On the 11th April, 2019 in the city of Bourgas a Round table was held on the topic “Interaction between institutions for prevention of abandonment of children in the process of deinstitutionalization”, organized by HHC – Bulgaria. The participants were 39 professionals from the Child Protection Departments, NGOs and social service providers from Bourgas region (Centers for Community Support, Family-type Placement Centers, and Centers for Social Rehabilitation and Integration) and members of the District DI Coordination Mechanism (DDICM) in Bourgas region.
Guests of the event were Mrs. Kremena Stoyanova – National consultant on children’s policies and Mrs. Valeria Draganova – Program Coordinator of HHC – Bulgaria. The participants were introduced to 6 presentations on good practices in prevention of child abandonment by Maya Kazandjieva, Director of the Social Assistance Directorate at the Municipality of Burgas, Maria Atanasova, Director of the Center for Community Support – Bourgas, Alina Konkjova, Head of the Child Protection Department in Bourgas, Vanya Gluhcheva, Head of the Child Protection Department in Sozopol, Tyuyuly Yumuk, Foster Care Team of Project “Accept Me” and Evgenia Masardjieva, Regional Coordinator of HHC – Bulgaria for Burgas region. All the presentations and subsequent statements and comments highlighted the importance of teamwork and interaction among professionals, many successful practices were shared, problems have emerged.
In the course of the discussion, the Deputy Regional Governor of Bourgas District and Chair of the DDICM in Burgas district, Mrs. Turmanova, drew the attention of the audience to recommendations for even more effective interaction between the institutions. The professionals have shared that not only the children up to 3 years old are at risk of abandonment, but recently there have been cases of abandonment of children in teenage age by adoptive parents, and with regard to this it has been proposed the training hours for adoptive parents to be increased as well as the hours for counseling. Mrs. Kazandjieva shared a successful practice of the municipality of Bourgas, which has been applied for 4 years and could be multiplied to other municipalities – the “Regulation for the Support of Foster Families” according to which foster families are supported with 1000 BGN from the municipal budget.
In all of the presentations and discussions the participants have highlighted the effectiveness of the functioning of the DDICMs, the field work and the assistance and support provided by HHC – Bulgaria for specific child protection cases to the Child Protection Departments and the Community Support Centers. Filled with confidence and positivism, the participants united on the understanding that solving the problems of children and families requires unification of the efforts of all parties.