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Every week, there were discussions about the menu between the dormitory staff and the food service department staff, which were used as a guide to add new dishes to the menu. When we had many young and energetic patients, we introduced curry with pork cutlets for the first time, and they were very pleased. There was even a time when one of the residents inadvertently grabbed a fry from a staff member's plate. However, with the gradual aging and severity of the patients, many of them were unable to eat regular meals, so the Food Service Department launched the "Eating Style Project" and has been working hard to create meals that suit each individual, such as liquid and soft meals.
In 1995, inappropriate behavior such as kicking the legs of a resident with Parkinson's disease for gait training was taken up as a scandal, and in February of the following year, the media sensationalized the incident, causing a great deal of inconvenience to the resident and his family. We were sanctioned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the entire school went through a painful experience of being overwhelmed by anguish. Through the guidance of the government agencies and internal discussions and reflections, we were able to overcome this problem and move forward in a new direction.
When the school first opened, it was difficult for the users to be accepted by nearby medical institutions because of their disabilities, but our relationship with the medical association improved, and little by little, we were able to cooperate with local medical institutions. At first, the school clinic had a full-time doctor, but later it became difficult to secure a full-time doctor, so we have part-time doctors for both internal medicine and psychiatry, but the doctors are working diligently to manage the health of the patients and provide medical care. As the residents are getting older and more severe, we have introduced physiotherapists and occupational therapists to help them maintain and improve their daily living activities. Some of the patients are on tube feeding due to gastrostomy or central venous feeding, and the medical care has become more intensive.
"In 1998, the term "intellectual disability" was adopted and the "Welfare Law for the Mentally Retarded" was amended to the "Welfare Law for the Mentally Retarded". After that, the government decided to carry out the basic structural reform of social welfare based on the philosophy of social welfare, which is to support individuals so that they can lead an independent life with dignity and in their own way, and revised various laws related to people with disabilities.
The social welfare system underwent major changes, and the welfare services for persons with disabilities were shifted from a system of measures, which had supported the welfare system for 50 years, to a system of support costs in 2003, where persons with disabilities choose and use services by themselves through contracts on an equal footing with service providers. This was an epoch-making system that included the inducement of people with disabilities from residential facilities to the community and group homes, but it failed after two years due to lack of financial backing, and the Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Act was passed instead. The Law for Independence Support of Persons with Disabilities was passed instead, but the financial difficulties remain, and the school's revenue has been reduced, placing a burden on the staff. The school already opened its first group home, Kawaguchiko St. John's Home, in 1992, but the Law for Supporting the Independence of Persons with Disabilities calls for a shift to community living, and in line with this trend, the Koganei St. John's Living Dormitory (Care Village) was built in 2004, followed by group homes and care homes in Kiyose and Oshino. In addition, group homes and care homes have been established in Kiyose and Oshino. The number of residents of the school's children's club has been decreasing year by year, and like the adult facilities, it was time to discontinue the club as it became a contract facility. Then, in April 2013, the Law for Supporting the Independence of Persons with Disabilities came into effect to comprehensively support the daily and social lives of persons with disabilities (the Comprehensive Support Law for Persons with Disabilities). Day care facilities have also been established in Oshino, Koganei, and Kiyose to provide daytime activities for group home users.
The school is now 40 years old, and the building is decrepit. The kitchen became too cramped, and due to a change in the law, what used to be four-person rooms were converted to private rooms, necessitating a renovation. We moved some of the users to the old staff quarters, and in 2013 (2013), we started a large-scale renovation.
Although the school is located in Yamanashi Prefecture, it has not been able to accept people with intellectual disabilities from Yamanashi Prefecture, and there has been some friction between the school and Yamanashi Prefecture. However, the new facility will be able to accept 10% of Yamanashi Prefecture residents, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will also pay an additional fee to the residents. In addition, construction has begun on a new day care facility for Yamanashi Prefecture residents at a different location near the school. This facility will be called "Fuji Hokuroku St. John's Support Center". In this way, the facility will be available for use by the people of Yamanashi Prefecture, and a long-standing concern will be resolved.
Fuji St. John's School is completely surrounded by God's love. In this environment, each resident lives freely and spontaneously in his or her own way, without worrying about tomorrow, giving everything up, and living a cheerful life. Taught and guided by the richness in their poverty and the strength in their weakness, the staff are striving to improve the quality of welfare, which is the relationship with people. This is something that should be more socially recognized.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.