In November 2010, Zvezdelina Atanasova – methodologist and trainer at Karin Dom went on a working visit to the Barnardos organization in Ireland. The visit was funded by the Tulip Foundation and included representatives from 12 organizations in Bulgaria that provide services for children and families in local communities. The Barnardos organization’s work is focused on a standing set of values that define every aspect of their services, policies, and practices. Namely: We are the children, We do not give up, We do not stand in one place, We appreciate and respect one another, We are partners, We are efficient and transparent in our work.
Each year Barnardos works directly with over 5000 children and families all over Ireland who are struggling with various problems and many face poverty. There is a long tradition of community services in the country and standards are set high. The team at Barnardos consists of about 400 people who work in over 40 centers throughout the country. The team is constantly evaluating its work and measures the results to ensure that the best possible models are being used.
The work of Barnardos is focused on meeting the needs of individual children and their families. Barnardos supports children from the beginning of their lives and continues into their teenage years. The involvement of the parents and others who care for the children is critical to their success.
In meetings, representatives and experts from Barnardos talked about the experiences they have gained from working in their centers. They shared new ideas related to family oriented care, effective aid delivery, tips on partnering with parents, and how to better assess needs. Moreover, they gave us insights they have learned from the challenges that they have encountered, such as how to manage difficult situations and conflict. Furthermore they offered direction on how to structure team trainings and develop guidelines that will help to improve the work of many organizations that provide services to children and families in Bulgaria.
Furthermore they offered direction on how to structure team trainings and develop guidelines that will help to improve the work of many organizations that provide services to children and families in Bulgaria.
What we saw and learned from Barnardos helped us to develop the following services at Karin Dom:
The work visit to Ireland was a good opportunity for the participating representatives of Bulgarian organizations to touch to Barnardos exceptional model of working with children and families and to carry over in their work some of the shared experience.