Another Space for the Children from the Home for Children Deprived of Parental Care

Another Space for the Children from the Home for Children Deprived of Parental Care "Petko R. Slaveikov"

In March 2007 the Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) started a project for restructuring and reformation of the Home for Children Deprived of Parental Care "Petko Slaveikov" – Sofia, financed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the PHARE program.

The costs of the project amount to 111 000 euro granted by the PHARE program.

The project aims to restructure the biggest specialized institution for children, which has serious problems, and transform it from an educational institution into a complex for social services for children and families. This reformation requires changes in the organization of life and activities in the home so as to focus on the needs of the children, to form groups based on the leading service provided for the children and to organize all activities in the home in compliance with a normal life in a family environment; to introduce a new methodology of work based on individualization, variety of services, team work and network, all based on a respect for the dignity and personality of the children and families as well as on a partnership with them and reliance on their resources; to introduce contemporary socio-pedagogic approaches and techniques. Therefore, we have increased the staff of the home with social workers and psychologists and all of them necessarily pass trainings, receive methodological assistance and supervision. However, it is also essential to change the spatial organization of the home in order to be able to introduce and implement new services, establish separate spaces and rooms for different activities and in this way resemble the settings in an ordinary family home. Within the framework of the project were built and facilitated a daily center, premises for rest and extracurricular activities, rooms for group and individual work with the children, etc. The children are provided with services for prevention of violence, services for prevention of asocial behavior, services for prevention of school dropping and services for preparation for individual life. In addition, campaigns for selection and training of foster parents are organized and programs for short-term foster care for children ready to leave the home are implemented on a regular basis. The project also includes the provision of a variety of services for the families of the children and for foster parents and adoptive parents such as consultation, family group conferences, support in the process of reintegration, mediation with other social institutions, self-help groups and a school for parents. The services are provided in the premises of the home as well as in the family homes through mobile work. Finally, the project contributes to the process of awareness raising in the society about the problems of children through the establishment of effective work relations between the interested sides and the community.