Out-of-Family Children in Bulgaria
The project “Social inclusion for out-of-family children and young people in Public Childcare” co-financed by the European Commission and developed in 2006-2007, focused on Out-of-Family Children. These children, who live in state of abandonment or removal from birth-family for a long period, represent a target-group at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Often absolutely de-socialised, without any family-relationship, without daily autonomy, without neither skills nor chances for employment, without housing opportunities, exposed to different kinds of exploitation (child trafficking, prostitution, criminal activities, begging), they are at risk of social exclusion, disease and deviance.
This phenomenon involves different fields of inquiry:
- The social policies addressed to socially vulnerable families at highest risk of breakdown
- The policies of childcare and protection of out-of-family children, in order to overcome institutionalisation and to promote family-based childcare alternative (as fostering, adoption)
- The youth social policies addressed to care-leavers, those post-institutionalised young people who at coming of age have to leave the residential placements within which they have grown
The project, through the creation of an International Working Group with representatives of Public Authorities, NGOs and Universities from the five project countries – Bulgaria, France, Italy, Latvia and Romania – has given the possibility to develop a comparative research on the policies addressed to defend the child’s right to live and grow up in a family upbringing.
The Working Group, through activities of research, comparison and exchange of practices, has offered a picture of the way the national Child Protection Systems are working in these countries. The peculiarity of the project lies in the fact that, after a first assessment of the legislative framework and of the numbers involved, it has seen the participation of the direct beneficiaries of these protection systems. The implication of social operators, young care leavers and families has allowed the Working Group to measure the differences that exist between what is envisaged by the systems, and what is implemented in reality.
Insert date: 2009-07-15Language: English