In accordance with state policy, Ruse complex for social services for children and families includes a centre for social support, a centre for street children and a 4-bed emergency placement unit. In parallel with the larger complex, we manage family-type accommodation for children with significant special needs.
Our services aim to support and assist families who face problems in bringing up their children and this includes preventing abandonment of children and assisting the deinstitutionalization process by which children are returned to their biological families, placed in foster care or accommodated in a family-type in close proximity to the community and in contact with that community. The Complex works for the realisation of children’s rights.
Objective of RCSSCF
To improve the quality of life and development potential of children at risk in Ruse municipality.
This is achieved
- By providing high-impact services supporting children in their families and within ther community to prevent placement of children in institutions because they have been abandoned, neglected or abused. Our work aligns with the national reform of childcare in the direction of the development of integrated services supporting families (although the current emphasis is on child protection as opposed to universal family support)
- By engaging the public with the issue of protecting the rights of children by means of building community partnerships and cooperation with state institutions, local authorities, social service providers and networks of specialists, the education community, police, the probation service and the local judiciary.
- Through coordinated outreach work, provision of unencumbered access to a basic package of services to children and families who are socially disadvantaged but live in other municipal districts in the region that lack those services available in the district that contains the regional capital
The national deinstitutionalization programme provides new challenges for social service providers and EQ has reshaped its operations to enable us to take a rational and fully integrated approach to prevention of institutionalization (“gate-keeping” in DI parlance) and the provision of solutions for those children removed from institutional care that fully take account of the overarching obligation to work in the best interests of the child.
Our approach to each family in crisis focuses on mobilizing resources to bring them to a situation of self-sufficiency in as short a period of time as possible. Thus, each package of support is tailored on the basis of a comprehensive, strength-based assessment of child and family Resources are used appropriately. This may include the provision of material support over and beyond the social welfare payments to which the family is entitled or in the context of an emergency response while applications for benefit are being processed. Our ambition is to keep the child in the family if this equates with the child’s best interests. Bureaucratic or administrative considerations cannot supersede this ambition.
We actively support biological families, foster carers and adoptive parents and encourage the development of mutual support networks and have achieved considerable success in the placement of children with special needs.
EQ has supported the project “Direction: Family” of the Ministry of Health in partnership with Hope and Homes for Children – Bulgaria both in the context of closing the baby home in Ruse and in the provision of technical support in other districts where closure programmes were taking place. We supported the efforts of the Municipality of Ruse in the process of closing the institutions “Hope” and “Raina Gateva”.