There is a need for foster parents for children with disabilities

On 29.02.2024 District DI coordination mechanism was held in Sofia region. The event took place in the building of the regional administration.

Kremena Stoyanova – national consultant on children’s policies in HHC-Bulgaria, presented a report-analysis on the assessments and re-assessments of the children from the Homes for medical and social care for children in Kardzhali, Stara Zagora, as well as in the Family type placement centers for children with disabilities and need of permanent medical care in Targovishte, Ruse, Gabrovo , Montana, Sofia, Pernik, Plovdiv. Mrs. Stoyanova explained that the purpose of the evaluations is to draw up-to-date plans for the transition of children from the Kardzhali and Stara Zagora Homes for medical and social care for children. The children who are accommodated in the Family type placement centers for children with disabilities and need of permanent medical care improve their condition and can be taken out to their families. When care focuses on the development of individual abilities, greater independence and the need for an individual approach is also considered. In practice, it can be seen that for many children from the 8 pilot centers, for whom the need for permanent medical care has been overcome, they can leave the Centers. This will free up accommodation places for new children in need of constant medical care. This process guarantees a transition to independent living and closing the entrance to the Homes for medical and social care for children.

37 professionals took part in the meeting, including: Regional Governor of Sofia Region, Deputy Regional Governor of Sofia Region, representatives of municipalities, representatives of regional administration, Directorates for social assistance, Child protection departments, Regional foster care team, director of Regional directorate for social assistance of Sofia, region, deputy mayors of several municipalities, representative Regional Health Inspectorate, representative of Regional Education Inspectorate, representative of district prosecutor’s office, experts from HHC- Bulgaria.

The experts working on the territory of Sofia region explained what the situation is regarding the development of foster care in the region. Specific cases, problems and possible alternatives for children and their families were discussed. Emphasis is placed on the possibility of changing the profiles of foster parents in order to raise children with disabilities. New foster families must be sought, as well as work actively to change the profiles of foster parents, because at this stage there are not enough families in the country for children in need. Specialists united around the idea of popularizing foster care in the area. HHC-Bulgaria once again declared its readiness for further support of foster parents.

The teamwork of all the experts once again proved that we could be successful by working together, professionally, responsibly and with open hearts towards children and their needs.

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