, and one of the worries that sick children, children with disabilities, and their parents have is, “What should I do with my place after graduating from special needs school?” This can be mentioned.

It is not easy to find a place for such children depending on the level of their disability and improving their Career paths, and the current situation is that some parents have no choice but to give up their jobs in order to continue caring for their children at home.

Career paths for sick and disabled children after graduating from special support school

Career paths and independence for sick and disabled children, whereabouts after the age of 18

The career paths for sick and disabled children after graduating from special needs schools vary depending on the severity of the disability and the child’s wishes.

According to the “FY2020 School Basic Survey” conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, approximately 60% of those who graduated from the high school section of special needs schools chose to “enter or attend a social welfare facility.” are doing well in their Career paths.

Only about 20% of students find employment after graduation in their Career paths, and a very small number go on to university, junior college, or vocational school. Furthermore, of the people who enter or go to social welfare facilities mentioned above, more than half use employment support facilities.

Employment-related support offices are institutions that provide employment-related disability welfare services based on the Comprehensive Support for Persons with Disabilities Act, and there are three types as shown in the roadmap below showing right Career paths.

People say, “You should leave home when you turn 18.”

In December 2023, the author visited the home of a person with a severe disability who requires full assistance but lives alone through a service called “Sketter”, and asked about home care and the person’s past experience. I had the opportunity to experience being an “interview assistant” by listening to people’s backgrounds and other information.

Career paths and independence for sick and disabled children, whereabouts after the age of 18

In that interview, she heard a valuable opinion from a person who was involved in the crime, such as, “It’s better to leave home when you turn 18,” so I’d like to introduce some of it for reference.

When I asked him what I was most curious about after receiving the information beforehand, “Has he been married?”, he answered as follows. “Right after graduating from school, I entered a social welfare facility.The good thing about entering the facility was that I was able to make friends and find a lover.” This person entered a social welfare facility immediately after graduating from a support school.

There, he trained repeatedly to learn how to do things on his own. Then, she marries the person she met there. When they were living as a couple, the two of them shared what they could do, and back then the scope of what they were able to do was wider than it is now, and they also earned income by helping out with their parents’ business.

After that, there was a time when her husband passed away and she lived with her former family. Her family was close, and she agreed to use a helper while living with them, but she said she had some mental hurdles when it came to having people outside her family come and go.

It was a natural feeling for the person using her helper, but it was not so for her family and cohabitants, and it became increasingly difficult to see eye to eye with her family while living together. He said he began to feel that it was a difficult task. A person involved says:

“I think it depends on the level of disability, but I think it’s a good idea to leave home once you turn 18.It’s also important to show your parents and family that you can take care of yourself to some extent.”

Parents and parents alike grow older, but parents always think of their children as children and are always worried about them, so they need to show their children early on that they can do things on their own . If I do that, I think I’ll be a little less worried about that.”

Currently, she has contracts with multiple home-visit care providers, and basically makes her own care plans. He is now able to live alone in a house he likes.

From this person’s story, she felt like she was given multiple hints about becoming independent.

“Agent”, a companion for the independence of people with disabilities

Career paths and independence for sick and disabled children, whereabouts after the age of 18

This is not to say that guardians and helpers are the only companions for the independence of people with disabilities. Of course, it depends on the degree of disability, but as shown on the right side of the “Work Style Roadmap” mentioned above, there are also “agents” who connect people with disabilities and companies. There are various agent companies these days, and we have created the chaos map below to help you understand what they are offering.

Depending on the degree and type of disability, there are new forms of employment, ranging from general job placement to satellite work in a farm setting, and coworking-type work in which the person performs clerical work at the workplace.

In particular, in the co-working space business for people with disabilities run by Dimple Co., Ltd., companies and employees with disabilities sign employment contracts, and the employees work in the co-working space while receiving support from Dimple employees. This is a new attempt to work remotely.

Experienced professional staff provide work assignments, education and training, and mental support that take into account physical conditions and disability characteristics, so employees can easily adjust to their jobs.

The coworking space has a layout similar to that of a support school or employment transition support office, and includes a break space for one person. Additionally, for people with disabilities who are concerned about noise, we provide an environment where reasonable considerations are made, such as not having landline phones or fax machines.

Career paths and independence for sick and disabled children, whereabouts after the age of 18

When considered in accordance with the work style roadmap mentioned earlier, the escort becomes an agent, supporting the person with a disability with regard to employment, living, and settling into a working life, sometimes working as a team with an employment transition support agency. There is. In this case, the guardian does not actively accompany the child, but only plays the role of watching over the child’s independent life.

Employment support for people with disabilities using coworking spaces like this is rare in Japan, and it is likely to be a reassuring service for companies facing challenges in hiring people with disabilities.

Depending on the severity of the child’s disability, finding a place to live after the age of 18 is not an easy task.

Families facing concerns such as “I was refused admission because I needed medical care,” and “After-school day services (child welfare services for children with disabilities) are no longer available, so I have no place to stay after the evening.” There are many cases where parents have no choice but to give up working. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for parents to visit and compare schools at the same time that their child is about to graduate from a special needs school.

In order to solve this social issue, also known as the “18-year-old wall,” parents of sick and disabled children and support facilities for people with disabilities are taking steps to address this issue, but there is an overwhelming lack of places to accept them. This can be said to be the current situation.

In interviews with people involved this time, one person said, “Both parents and guardians age in the same way, but parents always think of their children as children, so they are always worried about them.” As was the case, there are limits to the mutual support between the parties and their guardians.

Although it depends on the severity of the disability, I feel that it is important for children to have a place outside of the home as much as possible so that they can grow while connecting with social resources and people.


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