National Advisory Meeting of Social Services in Varna
On June 8, 2016 Varna Hall of Varna Municipality hosted a national advisory meeting of Sofia Services. The meeting was part of the agenda of the National forum/exhibition “Social services, employment and development” from 8 to 10 June organized jointly by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, National Association of Municipalities of R Bulgaria, European Association of Service Providers of Persons with Disabilities, NASO and Varna Municipality. The advisory meeting is a joint initiative of National Alliance for Social Responsibility and Agency of Social Assistance that is held monthly and gives opportunity for methodological and legal support to social service experts, teams, service providers and local administrations and aiming to increase quality of services, proper implementation of legal and other requirements and exchange of information.
Mr Georgi Georgiev, NASO president, welcomed the participants in the meeting and underlined the proven high significance of this type of discussions at expert level. In his address, Mr Kosta Bazitov, Deputy Mayor of Varna said that social policy is a priority of the city and Varna is recognized pioneer in many social services at national and international level. He expressed confidence that "achieving success in social sector comes as a result from consistency, joint work and responsibility."
"Varna Municipality is a very active partner of National Alliance for Social Responsibility, as well as partner in the social policy of the government," said Dr. Lydia Marinova, Vice-Chairperson of Varna Municipal Council in her address to the participants. Dr Marinova pointed out that such format of open discussion is a chance of finding the correct answers to the questions. She stressed out her firm belief that the right way for social inclusion is social support and raising the opportunities for employment and full social inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families, as well.
Ms Nikolina Ivanova, Head of Adults Social Services Department and Ms. Reneta Manolova, Head of Children Social Services Department welcomed the participants on behalf of ASA and expressed their satisfaction with the spectrum of the participants - teams of social services, representatives of municipal administrations and NGOs . They pointed out that ASA relies on the initiative of municipalities to create new services and NGO capacity, expertise and civil control. ASA experts expressed congratulations to the policy of Varna Municipality, which is among the leading municipalities. Varna funds multiple services with own resources and does not rely solely on state-delegated budgets and has extremely high rate of serviced provided by NGOs.
Mrs. Lubomira Komitska, Director of Social Activities Department of Varna Municipality, Ms. Louisa Kasparian, Head of Social Work and Housing Department, Ms. Tanya Vasileva, Head of Social services and projects Department, Ms. Adriana Grigorova, Director of Social assistance Directorate and Mrs. Dimitrichka Kancheva, Director of the Regional Directorate of Social support were among the official guests at the meeting. The discussion continued with preliminary filed questions covering a wide range of target groups and social services as well as live discussion between participants and ASA experts. Some of the highlights included proposals to separate youths in a different target group, raising financial standards for some services, necessity of specific medical care for home-based services, further development of home-based and residential services, etc. NASO will upload all questions and answers on its website in Library Section and may provide their electronic version to all interested parties.