Today Ivanka Shalapatova, For Our Children Foundation Executive Director, signed a contract for the implementation of a project named “Initiative for Development and Social Inclusion– for Our Children”. It will be executed with the financial support of the Operational Program “Human Resources Development”.
The project will be implemented on the territory of 8 municipalities in Plovdiv District and will develop and improve the system of services for active social inclusion of children at risk and their families in the municipalities of Plovdiv, Maritsa, Sadovo, Kuklen, Rodopi, Perushtitsa, Stamboliyski and Asenovgrad, where integrated and coordinated cross-sectoral services will be developed.
Within the project framework a comprehensive program for information exchange, individual assessment and targeting of services to the identified needs of the child and the family will be launched. It will serve as a tool for coordination and interaction between multidisciplinary service providers and local state structures, as well as keeping the parents informed, consulted and motivated to use complex services based on the need for development and social inclusion. Based on multidisciplinary individual family assessment, they will be directed to supporting integrated services.
The access of vulnerable groups of children and families to integrated and coordinated support and development services will be improved to reduce the risk of social exclusion.
The project framework allows for the implementation of programs for complex support of the early child development of children with development difficulties or disabilities through basic or mobile services in early childhood intervention, rehabilitation, logopaedic therapy, medical counselling and assisting, late monitoring of children with disabilities and premature babies, as well as the support of the individual development and learning of children and their socialization in cooperation with local structures.
Our Team will work to raise the public awareness of the problems of children at risk and their families and their opportunities for active social inclusion. Eight information meetings will be organised and conducted at the eight municipalities.
The implementation of the project activities will start in September this year and it will continue until April 2021. It is foreseen to engage at least 200 children, including children with disabilities and their families.
Some of the most significant problems in the social sphere in the 8 municipalities are:
- Lack of understanding among the public about the importance of the problems of vulnerable children and their families and the importance of early identification of risks, ways of actively involving them and providing social support;
- Shortage of networking community services to offer comprehensive support to children at risk and their families;
- Risk of social exclusion of children at risk and their families due to the lack of services and a number of obstacles preventing the access to existing services.
For Our Children Foundation is a Bulgarian NGO that has been protecting children’s rights in Bulgaria for 27 years and works in partnership with children, families, communities, local and executive authorities to provide a safe family environment and conditions for sustainable development for each child.