The Social Activities and Practices Institute organizes its activities in four programs „Social Services for Children and Families“, „Children and Justice – Prevention of Abuse“, „Trainings“, and „Methodological Support and Research“.
Social services for children and families
The teams of the Institute provide social services to vulnerable individuals, groups and communities; develop and implement new programs, methods and approaches in social work. The services are provided in the complexes and centres managed by the Institute in the cities of Sofia, Shoumen, Vidin, Montana, Stara Zagora and Sliven.
The aim of the Program is to support specialists in SAPI in order to ensure the quality and professionalism in their work, and good care for the children and families – the clients of the services.
The tasks that we pose to ourselves in the implementation of the program are:
- To analyze the local needs of the children and families at risk, and to plan services in line with the needs and priorities locally, in correspondence to the European and national policies for children.
- To ensure the most efficient use of the resources of SAPI by applying flexible approaches in the organization of the social work we do.
- To guarantee the accessibility of the services and an open attitude to all risk groups.
- To plan the activities of the specialists by putting a priority on the direct work with children, parents and communities.
- To ensure the application of the normative regulations, the methodology of SAPI, and of internal rules and procedures.
- To prepare monthly, periodical and annual reports about the social services for the Municipalities, SSA, SACP.
In our work with children and families we observe the following principles:
- Placement of the child in the centre of the work;
- Respect for the family as the best environment for the child;
- Individualisation of the service and flexibility in its provision;
- Multi-disciplinary and systematic approach to the work;
- Equality of the clients, equal access to the services, and active inclusion during its provision.
Children and justice – prevention of abuse
The Program „Children and Justice – Prevention of Abuse“ encourages the development of policies supporting children victims of abuse, victims of crimes, or witnesses of crimes, as well as the development of justice provision, adapted to the needs of the children.
The Program introduces innovative models for working with children in conflict with the law in line with the main European documents, standards, and directives in the sphere of justice provision for children. Its goal is to enforce the observance of the principle of the best interest of the child and the child's well-being in all legal and administrative activities and measures regarding the children participating in legal procedures.
Within the framework of the Program the Social Activities and Practices Institute carries out research and develops innovative practices, projects and services individually, as well as with the support of partners from the state and the non-government sector in Bulgaria and the European community, including England, Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Northern Ireland, Hungary, France, Scotland, etc.
As part of the Program some Resource Centres were created such as „The Child Witness“, „Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children“, and „Children in Conflict with the Law“. On the website of the resource centres one could find materials, articles, analysis and reports from studies, research and practices in our country and in Europe, as well as products from implemented projects in the sphere of the rights of the children witnesses and participants in legal procedures.
The strategic goal of the program is the development of the social work as a helping profession, aimed at the social inclusion of vulnerable groups of people in the public life of Bulgaria.
As part of the Social Activities and Practices Institute we have opened a Professional Training Centre licensed by НАПОО (license № 200612405 from 06.02.2007) for the organization and certification of professional trainings with the acquisition of a degree for professional qualification based on article 12, items 1 and 6, and in accordance with article 49а, item 1 from the Professional Education and Training Law for the professions and specializations:
- “Social Activities Assistant”,
- Majo „Social Work with Children and Families at Risk”
- Major „Social Work with Children and Adults with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases“
- Major „Assistant-Educator in Raising and Education Children“
The training programs are approved by an Education and Methodological Council that includes official trainers in social work, as well as practitioners from the system of social services with long-term experience. The trainers are teachers of social work, social workers, psychologists, and jurists with long-term experience in the training of specialists.
Within the framework of the licensed professions SAPI organizes basic and continuing trainings in social work:
- Introduction to Social Work
- Social Casework
- Casework Assessment and Planning
- Normative Regulation of Social Services
- Prevention and Integration Services
- Foster Care and Adoption
- Group Work
- Social Work with Families of Children at Risk
- Social Work with Children Victims of Abuse
- Work with Children with Behavioural Problems
- Program for Life Skills
- Development and Management of Social Services on a Municipal Level
- Supervision and Intervision in Social Work
At the end of every year the Institute publishes an Indicative Program for the planning of the trainings for the next year, as well as information about the trainers that will lead these trainings.
The Institute provides thematic trainings based upon requests, and depending on the needs of the social services or the professionals from other spheres of the helping professions.
Methodological support and research
Within the framework of the program we develop and provide services and instruments for the assessment of the quality of social and integrated services for children and families, as well as for interventions in support of the teams in the social sphere.
The Social Activities and Practices Institute provides professional consultation and supervision (individual, group, and team) to specialists from the helping professions and to supervisors. We develop and provide methodological materials, carry out research in the sphere of social work, comparative research of the policies, strategies and practices in other countries.