The deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Spaska Petrova and the chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection (SACP) Eva Zhecheva examined the needs in the provision of social services in the region of Plovdiv. They visited centers for family-type accommodation for children with disabilities in Plovdiv and Asenovgrad and talked with Peter Zehtinski – deputy mayor of Plovdiv in the direction of sports, youth activities and social policy, as well as with the teams of territorial structures of the Agency for social Assistance and the SACP in Plovdiv.
“The quality of the care is the most important thing in the provision of social services for children. Our responsibility is very big when it comes to children with disabilities”, said the deputy Minister Spaska Petrova.
The access to education for children in centers for family-type accommodation, the nursing care and the interdepartmental communication are questions that were raised by municipal employees and workers in the centers. Staff retention has emerged as a major difficulty in the centers as the average salary there is 360-450 BGN.
In the municipality of Plovdiv the care for children and youths is provided in five centers for family-type accommodation. Four of them are for children with disabilities. There are living 52 children and youths from 14 municipalities in Bulgaria. In the center for family-type accommodation in Asenovgrad, there are 11 children with disabilities between the ages of 13 and 22 years.
Deputy Minister Spaska Petrova said that experts are working on the development of a single standard for financial support of social services, which will ensure their quality and will provide care for children. She said that the society should support the integration of children with special needs. “The institutions should focus on the prevention of abandonment and providing family or close to the family environment for all children,” urged the Deputy Minister.
“467 children and youths from institutions already live in centers for family-type accommodation and protected homes, built in 29 municipalities,” said the chairman of SACP Eva Zhecheva. Project “Childhood for All” – part of Operation “Do not abandon any child” of Operational Program “Human Resources Development”, will be extended. SACP together with a coalition of NGOs “Childhood 2025” is already working to identify all problems in the process of deinstitutionalization and seek ways to overcome them.
Translator: Kristiyana Ognyanova, intern
Photo: photl.com/Studio Cl Art