Assuring quality of the child care services 3 – 6 July 2007, Sofia Vesela Banova Deputy Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection Bulgaria
International legal acts and national legislation Article 3: 1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
International legal acts and national legislation 3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision
Questionnaire on the implementation evaluation Did the State covered all public and private organisations, authorities and services, responsible for the child protection and care in order to assure that official, already established standards have been complied with? These are: safety; health; child protection against all forms of violence and aggression; number and suitability of the staff; compliance with all Convention’s provisions; independent inspection and supervision.
Conclusion Social child care services standards shall be introduced in order to assure recognition of the rights of the child when using the service
National legislation The quality of the health care is based on medical standards, approved by the Law on the health care establishments and the Rules on the good medical practice, approved by the Law on the professional organisations of doctors and dentists. Standards in education shall be introduced by the State educational requirements pursuant to the Law on the public education. Social care standards: Article 4, paragraph 3 of the Law on the child protection: “Criteria and standards for social services for children regarding application of the measures under paragraph 1, points 1, 2, 4 and 5, shall be set out in a Regulation, which shall be adopted by the Council of Ministers on a proposal from the Minister of labour and social policy.”
Objectives Introduction of social child care services standards is not self-orientated process. It is a part of integral regulatory mechanism, which objectives are: to promote social entrepreneurship development in Bulgaria; to assure to social services consumers the necessary quality of the social service, which to guarantee the achievement of its objectives.
Monitoring system of the quality of social child care services Legally based quality standards: Ordinance on the criteria and standards for the social child care services; Licensing regime for social child care services providers; Control over the observance of the social child care services standards.
STANDARDS The Ordinance on the criteria and standards for the social child care services regulates the standards for social services in implementation of the following child protection measures: 1. assistance, support and services for the family; 2. placement with families of relatives or friends; 3. placement with foster family; 4. placement in specialised institution.
For whom the standards are obligatory? The social child care services standards are obligatory for: the State; the municipalities; natural persons, registered under the Law on the Trade and for legal entities, licensed under Article 43b of the Law on the child protection.
Conclusion The standards have been developed as common result orientated rules. They provide wide operative independence to the social service provider to achieve the required result through activities and procedures, which correspond to its concepts and capacity.
Licensing Licensing of the social child care service providers is a part of the reform of the child care system. It is a process focused on development of social services net as a response to the children and family needs of support in certain community.
Licensing The Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection shall issue license for provision of social child care services pursuant to Article 43b of the Law on the child protection According to Article 18, paragraph 1, points 1 and 3 of the Law on the social assistance, social services shall be provided by Bulgarian natural persons, registered under the Law on the Trade and legal entities, as well as by foreign natural persons and legal entities from the EU Member States, or from EEA countries, registered as traders in compliance with their national legislation, which are subject of licensing.
Licensing In order to receive a license it is necessary organisations or persons, desiring to provide social services for children up to 18 years to submit an application to the Chairperson of the SACP along with the papers required pursuant to Article 34, paragraph 3 of the Law on the child protection. Interinstitutional commission shall examine the applications and shall take decisions by preparing a motivated proposal to the Chairperson of the SACP to issue or refuse to issue a license. The license shall be issued in case the applicant meets the requirements under Article 43c of the Law on the child protection
Licensing The license may be withdrawn in case: - the service has not begun to be provided for 12 months since the date of the issue of the license. - the social child care standards have not been observed; an activity has been performed infringing the received license. A license may be refused in case the applicant does not meet the requirements under Article 43c of the Law on the child protection. The organisations may provide social child care services after receiving a license and being entered in the register under the procedure set out in the Law on the social assistance. The license shall be issued for a period of 5 years.
CONTROL The Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection in person or through authorised officials controls: observation of the quality standards for social child care services; recognition of the rights of the child by all state, municipal and private schools, kindergartens and nurseries, service units, health establishments, social assistance directorates, specialised institutions, social child care service providers and non-profit legal entities, working in the field of child protection;
CONTROL The control shall be exercised through: 1. planned and scheduled inspections, approved by the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection; 2. checks on signals for infringements of the quality standards of the social child care services.
PLANNED INSPECTIONS In 74 specialised schools and specialised boarding-schools, on guarantees of the right of education to children in specialised schools. In 24 social pedagogical boarding-schools and penitentiary boarding-school, on guarantees of the right to live in family environment. In 59 day centres for children with disabilities on observation of the standards. 9 SEPI on observation of the standards
CHECKS ON SIGNALS 2004 – 20. 2005 – 40. 2006 – 61. Until June 2007 – 67.
INSPECTIONS The results from the planned inspections shall be published. They outlined many problem areas and proposed system development directions, including amendments to the Ordinance on the criteria and standards for the social child care services.
Development of the National information system (NIS) – Data base of the monitoring of the child care and protection system According to Article 17, point 9 of the Law on the child protection a data base shall be established and maintained. Child protection data base. Scope. Structure
Structure of the Child Protection Information System The administrative structure is as follows 1. Level – CPD/ SAD 2. Level – RSAD 3. Level – SACP
CONCLUSION The objective of the Social Child Care Services Monitoring System is to support the development of various and sufficient services, which to be of a good quality to assure recognition of the rights of every child as services consumer.