Practical training in Troyan on Integrated Services – model, legal grounds, needs and opportunities
On December 10 and 11, 2015, in the town of Troyan, a practical training on “Integrated services – model, legal grounds, needs and opportunities”, organized by National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO), took place. Ms. Petya Demireva, Expert and Methodist in the fields of social policies, services and assistance, as well as Director of the social service bureau “Humanity and longevity” Ltd, was the main lecturer of the training. Representatives of social services and NGOs from Varna, Nessebar, Silistra, Razgrad, Targovishte, Lovech, Vidin, Nikopol, Pleven, Plovdiv and Ruse took part in the event.
The program was divided into two modules – a theoretical and a practical one. The theoretical module was focused on the development and management of community services for children and adults as an alternative of the institutional care as well as on the development of programs and projects in the field of alternative social services. A few problems related to the development of integrated social services were pointed out during the discussion between the lecturer and the participants, i.e. the lack of an appropriate evaluation of the users’ needs, the lack of a law definition of social services, the lack of a succession between the different projects funded under the national operational programs due to delays in their calls and the lack of their sustainability, as well as the impossibility of all social service providers to apply under the operational programs. With regard to the management of integrated services, Ms. Demireva claimed that the sustainability of services was a responsibility of the service management, which should be involving partners, professionals and interaction with the target groups. The elaboration of a service development and management plan is crucial, too, as well as the selection of appropriate specialists, whereby the improvement of the welfare of both staff and service users should be the focus. The maintenance of the home care atmosphere and the prevention of turning the services into an institutional type of care were among the difficulties related to the management of integrated services. Additionally, the stringent checks by the inspectorate, who instead of providing methodological support and working for providing a home type of environment for the service users were rather putting pressure on the social service providers to take measures in contradiction to the integration model and the improvement of the quality of life of disadvantaged people, were commented on. At the end of the theoretical module, questions about accommodating social service users, making decisions about aggressive users, the deadline for the in-take of users in a social service, the elaboration of the Law on Social Services, including the equal treatment of municipalities and NGOs, the closer cooperation between social services and the local authorities, the mobile work, the integration supplements, the need of changes in the work of public councils and the inspectorate, etc. were raised.
During the practical module, a visit to a few social services in the village of Dobrodan in the Municipality of Troyan was organized, i.e. of a Temporary Accommodation Center, a Care Home for Elderly People, Home Care Assistance and a Community Dining. The participants were very satisfied with the exchange of experience and the visit, and thanked NASO for the entire training conducted.