06 July 2016

Celebrating collaboration as the key to closing baby institutions in Bulgaria

This week, Hope and Homes for Children hosted a national conference in Bulgaria to show how our model of collaboration can help to end the institutional care of babies and children.

Since 2012, we have been working closely with the Bulgarian government on their programme to eradicate children’s institutions, with an immediate focus on closing the country’s large number of baby orphanages.

Our experience in Bulgaria and around the world has taught us that the process of closing institutions and finding alternative, family-based care for vulnerable children, runs more smoothly and much faster when we cooperate effectively with other organisations, service providers, governmental agencies and the institutions themselves.

The “Together” conference was held in the EU Commission building in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia on Tuesday. Among those taking part were the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, representatives of regional and local authorities, government ministries and agencies as well as representatives from UNICEF and other NGOs.

The event offered those taking part a chance to share experience and best practice and showed the part that Hope and Homes for Children’s model of collaboration has played in the successful closure of 14 baby institutions in Bulgaria to date, the most recent closure being that of the Zlatica orphanage, which housed 40 children when the closure programme began.