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Kobe City to strengthen supervision after suspected abuse at ‘after school’ facilities for people with disabilities

In response to a series of scandals nationwide at the "after-school day service office" that entrusts elementary, junior high and high school students with disabilities after school and on holidays, Kobe City will sent external personnel to patrol the facilities in the city from May.

From The Kobe Shimbun

April 20 2021

KOBE – In response to a series of scandals nationwide at the “after-school day service office” that entrusts elementary, junior high and high school students with disabilities after school and on holidays, Kobe City will sent external personnel to patrol the facilities in the city from May.

n April 2012, there were 19 such facilities in the city, but as of April 2008, the number had risen to 236. The number of such facilities in the city has increased from 19 in April 2012, when the system was established, to 236 as of April 2008.

The city’s welfare bureau said, “The system has taken root as an indispensable service for users. On the other hand, there have been a number of cases of abuse and improper billing throughout the country, and the operation standards have been revised frequently, so inappropriate billing by providers who do not understand the system has become an issue.

In September last year, the head of a facility in Kobe’s Kita Ward and two others were arrested for abusing a junior high school girl who was a user of the facility. According to the Hyogo prefectural government, it has confirmed 16 cases of abuse at “after-school” facilities in the prefecture by fiscal 2006. There were also eight cases of revocation of designation and three cases of suspension by fiscal 2007 due to improper billing of remuneration.

The Kobe municipal government plans to commission three university professors, who are qualified as occupational therapists and clinical psychologists, to visit each facility and give guidance and advice on how to ensure and improve the quality of services. A “special guidance and audit specialist” from the private sector will be appointed for the management system of each facility. Through the establishment of guidance and investigation methods, proper management will be promoted, and abuse and injustice will be dealt with strictly. All of them are scheduled to start visiting the facilities in May.

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