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karin_dom_1Between 12th and 14th March 2012, the Karin Dom Foundation hosted a final conference for those organizations working on the project Development of the Early Intervention Service for Children with Special Needs in the Local Communities.

The conference was attended by the following organizations: NGO Equilibrium – Ruse, RALIZ – Ruse, Hand for Help Foundation – Dobrich, NGO St. Mina – Dobrich, Samaritans – Stara Zagora, NGO Alternative 55 – Stara Zagora, National Alliance for Working with Volunteers – Plovdiv, NGO’s club in Targovishte, NGO Alternatives – Aitos. The project Development of the Early Intervention Service for Children with Special Needs in the Local Communities was undertaken with the financial support of the Tulip Foundation and Oak Foundation.

The conference was opened by Prof. Hristo Bozov, Deputy Mayor of Varna. Then Sevdzhihan Eyubova, a clinical psychologist at the hospital in Shumen, gave a presentation about “Synectica in Early Intervention or for the Different Approaches to the Common Goal”.

During the three days of the conference, paricipants shared their experience and demonstrated the best practices developed and piloted by those organizations that contributed to the Early Intervention Programme during the last 18 months. There were discussions around concrete cases and also on theme Stability of the Early Intervention Service at Local Level – Different Forms of Providing the Service. Milena Vlahova – director of the Ruse’s Complex for Social Services that is managed by Equilibrium, presented the results from the work of the Early Intervention team, best practices and trends in the development of the new service.

The conference ended with a workshop on Groups for Play – additional service by Early Intervention programme.

A professional forum took place on 28th and 29th of February 2012 in Grand Hotel Sofia which was organized by the Bulgarian Association for People with Intellectual Disabilities (BAPID) on the theme Early Intervention – Basic Steps and Challenges.

The forum was designed for experts, working in the field of early intervention, whose aim is to develop and to offer to the functional service in the context of the Bulgarian government’s deinstitutionalization programme.

The first day of the meeting involved the presentation of public policy for early intervention and also the experience of international organizations that develop early intervention service. Several organizations providing early intervention services for children with developmental deficits shared their experience – BAPID, whose representatives presented the results of the project At Home with Mum and Dad, implemented in Vidin; NGO Equilibrium presented its practice in the development of the Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs at Ruse’s Complex for Social Services and Karin Dom Foundation – Varna, which presented the experience they have through a film entitled “Family-oriented Practices in Early Intervention in Varna”. The film shows the outcomes of their project Development of Early Intervention Services for Children with Special Needs in Local Communities.

The programme for the second day involved four parallel sessions: early intervention working model, relevant professional competences, the role of parents and professional standards. The participants discussed and approved the guidelines to local authorities on the development and implementation of a management structure and policies for the services for children with disabilities and also the requisite profile and improved qualifications of the multidisciplinary teams working in the area of early intervention.