19 prefectures lack plans to train welfare workers to deal with behavioral disabilities [Mainichi News]

Here is the original link: Mainichi News & the original Japanese article in the Mainichi Shimbun

The list of prefectures without plans to better train welfare officers is: Hokkaido, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Okayama , Ehime, Kochi , Fukuoka, Nagasaki (the list can only be found in the original Japanese article).


Nineteen prefectures have failed to heed central government recommendations to train welfare officers in handling people with major behavioral disabilities in fiscal 2014, the Mainichi has discovered.

These strong behavioral disabilities include frequent self-abuse or attacks on others, and are most often seen in people with autism or serious mental disabilities. Recent research has shown that such individuals, who often have trouble expressing themselves, tend to exhibit the problem behavior when they are unable to make themselves understood. Although they are said to account for only around 1 percent of people with mental disabilities, they apparently account for around 10 percent of mentally disabled people who have been abused.

At the Sodegaura welfare center in Chiba Prefecture, a facility for the mentally disabled, abuse of residents by at least 15 staff members was primarily inflicted on those with these serious behavioral disabilities. A 19-year-old resident who died after allegedly being kicked in the stomach by one staff member had shown signs of this type of disability.

The former employee accused in his death was quoted as telling authorities, “When the boy made some noise, I gave him a warning. But he didn’t listen to me and my stress just peaked.” The Chiba Prefectural Government has pointed to “workers’ poor support skills” as one cause behind the abuse.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s program for training welfare workers to handle patients with major behavioral disabilities consists of 32 hours of lectures, group work and other activities. Instructors for this program were supposed to be trained in the fiscal year ending March 2014, with welfare worker training to begin in fiscal 2014. However, the national government provided no funding for the training and left the decision of whether to go through with it up to the prefectures.

When the Mainichi asked all prefectural governments for their plans regarding the training program, 19 of them said that they had no plans to conduct the training in fiscal 2014. When asked for the reason or obstacles in the way of conducting the training, responses included, “More funds are needed to provide effective training,” from Iwate Prefecture, and, “We want the national government to re-examine the salaries for welfare workers handling people with major behavioral disabilities so that we can acquire workers with expertise,” from Kochi Prefecture.

Meanwhile, Chiba Prefecture is planning to start its own training program, and Shiga Prefecture has, without waiting for financial help from the national government, raised the salaries of welfare workers in charge of people with serious behavioral disabilities.

A representative for the health ministry’s welfare for the disabled division said, “We’d like to consider how we can make the prefectural governments more receptive to running the training programs.”

March 15, 2014(Mainichi Japan)



毎日新聞 2014年03月15日 15時01分(最終更新 03月15日 15時22分)











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