National conference on Social Service Quality in Targovishte
On May 10, 2016 in the city of Targovishte a national conference "Quality of Social Services. Quality Management Systems. Challenges and Solutions ", organized by Targovishte Association for Mental Health (TAMH)- representative of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) for Turgovishte District, and in partnership with the municipality of Targovishte and NASO, was held. The event was part of the program of the 239th Traditional Spring Fair - Targovishte 2016, which helped gaining higher visibility and raising awareness of social service quality. The conference provided a platform for discussion and contributed to the promotion of social services role and importance for society development. The significance of the topic was demonstrated during the pre-registration for the conference whereas extremely high interest was shown and over 100 representatives of municipal and regional administrations, teams and managers of social services, social service providers, NGOs and others from across the country attended the meeting.
Dr. Darin Dimitrov, mayor of the town of Targovishte, addressed the participants during the opening and pointed out the importance of quality in social services and the necessity of raising public awareness of social sector achievements. Dr. Dimitrov thanked for the good partnership between the municipality of Targovishte and NASO and the opportunity to host such a significant event for the social services sector just a few days after Targovishte received the award for active and effective partnership with NGOs.
In his speech at the opening Mr. Georgi Georgiev, NASO president, highlighted that NASO mission for a better life can be achieved only by uniting the resources of all stakeholders and development of fruitful partnership between social services, municipalities and corporate sector. He congratulated the representation of NASO - TAMH for its extremely successful work and building effective partnership between members and local authorities in the region, as well as event organization. Dr. Elena Marinova, TAMH President, also welcomed all official guests and participants and thanked for the great interest in the topic, which proves the importance of social services quality.
After the welcome panel, several speakers presented different points of view on quality of social services and good practices in implementing quality management systems. Ms. Nikolina Ivanova, head of Social Services for Adults at the Agency for Social Assistance presented the legal framework for social service provision and specific matters of implementing solutions for better quality of social services. NASO members and partners – Cedar Foundation, Maria’s World Foundation, International Social Services – Bulgaria, and Targovishte Association for Mental Health, presented different quality management services implemented on their side.
The extremely serious and expert discussion after the presentational part addressed important matters, such as development of social services in home environment as a way of institutionalization prevention, need of considering experience and realised local initiatives before implementing national strategies, placement of children with severe mental disorders in family homes where they are dangerous to themselves and others, and etc. The conference concluded with generally expressed high appreciation of presentations and discussions.
A working meeting between Mr Georgiev and NASO members from the area was held right before the conference whereas various organizational issues, ways of interaction between NASO structures and support needs for the region were discussed. NASO representatives of NASO from other districts also attended this meeting and the practice was recognized as a very good example of mutual support between different NASO structures.
NASO thanks to all participants, as well as speakers that presented their work, but mostly to the municipality of Targovishte and NASO representation for Targovishte - Targovishte Association for Mental Health, for the exceptionally good organization and high significance of this national event. The conference demonstrates a successful trend for NASO to hold national events in different cities across the country, which enables a larger number of participants to be direct voice in leading social sector issues.