The Bulgarian National Radio shared their interview with Radostina Antonova from the Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children at NBU, discussing the process of deinstitutionalization in Bulgaria, the foundation of family-type homes for abandoned children, as well as reducing the number of abandoned children and other important points for child protection in Bulgaria:
'The main achievement, beyond the closure of the old institutions and the construction of new and smaller family-type homes for children, is that the children are working to establish a so-called bond of attachment that is fundamental to the development of the child and overcoming the negatives of neglect, abandonment, and traumas that children experience.', shared Radostina Antonova with BNR.
'Another success achieved over the years by the grassroots organizations is that a gradual "stop at the threshold" begins, i.e. fewer and fewer children are being abandoned. Every effort is made to invest in the families of newborns and children who would later be abandoned so that they can keep the children', adds Radostina.
BNR also mentioned the project of the Realizing Impossible Dreams centre, in which mentors help children between the ages of 14 and 18 to successfully prepare for leaving the family-type accommodation centres. Radostina Antonova notes that most children have parents, but their relationships with them are not functional enough:
'We have begun to work with the families of these children through the child's dream - what he wants to do and what to make of him/herself. Sometimes they try to get them into roles that are familiar to the family without believing that the child can accomplish more than that.'
You can find out about the achievements of this project so far via the interview (in Bulgarian) with Radostina Antonova on the BNR website.
The BNR material also mentions the international conference 'Deinstitutionalization of childcare: How we invest in change' which was held 6–8 November. You can read more about it in our news article HERE.