The main aim of this project was to support the Agency for Social Assistance (an executive structure of the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy) to develop its training programmes for social workers at the 148 child protection departments around the country.
The project included an intensive training component for social workers and other professionals working with children.
The project was successfully completed with all planned training sessions having taken place and a total of 241 professionals having been trained (exceeding the number originally planned).
In 2008 and 2009 four rounds of training sessions for social workers were organized by ICDI in different regions of Bulgaria. Topics included ‘working methods with children’, ‘child development’, ‘recognizing and dealing with child abuse’, ‘cooperation with stakeholders’ and ‘the role of social workers’. These trainings were very positively evaluated by the participants. We also developed a Training Manual which will be used for years to come.
A study visit to The Netherlands was organized for 15 Bulgarian social workers and representatives from the Agency for Social Protection. The group visited several Dutch agencies, like the Youth care bureau, Cardea Youth care and the Dutch Ministry for Children and Families. The study visit was designed to provide the participants fresh ideas and inspiration to take home.
Another important project activity was the drafting of a policy advice by ICDI for the Agency for Social Assistance on developing ongoing training support for social workers in the child protection system. This document was well received and presented at a concluding seminar held in Sofia, which was attended by more than 50 people.