Foster a child!

Over 2 000 Bulgarian children are abandoned at institutions each year. It has been scientifically proven that raising a child in an institution has negative impact on his/her development and decreases to a big extend the chances for complete life realization. In this early and very important age, each three months spent in an institution delay children’s development with a month.                   

Most of the children are raised at institutions because their parents are very poor, do not have house or where to live, do have some financial difficulties, have health problems. There are services developed in Bulgaria that could support the parents and avoid children abandonment.

Regional Foster Care Centre, Stara Zagora

The goal of the Regional Foster Care Centre in Stara Zagora is to establish and develop a stable model of Foster Care at a regional level. Samaritans Organization and the British NGO ARK-Bulgaria have signed a partnership agreement in 2006 for Foster Care services development. Stara Zagora Municipality has been attracted for a partner as well and is continuing to support the foster care development nowadays.    
       
Foster Care team within Samaritans Organization has been established in 2007. The team was trained by the international consultants, experts in Foster Care Kristian Kjelberg (Sweden) and Eva Ward (Great Britan). The first official Foster Care campaign called “Foster me!” has been launched in 2007.      
 
After one-year hard work and very good results achieved by the team, the Samaritans organization have been acknowledged as worthy organization by UNICEF.

In January 2008 the biggest world organization that protects children rights – UNICEF became partner of Samaritans Organization and ARK – Bulgaria. After signing a partnership agreement with UNICEF, the activities of the Foster Care team expanded on regional level. In this way the first Region Foster Care Centre in the country, managed by Samaritans Organization was established. The working model of the Regional Centre was multiplied in other 8 regions in Bulgaria – Sofia Region, Sofia town, Pernik, Smolyan, Gabrovo, Targovishte, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen.

The specific activities developed by the Foster Care team are as follows: recruiting, training and giving professional support to Foster Care families.