7.7 Making health facilities more youth friendly
The main policy document for the German-speaking Community of Belgium is the so-called Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK). It is composed of a total of five volumes: volume one, which was published in April 2009, contains a detailed regional analysis. Volume two, which was published simultaneously, is made up of a vision, a development strategy and possible fields of action. Volumes three, four and five each deal with one implementation phase of the Regional Development Concept, all of which correspond to a legislative period. Volume one corresponds to the legislative period 2009-2014, volume two corresponds to the legislative period 2014-2019 and volume five corresponds to the legislative period 2019-2024. As of 2025, a new policy document is going to be established.
The third volume defined a total of 16 future projects, which could be further divided into 48 part projects. One of these part projects was called "modernising and restructuring of the PMS and health centers as well as of children and youth supporting social services". It was part of the future project "Fair Access to Education". The background of this part project was the fact that there were a large number of different actors involved in the field of psycho-medical-social support of the schools. Some of these actors included the health centers in the north and the south of the German-speaking Community, the free PMS (psycho-medical-social) center, the PMS center of the province, the PMS center of the Community, the Youth Help Service, the Ministry as well as several others. Because of the number of involved institutions, there was the risk not being able to work efficiently. Based on this assumption the vision of a new "Integrated Service" was developed, which has as its target the early promotion of the healthy physical and social development of all young people in the German-speaking Community between 0 and 20 years of age. By "early" is meant preventive and covers measures that start at an early stage in the development of the child (in some cases already before birth, e.g. by information for and care of pregnant women) or a possible incipient negative development (e.g. by making young people more resilient against possible addictive behaviour).
At the focus of this preventive work is, therefore, the promotion of the wellbeing of children and young people by supporting individual skills and resources and by the creation of development-promoting environment and living conditions in all primary spheres of life. This includes crèche, nursery and school just as much as family, neighbourhood or community.
In volume three the objective of this part project has been defined as follows:
In the interest of the whole education and training system and in the interest of all children and young people, the available staffing and material resources are to be bundled and used in such a way that the various tasks can be executed by all those affected in an equally efficient and qualified way. Synergy effects should be used by checking how far the different services can be networked with each other. Also the possibility of creating a new joint facility will be investigated. In any case the aim is the improvement of the social-psychological and health care of the children and young people and their parents.
The project resulted in the Decree of 31 March 2014 on the Center for healthy Development of Children and Young People (Dekret vom 31. März 2014 über das Zentrum für die gesunde Entwicklung von Kindern und Jugendlichen). This Decree established said Center, Kaleido Eastbelgium (Kaleido Ostbelgien).
This new service has become a direct point of contact for children, young people and their parents. It is also available in a supporting and advisory capacity to school management teams and teachers in matters of development and health promotion in schools and training centres.