“Karin Dom is a brilliant example of how individual approach from early childhood age, combined with adequate support as part of early child inclusion, gives great results” – emphasized Minister Calfin.
Present at the discussion were: parents of children with special needs, Mr. Ivan Stancioff – Chairman of the Management Board of Karin Dom Foundation, , MPs from GERB-Varna – Nelly Petrova and Daniela Panayotova, Lubomira Komitska – Director of Social Activities Directorate, Varna Municipality, and the Administration of Karin Dom.
Minister Calfin was introduced to the advantages of Karin Dom’s Early Intervention program, for children between 0 and 3 years. The main foucs was put on the necessity of trainings for specialists and the program’s stability. Karin Dom began the Early Intervention program in 2010, its base being the family centered approach and the services that are provided at the child’s home. In 2013, Varna Municipality was the first municipality in Bulgaria to acknowledge the service as a municipal delegated activity and assigned it to Karin Dom with the capacity for 40 children. To present this financing provides 40% of the budget required for the service.
Parents and foster parents who have used the program took an active part in the meeting and told us about how beneficial it is for children to be included in the program from an early age and about the opportunity that early intervention offers when it comes to decreasing the effect of the disability. Because of the importance of the service for society, the specialist from Karin Dom insisted that it must be included in the Law on Social Services, as part of the network for social services for children, and state standards and methods for its provision must be developed.
“Karin Dom is an Academy for professionals. We have 20 years of experience in the work with children with special needs, we have the capacity and we can provide the quality, so needed right now, in the trainings of specialist who work in the field.” – said Zvezdelina Atanasova, Director of the Center for Professional Training at Karin Dom.
Minister Calfin was understanding of the necessity for higher qualification of the emlpoyees in the social field. “At the moment, we are preparing The Law on Social Services and we are working for changing the way they are being provided. The idea is for the services to be more open, to have the opportunity for public-private partnership as well as financing where it’s needed. We are considering a map of social services, that will determine what each child with disability needs” – commented Minister Calfin.
Parents of children with disabilities who attended the event, put the emphasis on the pressing matters – the necessary of more detailed assessment of the needs of every child, the need of assistants, the need for additional teachers at kindergartens, more funding from the state for purchasing walkers and verticalizers. They pointed out the need of additional qualification for the therapists of children with disabilities and the motivation for university students to choose their professional realization in the work with children since there is a lack of specialists in Bulgaria, who work with the children from an early age.
“At the maternity wards, they still lacks the necessary training when it comes to give the news of the birth of a child with disability, which is discouraging for the parents from the very beginning” – the parents themselves shared.
“The number of children with disabilities in Bulgaria is 25 600 and the Ministry of Labour and Social Politics can see the need for stimulation of the services in the community, appreciates the importance of providing social assistants, thus giving the parents the opportunity to go to work” – also said Minister Calfin.
As it became clear at the meating, at the moment, Bulgaria is working on the implementation of the International Classification of the World Health Organization, based on which we will be able to determine what people with disabiliteis can do, instead of what they can not do.
Minister Calfin thanked Mr. Stancioff for everything he had done for the children with special needs; he thanked the specialists at Karin Dom, as well as all who are engaged in the social filed and expressed the wish to create a continuous dialogue and partnership with the NGOs.