The Cedar Foundation has presented their good practices in in managing family-type homes at a seminar, organized by the International Social Service – Bulgaria, which was held on 13.11.2018 in Rila Hotel. The event was part of MLSP (Ministry of Labour and Social Policy)’s campaign on the HRDOP (Human Resources Development Operational Program) “Mission is Possible”, supporting the process of deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria. Cedar was a co-organizer of the event, alongside with the Concordia-Bulgaria Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages – Bulgaria, Child and Space Association and Equilibrium Association.
The purpose of the seminar was to support the providers of social services, through sharing experience, open discussions, conclusions and suggestions, so that they will be able to determine, on their own, what would be the best approach, considering the characteristics of the accommodated children. The other purpose of the event was that the ideas of the non-governmental sector are offered to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, for inclusion in the secondary legislation of the future Social Services Act in, in the section of quality of service standards.
Cedar started their participation with a video,which illustrates the right of every child to be respected, despite its deficits and society’s attitude. Vanya Stratieva, program director of the organization shared the organizations experience in therapeutic care and how it provides an opportunity for every child to be a person, despite the series of separation, loss, abandonment, violence. Vanya Stratieva also shared how the organization is maintaining a safe and therapeutic environment, for people, who are going through insecurities, and how the social therapists are working towards the children and young adults overcoming the traumas of their past. She stressed on the tools Cedar is using in their work with children and young adults with disabilities, based on the approach “Planning with accent on the personality”. They allow the child to be put into a central position, despite its difficulties to take part in making choices about its daily life – a model, which shows that society must adapt to the needs of these children and young adults – not the other way around. Some of the tools that were presented are a profile in a page, dictionary of communication, circle time, library of players, sensor therapy and interest clubs.
As an end to the performance of the Cedar Foundation, the Executive Director Alexandrina Dimitrova summed up: “The mission is possible when there are people, who believe in it and follow that mission. But in order for this to happen, a number of preconditions are needed – most of all, the need of investment in the human resource, people to be put in the same decent work conditions. We are deeply concerned about the sustainability of these services, due to the lack of sufficient state funding. Our purpose is to finally see what is actually happening, to happen in politics as well, to see it in legislation and for people to start comprehending the meaning of residential care and how complicated this target audience is. “ Mrs Dimitrova sent that message on the next day as well, to the The Interinstitutional Working group on Deinstitutionalization, chaired by Mr Tomislav Donchev, on whose meeting she was invited as a co-chairman of the Permanent Expert Working Group on Deinstitutionalization.
More representatives of institutions and organizations, which are involved in the process of deinstitutionalization of child care, like state institutions and municipalities, NGO from “Childhood 2025” Coalition, and NNC (National Network for Children) took part in the seminar as well.