Regional Administration Sliven hosts a work meeting with UNICEF in support of children at risk
During the opening ceremony of the work meeting the deputy governor of Sliven Mr Nedji Ahmed, reminded the guests about the signing of a Memorandum for Cooperation on the 04.09.2013. The memorandum focuses on the execution of the project “Support for children in conflict with the law, children at risk and their families” and was signed between UNICEF Bulgaria, the governor of Sliven, as well as representatives of four municipalities in the region.
The joint efforts of the actors in the Memorandum of Cooperation will contribute to the creation of a working model, aimed at delivering services for prevention, socialization and support for children in conflict with the law, children at risk and their families.
Elena Atanasova – Head of “Monitoring and evaluation” in UNICEF presented the results of the research “Mapping the most vulnerable communities, situational analysis and analysis of the needs of Sliven Region”, that was made for the needs of the project.
Maya Grozdanova – Consultant “Child Protection” in UNICEF presented the summary from the evaluation of children in conflict with the law, institutionalized in special boarding schools and correctional facilities. She also introduced the results from the analysis of the capacity of the child justice system, a research made by the “Institute for Social work and practices”.
Kremena Chobanova – Consultant in UNICEF talked about the changes that need to be addressed in the reform of the child justice system.
Milena Harizanova – Head of “Child Protection” in UNICEF presented details from the project “Support for children in conflict with law, children at risk and their families”.
Part of the planned activities are:
- Creation of a friendly environment for interviews and hearing what the children have to say (Blue room). Training of the required specialists.
- Creation of a health Center for psychological support to children.
- Creation of specialized Centers for working with children at risk and their families and improvement of the capacity of the Center for homeless children in Sliven and the Region.
- Development of specialized foster care for children in conflict with the law.
- Creation of a special Center for placement of children in a family care.
- Creation of a specialized mentor program.
- Creation of a transitional/ monitored dormitory for children that have been taken out of boarding schools and correctional facilities.
- Creation of a legal counseling service that aims to provide help for children and families at risk.
In addition to that, UNICEF and its partners will support an inclusive approach in which children will have the chance to be informed about the questions that concern them directly and their opinion will be taken into consideration before implementing different decisions on a school level, in the community and in different regions. This will establish a sustainable model for child participation. Other activities and services will be focused on Early childhood development, supporting families by creating a Center for Maternal and Child Care and organizing a new “Workshop for Parents” campaign.
The participants in the meeting had the chance to make their comments and made suggestions to the action plan. In less than a month a Regional Coordination Group will be established. It will be under the authority of the Governor of Sliven Region with the participation of representatives of UNCIEF, Ministry of Interior, Educational Inspectorate, Partner Municipalities, regional courts and prosecutors and NGOs. The first task of the Coordination Group will be to adopt an action plan for the “Support to children in conflict with the law, children at risk and their families” project in Sliven Region.