Exchange of experience for “Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration” and “Day Care Center” social services in Veliko Tarnovo city
On January 26, 2016, in the city of Veliko Tarnovo, a meeting between specialists from the social services “Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration” and “Day Care Center” took place. The event was hosted by the representation of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) in the region of Veliko Tarnovo, i.e. Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration for Adults and Persons with Disabilities over 18 years. More than 30 social service specialists from the social services in the cities of Russe, Razgrad, Veliko Tarnovo, Polski Trambesh, Pavlikeni, Svishtov, Silistra, Starosel, etc. took part in the meeting.
During the first part, good practices related to the activities of the participants, case studies and ways for overcoming the challenges, including approaches for work with self-stated clients, mobile work at the Centers for Social Rehabilitation and Integration as well as its reporting, e.g. transport means, scope, duration, charges for the users, were commented on. The team of the Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration for Persons with Mental Disorders – Veliko Tarnovo presented the software used by them and by the specialists working with adults for reporting the tasks done. Thus, the time for dealing with paperwork has been considerably reduced, whereby the software has been elaborated according to the normative requirements and the methodology for work at a Center for Social Rehabilitation and Integration. The software possesses additional functions, which satisfy the requirements of social service providers for children as well. The representatives of Center “Solutions” – city of Russe presented eight social services aimed at supporting persons with chronic psychiatric disorders, drug addictions and dementia.
During the second part of the meeting, an active discussion on the changes in the Law on Social Assistance and the rules for its implementation, the Draft Law on Social Services, the update of the methodologies related to structuring the social service providers’ work took place. Additionally, it was stressed that the quality of social services was to be measured by the Rules for the Implementation of the Law on Social Assistance and the Ordinance on the Criteria and Standards for Social Services for Children and that there were no other documents adopted. The participants agreed that when evaluating the quality it was important to take into consideration the results achieved and the inclusion of service users in the evaluation process. Common problems were also discussed, e.g. related to the salaries of social service specialists, which, due to the increase of the minimum wage in the country, were already really close to it and leading to a lack of staff. As a possible solution, the increase of the standards for financial maintenance of the Centers for Social Rehabilitation and Integration and the Day Care Centers in order to increase the payment of specialists in the social sector and secure the work places of the current staff was suggested.
At the end of the meeting, it was concluded that the recommendations made would be used by NASO during its work on the normative changes envisioned. It was agreed on that meetings targeted at particular social services and/or social service users were extremely important for the professionals in the field and that they would be further implemented through NASO’s national program.