National Meeting of Mother and Baby Shelter Service
On June 3, 2016 in the National Office of NASO the second national meeting of directors of Mother and Baby Shelter Service was held. NASO has initiated this circle of meetings and the first of them was held at the end of January 2016 in Plovdiv city. The goal of the meetings is discussing the role of the service to support pregnant women and mothers at risk to abandon their children as well as drawing general proposals for changes, which would optimize the work and raise the service quality. The participants shared years of experience and pointed out the main challengers, issues and good practices at service provision.
The need to update the methodology of the service as there are discrepancies with practice and experience was an important point in the meeting. The experts discussed also the target group related with the changing circumstances, such as support for mothers seeking international protection, mothers with refugee status etc. When users are minors below 16 years old, the staff has difficulties providing efficient service due to lack of sufficient resources. Experts agreed on the proposal for service fees not to be paid by the clients so they might have more financial means to cover expenses for nursery, rent, etc. and needed for building independent life. Another problem is the lack of medical tests in cases of emergency admission, which is needed to ensure the safety and health of other clients and staff itself. The experts agreed on the need of methodology in cases of mothers with positive medical results (AIDS, HIV, etc.). The meeting participants assessed the high importance of good practices and experience as they give them an opportunity to gain expertise and skills.
Holding of this meeting showed out the need to prepare a serious analysis to support the proposals and recommendations for changes in providing Mother and Baby Shelter Service, which NASO will present to the Agency on Social Assistance and use in the discussions on the draft Law on Social Services.