The lack of foster families for children with disabilities is a problem for the deinstitutionalisation process in Stara Zagora

On 14.10.2021 in the District Administration of Stara Zagora was held a session of the District DI Coordination Mechanism (DDICM) under the chairmanship of Veneta Hadjiyska – Regional coordinator of HHC – Bulgaria for the district. It was attended by Deputy Regional Governor Stoyan Stoyanov, Kremena Stoyanova – National consultant for children’s policies at Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria, representatives of the Municipality of Stara Zagora, heads of departments for child protection in the area, Head of Regional Education Inspectorate, part of the team of the regional team for foster care, center for early child development, experts from Regional directorate for social assistance, coordinator of child and maternal health at the University Hospital “Prof. Dr. Stoyan Kirkovich”, a representative of Center for early child’s development in Stara Zagora, the NGO Samariani and others.

Each of the participants presented themselves, the organization that represents the previous interaction under the DDICM.

Topics of discussion were the improvement of interaction in the process of providing care for children aged 0-3, alternatives to institutionalization and new challenges of working in a pandemic. Common good practices were shared, as well as new cases for common interaction were identified. The problem is the lack of foster parents for children with disabilities on the territory of Stara Zagora district and 67 children with disabilities accommodated in HMSCC, who must be taken out during its restructuring into a new service. Our experts offered to participate in the training of foster parents. For the whole area there are only 3 families who can raise children with disabilities.

The purpose of the meeting was to share whether the interaction mechanisms work well and whether there are opportunities to improve coordination between all partners involved in the process of providing child care.

The participants emphasized the speed and adequacy of our organization’s response to families in crisis. As a confirmation of the fact, a case was resolved in action, offered to the attention of those present by Kazanlak CPD. The assistance of a single mother of three children, two of whom are twins, unable to buy school supplies, was commented on. The quick intervention of the Stara Zagora Regional Education Inspectorate Mrs. Tatiana Dimitrova solved the problem only after a conversation with the director of the Chudomir school in Kazanlak.

The Stara Zagora CPD brought to attention a case of an 11-month-old baby raised by the grandmother due to the fact that the mother is in prison and the father is on probation.

Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria, applies the model of the District DI Coordination Mechanism as a tool for effective work at the regional level since April 2015 in Stara Zagora, recalled the regional coordinator. The model of active family support is mostly self-help, she added. The trust built between us will give birth to more good deeds in the name of the children.

Kremena Stoyanova reminded that the organization must intervene quickly, actively, adequately, but in the short term and strategically in order to achieve the necessary results and not to create dependencies on aid.

At the suggestion of the regional coordinator, the creation of a closed group on Facebook was initiated to improve the communication between the partners.

 

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