SOCIAL ECONOMY AS AN EFFECTIVE MODEL FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SOCIAL SERVICES, EMPLOYMENT
International Hotel, Golden Sands Resort, Varna, Bulgaria, 14-15 JUNE 2018
With the confirmed participation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Biser Petkov
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 15 MAY 2018
On January 27, 2016, in the Municipality of Targovishte, the representation of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO), i.e. Targovishte Association for Mental Health, made a public report of its activities conducted in 2015. Dr. Elena Marinova, Chairperson of the Association, welcomed the participants in the meeting and expressed her gratitude for their empathy by stating that transparency was accumulating trust, empathy and support, breaking barriers, and winning new supporters and partners. The transparency of social services was a condition for overcoming the stigma of society's “different” people. Social service users and their relatives, institution representatives, partners, volunteers, specialists from other social services, media as well as the team of the Complex for Mental Health Care – Targovishte attended the meeting. In her presentation, the Complex Director, Zlatka Ivanova, described 2015 as a year of development and an in-depth evaluation of the quality of supporting services. The elements of an Internal System for Quality Management, measuring the effect of the service on the users’ lives, were already developed. A serious investment was made in terms of the development of the service staff and the individualization of the support. As a part of the Complex, a Consumer Council and therapeutic support groups for relatives were established. Additionally, the prize “user of the month” was set up and a free of charge lawyer counseling was provided when the rights of the users were violated. In 2015, the service team made its first steps towards the implementation of supported employment and introduced an Internet-based software system for handling paperwork.
Mrs. Ivanova argued that the most serious challenge related to the work of specialists in the social field was the lack of a spectrum of supporting services for persons with mental disorders, guaranteeing their full social integration, as well as the lack of alternatives for employability. She pointed out that no matter how effective the therapy work of the specialists at the Complex for Mental Health Care in the Community was, without employment, people were doomed to rejection, misery and social isolation. This leads to impossibility to raise the quality of life of the service users, which the actual goal of the community-based social services is. Therefore, in 2016, the Complex will develop its own methodology for supported employment for persons with mental disorders and will seek to introduce its practical implementation. The report was handed over to representatives of the Municipality of Targovishte, the Regional Social Assistance Directorate and the Social Assistance Directorate – Targovishte, who evaluated the success of the conducted activities highly and expressed their full support for further development and improvement.