During a press conference at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy there was a report of progress in the preparation of a new social services law. Bisser Petkov, Minister of Labor and Social Policy, presented the changes proposed in the bill.
The main changes include a proposal for a “new stand-alone social services law with a new understanding and a new philosophy of the role”. This change will focus on activities aimed at preventing or overcoming social exclusion, the exercise of fundamental rights and the improvement of quality of life. Increased access to social services by eliminating unnecessary formalities is also envisioned.
Two new services are also proposed – substitute care and support for informal carers. The substitute care will provide temporary rest for the caregivers of other dependents, and the support will be directed at members of a family who give informal care and can be in the form of courses on giving standard home-care to the dependent. The project also proposes the creation of a “national map of social services” to improve the planning of social services at national level, as well as a new quality and control agency to monitor the quality and effectiveness of services. Other changes include the introduction of clear standards for the professional competences of social workers.
The concept and the texts have been prepared for nearly one year by institutions, NGOs and municipalities. It is expected that by October 15 this year the bill will be ready for public discussion and until November it will be introduced into the National Assembly.