On 23rd January 2019 Hope and Homes for Children - Branch Bulgaria held a conference on "Deinstitutionalization in the conditions of political turbulence, poverty and limited human resources". The event was held in the press center of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy as part of the ministry's campaign "The Mission Is Possible." The conference aimed at presenting the assessment of the contribution of Hope and Homes for Children for the period 2014 - 2017 based on the factors of "relevance, effectiveness, usefulness, and sustainability". The research team of the Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children, New Bulgarian University, headed by Dr. Galina Markova, presented a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the results achieved as a result of Hope and Homes for Children's interventions, in the areas where the organization is operating, to the professionals from state institutions and the non-governmental sector.
"I have never doubted whether the process of deinstitutionalization of childcare in Bulgaria will succeed – when professionals, who are sharing common values and resources, are gathered together – I know the mission is possible" - Georgi Simeonov, Executive Director of Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria addressing the professional community, working with children, who participated in the conference.
The event was also honored by the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Bisser Petkov, who demonstrated his support for the professionalism and dedication of the team of Hope and Homes for Children - branch Bulgaria in ensuring the best interests of the children and families at risk: "I am here to express my support for Hope and Homes for Children – branch Bulgaria for completing the process of deinstitutionalization. The achieved sustainable results and the expert’s support give us a reason to believe that we can complete the process within two years."
The Minister also stressed that the united efforts of Hope and Homes for Children and the research team of the Know How Center for the Alternative Care for Children is a key benefit for completing the reforms and that they will contribute to providing tools for assessing the effect on the well-being of children in Bulgaria. He also pointed out that the country is cited as a good example of what has been achieved in the process of deinstitutionalization.
The main conclusion of the research team that carried out the assessment of the work of "Hope and Homes for Children - Branch Bulgaria" with children and families at risk was the following:
The researchers have presented quantitative data, based on indicators measuring the positive changes for the families supported by Hope and Homes for children – Bulgaria in different areas of their well-being, as well as financial analysis of the cost-effective investments in material support. The introduction of innovative practices based on the child-centered approach has led to systematic and sustainable change, making HHC – Bulgaria’s interventions a standard for social work.