Anthroposophical curative education and social therapy centres offer education and learning support as well as work and residential opportunities for children, young people and adults with a wide range of disabilities and developmental problems.
Anthroposophical centres refer to the work with children and young people as 'curative education'. Kindergarten and school education in conjunction with specific therapies and usually also medical care provide an overall concept that aims to enhance child development and give maximum support. The methods used are mostly developed out of anthroposophy and include Waldorf Education, a range of therapies such as eurythmy therapy, and anthroposophic medicine. Curative education tends to be particularly fruitful if the parents of the disabled children or youngsters are closely involved in the process.
'Social therapy' refers to working with adults. Social therapy is mostly about creating social situations that will allow people with disabilities maximum independence and self- determination. Suitable work places and residential accommodation as well as social and cultural opportunities both outside and in the centres help to create a life situation that encourages individual development in a safe social setting.
Anthroposophical curative education and social therapy centres are usually privately maintained. In most countries their work is supported and funded by social services. In the individual countries, centres have joined in national associations which are supported by the parents’ associations of individual centres and by national associations of parents and relatives.
There are currently around 530 curative education and social therapy centres, over 60 training centres and around 30 associations in more than 40 countries.