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Annual reports

This was a year of self-examination and re-calibration.

As a provider of social services, EQ had to adapt to a newly imposed operational framework that should render service provision more rational and efficient from an operational perspective. The changes aren’t wholly unwelcome (the Bulgarian government was reacting to genuine and significant anomalies), but their introduction was hurried and, inevitably, there were “teething troubles”.

During the year, EQ released an online publication – ‘Voice of Adversity: Helping Disadvantaged People to Speak… Continue reading

The year 2022 was quiet by EQ’s normal standards but it provided us with the opportunity to take a long, hard look at ourselves and, in particular, the way in which we engage with our clientele as a provider of social services and the proprietor of Bulgaria’s only family centre catering for parents with children at preschool age.

In 2017, the Child Protection Hub for Southeast Europe published a series of country reports under the banner – ‘Reviewing Existing Quality… Continue reading

In the winter of 2021, the Velux Foundation published the fourth volume in its series ‘Making Systemic Change Work’. The title of the publication is ‘Deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria’, and the book was produced by a team from EQ – author: David Bisset, consultant: Galina Bisset and editor: Lora Sarkisyan.

Deinstitutionalization is defined as “the complex and multi-faceted process of departing from a care system that relies heavily on large, residential institutions for children and moving towards a modern system that… Continue reading

EQ in 2020

There is ability in every disability. 

What happens when you close your eyes and rely only on your sense of touch?

We asked this question in the context of a film produced in July, 2020 (Link: https://eq-bg.org/en/to-feel-the-bridge-over-the-danube/)

The film shows activities from a series of “tactile workshops” hosted by EQ and Ruse’s regional history museum.

What is a tactile workshop?

We invited participants to explore a variety of objects through the medium of touch while… Continue reading

Equilibrium in 2019 

Two main themes emerge from a review of Equilibrium’s activities in 2019 –

  1. Landmarks in the development of social services
  2. Heightening of our focus on early years’ care and education

Social services

During November, we hosted an event celebrating a decade of providing care for children who came to the Pink House after being released from the notorious Mogilino institution.

The event was attended by Dr. Eleanora Lilova, chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection… Continue reading

Equilibrium is a pioneer in the reform of the Homes for Medical-Social Care for Children. In 2009 – 2011, together with the British organisation Hope and Homes for Children – UK, we closed the first of Bulgaria’s 32 baby homes. The facility was in Teteven and it contained 34 children (0 – 3).

We introduced a programme for ACTIVE family support to prevent other children from being placed there. We assessed the children, already placed in the home, and… Continue reading

Arguably, Ruse’s centre for social support lies at the centre of Equilibrium’s operations. For the larger part of 2018, major renovation has been underway meaning that the team has had to squeeze into one half of the building and then the other while coordinating the delivery of social services from inside a noisy construction site.

While it is still difficult to imagine what the centre will look like when finished, it’s clear that the interior of the building will have… Continue reading

Executive summary

Equilibrium believes in universal family support but progress in this direction depends on coherent and consistent practice among the different professions coupled with a change in professional attitudes to embrace the idea of public service. Families need to learn how to respond to the availability of public servants. The relevant expression is proactivity.

It will take time to establish the types of relationships and interactions that support this type of community. Professionals must learn to stop playing… Continue reading

Management consultants recognize a stage in the development of an organization that can represent either an opportunity or an existential crisis for the founders.

A combination of forces make their presence felt. These forces are linked to the effort needed to simply sustain the day-to-day operation of a sizeable organization. A big organization needs systems, routines and even conventions. Those who found organizations tend not to be particularly conventional people and – in truth – they should not try to… Continue reading

pdf-buttonA year of growth

It’s great to find a theme for reporting on a year’s activities to avoid producing a simple list of “things we did last year.”

The theme for 2015 is very definitely the expansion of EQ’s influence in the development of services for children and families.