The Community Support Center “St. Sofia” was established in 2005. It is situated in one of the sectors of the former Home for socio-medical cares for children “St. Sofia”. Since 2010, the center has been a state delegated activity, and Sofia Municipality has put it in charge of For Our Children Foundation after a competitive procedure.
The social workers, psychologists and specialists work for the prevention of abandonment of children at the maternity ward, they provide family support to families of children up to 7 years aiming to prevent the separation between children and families. The support is also provided to foster parents, candidates for adoption and approved adopters as well as to parents who have done everything possible to take the abandoned children from the social home. The specialist work directly with children and families in specialized rooms as well as in the “Library of the toys” and sensor room for work with children with developmental delays.
The main belief of the experts at the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” is that the family ensures the best environment for raising and upbringing of the children. The accent on the family consulting, support of parenthood, trainings, individual work with parents and all members of the family gives its result and reduces the risk of lasting separation between children and parents. The mobile social work provides opportunity for a wider range of people in need to be included and to benefit from the support at the center. On the other hand, being in their own home, the children and their parents feel free and confident, which contributes to achieving a much better effect of the social work.
The Community Support Center “St. Sofia” continues to support children at risk of abandonment in the maternity wards of three obstetrics and gynecology hospitals in Sofia – “St. Sofia”, “Sheynovo” and “Maichin Dom”, as well as in the neonatology ward of 1st General Hospital in Sofia.
The training activity in the center, as well as the support for better parenthood includes courses and group discussions, family and individual sessions. The trainings are defined according to the needs of the parents and can be related to the newborn; the role of the father in the baby`s life; early childhood development; healthy eating for the baby; safetiness and development of the child and the role of the parents; child`s entering creche, kindergarten, school, etc.
One of the important activities at the Community Support Center “St. Sofia” is the support for small children placed in social homes or in foster care. Specialists and volunteers provide organized activities such as taking the children out of their place of living, encouraging the connection with the community, exploring their neighbourhood, acquiring their knowledge for traffic rules, travelling with the community transport, their behavior in public places, development of shopping skills. The social workers organize visits of child centers; puppet theater, circus, cinema, etc. The inclusion of the children happens after an evaluation and determination of aims the child needs to achieve during its development.