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Protection of persons with special needs

Persons with permanent congenital or acquired impairments and disorders who are unable to integrate into the community without assistance or to care for themselves independently due to their disability are ensured the right to social assistance services providing adapted forms of employment and training, which encourage them to live as independently as possible.

On 1 January 2019, the Social Inclusion of Disabled Persons Act entered into force, repealing the Act on Social Care of Persons with Mental and Physical Impairments. In accordance with the new act, disability status can be obtained by adults suffering from moderate, severe or serious intellectual impairments or severe autism spectrum disorder, deaf-blind persons with at least a 50% hearing loss and in a blindness and visual impairment category of between one and up to and including five, persons with a moderate to serious brain injury or impairment, and persons with severely reduced mobility.

Training, labour and institutional care

Where appropriate, persons with mental or physical development disorders are provided with institutional care in occupational activity centres and special education institutes offering primary, social and health care.

Occupational activity centres enable adults with a mental or physical development disorder to have a high quality of life by providing and developing the service of guidance, protection and employment under special conditions, adapted to their needs and capabilities.

Special education institutes (centres for training, work and care) integrate children, adolescents and adults participating in the educational programme into institutional care, establishing conditions for the continuous development and quality of life for persons with mental development disorders throughout their lives.

Care for mental health

Adults with long-term mental health problems are provided with institutional care in special social protection institutions offering care, healthcare, assistance and expert treatment.

Good mental health is the foundation of health in general and therefore of social, family and economic stability, social welfare, and the quality of people’s lives. Mental disorders are a significant burden on individuals and their relatives while also representing a great loss and burden for the economic, social and educational systems. Our vision included in the Resolution on the National Mental Health Programme 2018–2028 is to ensure that all residents of Slovenia have the right to maximum mental and physical well-being, to the conditions for developing and exercising all their professional, social, private and family life potentials, and to equal access to quality sources of assistance. Our objective is to strengthen and maintain the good mental health of the population, prevent mental problems and disorders from the earliest period of life to very old age, reduce the stigmatisation of and discrimination against persons with mental disorders, improve the competences of specialist services, and decrease institutionalisation in the field of mental health.

The Social Welfare Act establishes the important institutions of community-based mental-health treatment coordinators, the representative of the rights of persons in the field of mental health, and multidisciplinary teams appointed by social work centres for each individual case. These institutions offer users new experts who will help them reintegrate into their local environment and protect their rights in cases of forced hospitalisation.

Home care assistant – assistance in the home environment

The legal institution of the home care assistant is a right pertaining to eligible persons to choose a home care assistant who provides help in the home environment. Payment for the service is carried out under the same conditions as placement in institutional care.

This institution is particularly valuable in maintaining quality of life in advanced years for persons with disabilities who believe that institutions cannot offer adequate intimacy, individuality, solidarity, personal communication, homeliness or human warmth. 

A home care assistant can be a family member of the disabled person or another person residing at the address of the permanent residence of the disabled person.


The tasks imposed on the social assistance service providers by the rules in force are overseen by the Social Affairs Inspection Service at the Labour Inspectorate.