Forum in Ruse on Social Service Development and Sustainability through European Structural Funds 2007 – 2013
On November 19, 2015, in the Municipality of Ruse, a forum on “Social service development and sustainability through the European Structural Funds in the period 2007 – 2013”, organized by National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) and the Municipality of Ruse, took place. Representatives of social service providers, municipalities in the region of Ruse, experts of the Agency for Social Assistance, social service specialists, citizens as well as students majoring in Social Work at the University of Ruse took part in the event. They were welcomed by Mariela Licheva, Director of the Health and Social Affairs Department of the Municipality of Ruse, on behalf of Plamen Stoilov, Mayor of Ruse. Mr. Georgiev, President of NASO, thanked the Municipality representation for hosting the forum and reminded that Ruse was awarded with NASO’s prize for contributions in the social development of Bulgaria in 2015 due to the large number of newly established social services meeting the needs of disadvantaged groups and the created social network for cooperation with the non-governmental sector, allocating the management of a great number of social services in the city of Ruse, i.e. more than 90 %, to NGOs. Additionally, Mr. Georgiev stated that the Municipality was imposing an approach of an active and long-term partnership suggesting good relationships, trust, security and capacity development of the non-governmental organizations as well as guaranteeing the quality of social services and policies. Ms. Licheva further stated that all municipalities in the region of Ruse had successfully implemented social projects and had been working actively and professionally, and thanked for the support of the Agency for Social Assistance.
During the forum, various social projects implemented by the Municipalities Ivanovo, Ruse, Borovo, Slivo pole, Dve mogili, Tsenovo and Byala were presented as well as projects of NGOs implemented in the region, incl. of World for All Association, Child and Space Association. The activities within the projects presented included services in a domestic environment, “social assistant” and “home assistant”, a social enterprise, a public dining hall, services related to early intervention to support parents of children with disabilities, Complex for Integrated Social Services for Children Aged Between 0 and 3 Years in the Municipality of Ruse (7 social services), Center for Social Support and Family Care, two Centers for Social Rehabilitation and Integration in Ruse and Pernik, Day Care Center for Elderly People with Physical Disabilities, Complex for Resident Services for Children and Youth with Disabilities at the Age Between 0 and 18 Years in the Municipality of Ruse, Family-type Accommodation Center for Children and Youth accommodated at care homes for children deprived of parental care, Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration for Children and Youth with Disabilities and their Families, etc.
During the discussion, Mr. Georgiev pointed out that the experience gained through projects’ implementation was very useful and that there were plenty of new social services established as a result of successfully implemented project activities. The forum participants commented on the so far realized projects and discussed approaches for more effective work during the new program period. Within the event, a meeting between Mr. Georgiev and Ms. Licheva, during which the current social service providers’ work was reflected on as well as their future development, was also conducted. On behalf of NASO’s members, Ms. Licheva was congratulated for her up-to-date understanding of the development of social services.