On June 22, 2018, a round table was held in Stara Zagora Regional Administration on “Improving the interaction in the process of providing foster care as an alternative to institutionalization”. The Forum was initiated by the British Nongovernmental Organization “Hope and Homes for Children” – Bulgaria, one of the most prominent organizations supporting the Bulgarian Government in implementing the Updated Action Plan in the Implementation of the National Strategy “Vision for deinstitutionalization of children in the Republic of Bulgaria “. “Hope and Homes for Children” have long been focusing their work in support of children aged 0-3 years and their families, with the main goal of pursuing a more active policy of preventing abandonment and preventing children from being placed in specialized institutions in Bulgaria .
The round table honored Petya Chakarova – Deputy Regional Governor and Chair of the District DI Coordination Mechanism for the area. Among the guests were Boryana Klimentova – Program Director of Hope and homes for children, Kremena Stoyanova – National coordinator for Children’s Policies in Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria and Valeria Draganova – Programme Coordinator in Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria.
Veneta Hadjiiska – Regional Coordinator of Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria for Stara Zagora district recalled that the aim of the Round Table is to look at the mechanisms of interaction and the possibilities for improving the coordination between all the partners involved in the process of foster care provision. It is a measure of child protection in a family environment and social service provided in the community. Its role is crucial in the process of deinstitutionalization and termination of placement of children in specialized institutions. “I’m quick to say that our goal today is not to export statistics. I rely honestly and respectably, as the children deserve, and as you all are, to talk about problems and challenges of foster care in the area. Apparently, there are such. But if we are on one front – the vision of success has real dimensions, “Ms. Hadjiiska concluded.
Representatives of all departments for child protection in the field, Regional directorate for social assistance, Regional Foster care team, Stara Zagora Municipality, as Administrator of the Project “Accept Me 2015”, representatives of CPDs, foster parents and members of the Complex for social services for children were present.
The round table exposed a number of issues that triggered more than 3-hour discussions. The point of view and vision were shared by the representatives from the Regional Foster care team, Regional Directorate for social assistance, CPDs, foster parents and representatives of the Complex for social services.
Boryana Klimentova and Kremena Stoyanova have often reminded that the key term for getting out of all sorts of ways is “together”.