Integrated service for ongoing support of youths that have been detained


According to informal statistics the number of youths at the age between 14 and 29 that have been detained and have been released recently is about 500 annually.

Despite the intensive development of the structures for social work this group of youths at risk of social exclusion remains outside the focus of social services; the network of services in their support is still underdeveloped in Bulgaria. The project addresses particular negative sides of the system – fragmentation of those engaged in the support of the young people in the various structures and systems; a lack of network and weak inter-institutional collaboration; inadequate recognition and unpopularity of the community resources that the non-government sector and the service providers could offer for the support of youths leaving places of detention. The project will attempt to answer the needs of these youths by assisting them in the process of their positive inclusion, by increasing their competence for independent life in the outside world, and by guaranteeing them legal and psycho-social support.

During the implementation of the project the Social Activities and Practices Institute relies on its expertise in the sphere of justice provision, the international standards for justice, and the social work with criminal offenders. A partner for the project is Foundation “S.E.G.A – a Start for Effective Civil Alternatives”, whose target group are the representatives of the Roma people in segregated communities.

The project is implemented for the period of 11 months in Sofia, Vidin and Shoumen. It has two main target groups – probation inspectors in prisons, and detained or recently released from prison and from the Corrective Home in Boychinovci youths at the age between 14 and 29, taking into account their ethnic-cultural characteristics. The projects aims to develop and implement a model for ongoing integrated support of youths that would increase the opportunities for their successful re-socialization after having been released.

Work accents:

  • Developing an information map of the needs of youths that have been detained, as well as of the available resources for responding to these needs;
  • Raising the awareness of the professionals about the need for new services and an active partner network for effective ongoing support of youths that have been detained – through the organization of an awareness raising seminar and trainings;
  • Development of resources: a manual with information materials for youths that have been detained, taking into account the multi-cultural characteristics of the youths; a manual for the prison staff;
  • Creation and approbation of an integrated psycho-social-legal service for ongoing support and assistance of youths that have been detained, including:

     а) legall consultation of the youths;
     б) social assistance and mediation;
     в) psychological consultation and activities with therapeutic character;
     г) activities and services for developing parental skills.

The project activities will include at least 30 specialists (from them 15 prison probation officers, and 60 youths - 30 from Roma origin).  

The project “Integrated Service for Ongoing Support of Youths that Have Been Detained” is implemented within the Program BG 15 “Corrective services, including without imposing measures for detention”, Small Grant Scheme funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism  2009-2014.


Integrated service for ongoing support of youths that have been detained


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