O terapeuta ocupacional no Sistema Único de Assistência Social: atuação em centros de convivência e unidades de acolhimento
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Occupational therapists constitute one of the professional categories that can compose teams in social assistance, within the scope of the Unified Social Assistance System (in Portuguese, Sistema Único de Assistência Social - SUAS), inserting themselves in units such as Community Centers (in Portuguese, Centros de Convivência) and Reception Units (in Portuguese, Unidades de Acolhimento). These units are configured as important spaces of basic social protection and special social protection of high complexity. The Community Center is designed for the development of socio-cultural and educational activities and the Reception Unit works as a temporary home, offering protection to people in situations of abandonment, threat, or violation of rights. Data from the SUAS Census point out that there were 1,438 occupational therapists linked to social assistance in 2017. 206 of them (14%) worked in Community Centers and 283 (20%) in Reception Units. Objective: This work sought to identify, describe, and analyze the practices of occupational therapists in SUAS, particularly in two social assistance units with different levels of social protection: Community Center and Transition House (in Portuguese, Casa de Passagem). Methodology: The methodological procedure of the study was structured from the monitoring of practices with a view to in-depth contact with the dynamics of the functioning of occupational therapists’ services and actions. In order to do so, visits and observations were made in loco at a Community Center and a Reception Unit, together with two professionals, for five consecutive days in each unit. Field diaries were elaborated and descriptively analyzed after the end of the follow-ups. Results: The results were delineated from the descriptive analysis of the field diaries and presented by unit. In this way, it was possible to gather information about the professionals, in which it is possible to highlight: actions for the articulation of formal and informal support networks, with an emphasis on social support, mediated by actions in/with the daily lives of the monitored people. Conclusion: It was apprehended that such actions occurred in the sense of expanding/creating/strengthening social support networks of users and groups linked to the units, in line with the objectives of the social assistance policy. It is expected that the presented reflections may compose part of the set of efforts to contribute to subsidies to the practices of occupational therapists inserted in socio-assistance units.
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