First 2016 session of Social Service National Advisory Center
On January 14, 2016, in the city of Sofia, the first Social Service National Advisory Center meeting in 2016 took place. It was organized by National Alliance for Social Responsibilty (NASO) and the Agency for Social Assistance (ASA), and it gave an opportunity for methodological counseling and support for increasing the capacity of specialists and social service providers. During the meeting held, questions related to the procedure of taking a child out of a service, which does not correspond to its needs, and hence, of the child’s placement within a more suitable community service, were discussed. The ASA methodologists pointed out that the children with a deviant behavior were to be put up at residential services, whereby it was important to provide supporting services. It is advisory that the Social Assistance Directorate and the corresponding service provider put themselves in contact in advance in order to discuss the accommodation of the child according to his/her needs, the specifics, resources and target groups of the particular service, as well as the recommendations of the methodology for providing the certain residential service. It is also recommendable that the Child Protection Department and the social service provider comment on the possibilities for using other services, such as Social Support Centers and Centers for Social Rehabilitation and Integration. Additionally, mechanisms need to be developed in order to attract other specialists in accordance with the child’s needs.
With regard to using a long-term social service provided to children with disabilities, it was discussed that when the individual needs of the child require a long-term care, the deadline for using the particular service should be extended. In view of the changes in the child’s development, the environment and the results achieved, and according to the normative regulations regarding the duration of providing a long-term social service, it is recommended that the document allowing the placement of a child in a long-term social service is issued within no longer than a year. Each social service provider should give a feedback regarding the progress of their work with the particular user.