NASO representation in Bansko hosted two-day exchange of experience of Day Care Centers
On February 25 and 26, 2016 the representation of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) in Bansko - Day Care Center “Zornitsa”, hosted an exchange of experience of the social services “Day Care Center for children with disabilities” and “Day Care Center for adults with disabilities”. Social service specialists and managers from throughout the whole country attended the event. The participants were welcomed by Maya Stoiceva, Head of the Humanitarian Activities Department of the Municipality of Bansko. Ms. Stoiceva pointed out that she highly appreciates the exchanges of experience as it improves the care for users and helps achieving a higher level of quality of the social services. The topic of the various discussion panels during the two days of the event was presented by Borislava Gitsova, Social Service and Development Expert at NASO, as well as by Snejana Erinina, Director of Day Care Center “Zornitsa” and also NASO representative for the region of Bansko.
During the first day of the meeting the focus was set on the innovative approaches and practices in the work with autistic children. Different methods of work were presented including practical guidelines. The participants had the opportunity to present individual cases and find the best possible solutions to resolve them. Among the common solutions, the importance of the work with parents stood out, which had a positive effect on the development of children with disabilities and was of a great support to the work of the social service specialists. When proving services to children with disabilities at a Day Care Center it is important children to be diagnosed correctly at the beginning by a medical specialist. Earlier the work with a child starts, the greater the chances for success regarding its cognitive, motor and physical development are.
Among the challenges discussed, the difficult communication with schools and kindergartens was stressed as well as the necessity to introduce more trainings for teachers related to the behavior of the children, the specifics of their development and types of disabilities, whereby such trainings would contribute to the more adequate integration of children with special needs in the mainstream kindergartens and schools. The teams of the various Day Care Centers shared their experience in preparing an evaluation of the needs of the children, setting goals for the work with them as well as in the preparation of reports on the activities conducted, whereby it was suggested that monthly plans for work should be submitted to the Child Protection Department every six months.
During the second day of the meeting, the discussion was focused on the specifics of the work with adults using the Day Care Center social service. It was moderated by Ms. Erinina and the participants presented different methods of work and social support to users and various approaches for organizing their daily activities. The positive influence of occupational therapy was stressed as well as the important role of the family and relatives in terms of developing the skills and increasing the independence of the adults with disabilities. The need for broader partnerships and support from the community, the business and other structures in the process of social integration was also mentioned to be of a great importance, whereby it was pointed out that there were many good practices, however, based on personal initiatives as there was no normative regulation in support of such partnerships.
Both meetings were part of the annual priorities of NASO for providing opportunities for exchange of experience and presenting good practices related to particular types of social services and their target groups. The events aimed at finding out the best possible approaches for social integration of service users, increasing the expertise of social service specialists and providing broader partnerships for more effective common solutions.