On 25.04.2018, a round table was held in the New Hall of the Veliko Tarnovo Municipal Council on “Improving the interaction in the process of providing foster care as an alternative to institutionalization”.
The purpose of the round table is to look at synergies and opportunities to improve coordination between all partners involved in the foster care process as a measure of child protection in a family environment and social service provided to the community and its role in the process of deinstitutionalization and discontinuance of placement of children in specialized institutions.
The meeting was attended by Georgi Simeonov, Executive Director of Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria, Boryana Klimentova, Program Director at Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria, Elena Petkova, national expert on children’s policies at Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria, who presented the work of the organization on the territory of the region. Also attended by the project manager “Accept Me – 2015”, the Director of SOS “Children’s Villages – Bulgaria”, the director of Regional directorate for social assistance, representatives of the CPDs from the district, the heads of the Community support centers, the Social Activities expert at the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo, regional foster care team, foster families and the regional coordinator of “Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria”.
Up-to-date information on foster care in Veliko Tarnovo district was presented by Desislava Petkova, head of regional foster care team, emphasizing the need for placement of newborn children in foster families as well as removal of children with disabilities from Home for medical and social care for children in the town of Debelets. Foster families shared their experience in raising healthy children and children with disabilities. Difficulties encountered by foster families in remote settlements have been shared – lack of transport, health care, social-psychological assistance.
Information on foster care at national level, improvement of coordination between Directorate for social assistance and regional foster care team, supervising foster families, using the resources of non-governmental organizations are issues that were discussed by Mr. Ognian Hristov – Project Manager of the national project “Accept me – 2015” and placed for discussion by the participants in the round table.