On 23.01.2019 Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria held a conference on”Deinstitutionalization in the conditions of political turbulence, poverty and limited human resources”. The event took place in the press center of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy as part of the communication campaign “Mission is Possible”, in the implementation of which Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria participates as a partner.
The purpose of the conference was to present to the professional community from the state institutions and the non-governmental sector an evaluation of the achievements of Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria for the period 2014-2017 in terms of relevance, effectiveness, usefulness, and sustainability. The research team of the Know-how Center for Alternative Child Care to the New Bulgarian University, headed by Galina Markova, PhD, has presented a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the results achieved by HHC’s interventions in the districts where the organization is operating.
“I have never doubted whether the process of deinstitutionalization of childcare in Bulgaria will succeed – when professionals, who are sharing common values and resources, are gathered together – I know the mission is possible” – with these words, the Executive Director of Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria, Georgi Simeonov addressed the professional community, working with children, who participated in the conference.
The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Bisser Petkov, has respected the event with his personal presence to show his support for the professionalism and dedication with which the team of Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria works to ensure the best interest of the children and to provide support to families at risk: “I am here to express my support for Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria for completing the process of deinstitutionalization. The achieved sustainable results and the expert’s support give us a reason to believe that we can complete the process within two years”. The Minister stressed that the united efforts of HHC – Bulgaria and the Know-how Center for Alternative Childcare will provide an additional momentum to the completion of the reforms, as well as provide tools for assessing the effect on the well-being of children in Bulgaria, which is cited as a good example of what has been achieved in the process of deinstitutionalization.
The researchers have presented quantitative data, based on indicators measuring the positive changes for the families supported by Hope and Homes for children – Bulgaria in different areas of their well-being, as well as financial analysis of the cost-effective investments in material support. The introduction of innovative practices based on the child-centered approach has led to systematic and sustainable change, making HHC – Bulgaria’s interventions a standard for social work – this was the main conclusion of the research team who has carried out the external evaluation of Hope and Homes for children – Bulgaria’s support for children and families at risk.