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The interests of the child – in the focus of all institutions

2 August 2013

On July 26th and 27th the Karin Dom Foundation organised a work meeting on the topic Early intervention of children with disabilities in Bulgaria: an alternative of the institutional care of children from 0-3 years.

Participants in the forum were representatives of the medico-social care homes for children, as well as the townships: Sofia, Pernik, Kardzhali, Pazardzhik, Gabrovo, Targovishte, Montana, Ruse, Varna, in which Centres for early intervention are yet to be opened. The participants showed interest in the methods and approaches for that Karin Dom uses in its work with children with special needs and their families. They acquainted themselves with the different aspects of offering early intervention services - organisational and work principles, teams and assessment of the service.

In the discussion, which followed after the presentations, representatives of townships and homes for children expressed their opinion with reference to the challenges of the process Deinstitutionalisation and the opening of Centres for early intervention. They shared the difficulties through which they have been and their desire to receive a better and full methodological and consultative support with the availability of the new services. A commonly expressed opinion was that “the organisation of the overall activity is a challenge along with the finding and training of human resources”.

The participants at the meeting expressed their belief that the family oriented approach and the mobile character of the service that are successfully applied from the specialists from Karin Dom will also be able to become a reality in the planned centres for early intervention. Meanwhile, they insisted on the necessity for a very good coordination between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and social politics, from informational campaings which can change society’s attitude towards accepting disabled children, as well as from “providing the possibility for specialists to see working practices”. Measurement of satisfaction in families and assessment of service turned out to be also from the topics, for which representatives of townships and homes for children had the need for more information and instructions.

Although there were some shared concerns, all participants of the meeting remained enthusiastic and had the willingness for collaboration in the applying of good practices that are used at Karin Dom.