On 15th and 16th of October took place the Bulgarian national conference for presentation of the results of project “Together Against Violence” which is implemented with financial support from DAPHNE III programme of the European Commission.
The conference commenced with the opening words of the deputy minister from the Ministry of labor and social policy Mrs.Petrova and personal address the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection Mrs. Jecheva. The significance of the subject was mention in both statements and focus was put on the necessity of improving the child care system in Bulgaria in social pedagogical boarding schools.
After a brief project introduction, Mrs. Magdalina Dzjamdzjieva (expert-research) have made a presentation of the Bulgarian national report on the topic “Repeated acts of violence from children”. The most important conclusions of the report were related with the fact that the main factors leading to repeated violence are due to the lack of positive models of behavior in the families of the children, the absence of timely professional involvement from social workers and the deficiency of professional skills of the staff who is working in the institutions.
The project manager and expert in recommendations – Mrs. Dashenka Kraleva continued with a presentation with the topic “Presentation of international experience related with legislation, the factors and the services for children perpetrators of violence in Austria and Spain.” Main conclusion which was derived from the discussion with the participants was that in Austria and Spain the services for children perpetrators of violence are diversified and well-developed, but more financial resources and staff are needed. The three countries are sharing common challenges in improvement the efficiency of the services and of the programs for social work with children:
– Work with families, especially when it is necessary for the children to be placed out of their family environment.
– Inclusion of all family members and identifying the significant adults when it is necessary to place the children out from their family environment.
– Supplying sufficient financial resources for the development of different preventive programs.
– Overcoming the deficit of professionals who are trained to work with children, perpetrators of violence. Such professionals could be social workers, educators, trainers etc.
– Overcoming burn-out of professionals.
– Coordination and cooperation of different institutions which are related to work with children, perpetrators of violence.
– Thorough building of relationships between professionals and young people.
– Introduction of case work as a process of setting clear goals and indicators for measuring of their reaching.
– Involving children and youth in participation activities such as planning, decision-making on issues which are directly related to them.
– Developing of different models of residential care for maintaining changes of the behavior of the children.
– Overcoming the interruption of the process of work with youngsters who have reached 18 years of age.
– Overcoming the lack of professionally prepared foster parents who are ready and willing to work with children perpetrators of violence for a fixed period of time.
In the afternoon part of the first day Mrs. Krustanova from foundation “Animus”, Mr. Apostolov from “Applied Research and Communications Fund” and Mrs. Velikova from foundation “Gender, education, research and technologies” have presented their experience of projects in the field. The participants of the conference were able to get materials from different NGOs which were placed on a specific exhibition corner inside the conference room.
The second day of the conference started with a short review of the previous day. After that Mrs. Zvezditsa Kovacheva,coordinator of project “New perspectives”, funded by UNICEF-Bulgaria. She made a presentation of key challenges in legislation and procedures in placement of children in social pedagogical boarding schools in Bulgaria. The presentation was followed by a thorough discussion with the participants and analysis of the systematic problems in Bulgaria, in relation to the work with children in conflict with the law.
The conference continued with the next presentation of focus points and ideas for changes in the judicial practice, related with children, perpetrators of violence which was made by Judge Tanya Marinova, Chairman of the Association of the judges in Bulgaria. She introduced to the participants three legal cases which are indicative of challenges for taking fair decisions by judges in relation to children in conflict with the law. Mrs. Marinova focused on the importance of the decisions and their importance of the life of the children and the responsibility of the judges to the child and its family.
The next stage of the conference was devoted to the recommendations from the project “Together Against Violence” which were structured in 5 groups of standards(19 standards in total). The speaker was Mrs. Dashenka Kraleva.
After the presentation, the participants have united to formulate a statement in regards legislation, factors leading to violence and services for children perpatrators of violence. The statement will be published in the websites of the organizations and the project.
In the end of the conference was presented a movie by association ISDP which was on the topic of youth violence.
Presentation from the conference can be found here: