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9. Response to social correlates and consequences PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 03 March 2011 00:00

9. Response to social correlates and consequences

Within the frame of this section the following main topics will be reviewed:

Social reintegration of the problem drug users and of the persons addicted to drugs;

Crime prevention.

On reviewing the topic of social reintegration the focus was on information and issues related to finding homes for the persons with problems and at risk as well as on finding work, on the vocational training and the preparation of the problem drug users to begin work. The focus was also on combating unemployment. On presenting these issues information was used provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and by the State Agency for Child Protection.

In this report the topic of crime prevention is presented by information concerning the assistance that the drug addicts receive in prison (more specifically prevention, harm reduction and treatment related to drug use). On presenting these issues information was used provided by the Chief Directorate "Penalties Enforcement" at the Ministry of Justice.

Social reintegration

Finding homes

With the amendments in the Child Protection Act passed on 9th May 2006 new measures were introduced for temporary institutionalization of children under administrative order and in this way assistance was provided for the child and his/her family, aimed at prevention and reintegration, at upbringing the children in the families of relatives or in foster families.

Over the years the number of children institutionalized decreases. Such institutions are: Home for Upbringing and Educating Children Deprived of Parental Care (HUECDPC), the homes for disabled children - Home for Mentally Disabled Children and Youths (HMDCY) and Home for Physically Disabled and Mentally Unharmed Children and Youths (HPDMUCY) and Home for Medical and Social Care for Children (HMSCC).

The total number of the children institutionalized in 2006 was 8 653. By 31" December 2006 at the Homes for Medical and Social Care for Children, where children aged from 0 to 3 years were reared (both healthy and disabled, and some disabled children stay there until they get 7 years old) was 2 743. At the Homes for Upbringing and Educating Children Deprived of Parental Care where children aged from 3 to 18 years are institutionalized, by 31" December 2006 the number of children was 4 717. At the homes for disabled children, where children aged 4 to 18 years are institutionalized, by 31 December 2006 the number of children was 1 193. In comparison to 2005 the number of children institutionalized has decreased by 1 123 children, or by 11,5 a/o. The decrease over the last 6 years of the number of children institutionalized compared to the number of the total population of children in the country is insignificant — from 0.78 % in 2001 to 0.61 % in 2006. 79

Apart form the specialized institutions there are 9 Social and Pedagogic Boarding Schools (SPBS) and 5 Educational Schools — Boarding Schools (ESBS) where the children are institutionalized under the order of the Act on Combating the Antisocial Deeds of Minors and Under Aged. These children numbered 600 in 2006 — nearly twice fewer in comparison to the previous year. of children in the country for the period. In comparison to the preceding year their part has diminished insignificantly - by 0.09 %.

The total number of the children institutionalized and the children who are reared at these Pedagogic Boarding Schools and Educational Schools is 9 256, which is 0,65 % of the population of children in the country for the period. In comparison to the preceding year their part has diminished insignificantly - by 0.09 %.

According to the results of the research conducted by the State Agency for Child Protection the children institutionalized, who come from single parent families have the biggest part — 46 % (or 3 958 children). Despite the decrease in the number of children institutionalized in 2006 the number of the children of lone or divorced parents has increased by 187 children or by 5 % compared to 2005. While in 2005 these children represented 39 % of those institutionalized by 31st December, in 2006 they were nearly 46 %. The fact that there is not a second parent to care for the child represents a great risk for institutionalizing the child at an early age — 66 % (1 807) of the children institutionalized at the Homes for Medical and Social Care for the Children come from single parent families. At the homes for disabled children the relative part of the children of lone and divorced parents is 39 % (464) of the total number of children institutionalized there by 31st Decembers 2006. The smallest is the relative part of these children at the Homes for Upbringing and Education of Children Deprived of Parental Care — 36 % (1 687).

The parents of 40 % (3 460) of the children are unemployed- they are of a very low social status and they cannot cope with upbringing their children. The children from large families represent 27 % of the institutionalized children '(2 328), next come the children who have been abandoned and the foundlings — 15 % (1 322) and the children of whom one of the parents has died — 8,6 % (742). The orphans represent 2 % of the institutionalized children (or 174 children). At the specialized institutions there are 159 (1.8 %) children born by under aged mothers — under 18 years of age.

In 2006 the number of foreign citizens and fugitives accommodated at specialized institutions in Bulgaria increased by 56 % in comparison to the preceding year. In 2005 they were 62 and in 2006 they were as many as 97. The children of this risk category represent a serious problem for the social policy of the developed European countries and in Bulgaria the parameters are already delineating of these newly arising situations.

A National Research of the State Agency for Child Protection shows that in 2006 more than 80 % of the children institutionalized had families, but they were institutionalized because of impossibility to be reared at home or in a milieu close to the family one. 81

The main reasons for which the children coming from socially disadvantaged families are institutionalized are the difficulties in upbringing them (economic, psychological, social) combined with a lack of alternative to the institutional care services. The main risks which the children run in such families are related to the quality of life, the atmosphere in the family and the access to education. These data illustrate the necessity of applying the respective preventive and supporting policies aimed at limiting the "poverty" risk. There is also a demand for new flexible forms of social services and support for the family as the main factor for the child's development. 82

Finding work

The reintegration of drug addicts who have successfully completed a course of treatment is of great importance for their personal development as well as for the society as a whole.

In view of improving the capacity for employment and the participation of these people in the active labour and social life and in order to overcome their negative stereotype in society, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Employment Agency together with the National Centre for Addictions at the Ministry of Health, the municipal administrations, the NGOs, employers and educating institutions have worked out an "Independent Again" National Program.

The program started in May 2005 and was in force until the end of 2006. Its main aim was to improve the fitness for employment and the complete integration in society of the persons registered at the "Labour Office" Directorate and of the unemployed persons who have successfully completed the course of treatment for drug addiction. By implementing this program an opportunity was given to those willing to take a course of motivational education for active behaviour at the labour market and to participate in a free training to acquire vocational qualification. The opportunity was also presented to them of a subsidized employment by an employer under a labour agreement for a period of 18 months.

Over the period since starting the program in 2005 and till its completion in 2006 40 people who had successfully completed a course of treatment for drug addiction started work and 6 of them had successfully completed a course of acquiring vocational qualification. For the period under review the expenditure from the state budget amounted to BGN 70 817.

The unemployed persons were enrolled in qualification courses according to their desire for the specialties: "Production of culinary articles and drinks", "Text processing", and "Basic Computer Preparation". The employers who participated in the program are NGOs and small private companies. The persons appointed have worked previously in the sector of services, like trade, social activities, culture, etc., in the positions of technical collaborator, gardener, mechanic, unskilled worker, barman, accountant, etc.

In view of attracting partners and popularizing the options of the program, the territorial sections of the Employment Agency have held meetings with different organizations working with this risky group as well as with possible employers. In spite of all the efforts the results of the program were poorer than expected. The main reasons for this were: the reluctance on the part of the drug addicted persons to declare that they have completed a course of treatment and because of this the employees form the Labour Office had difficulties identifying the unemployed who were the target group of the program, and the waning interest on the part of the employers because of the specificity of the target group. 83

In view of the social significance of the problem and of the successful integration in society of this target group in the month of March 2007 the scope of the National Employment Program for permanently disabled people was broadened and a new target group was included, namely unemployed people who have successfully completed a course of treatment for drug addiction. With the change in the Program the term of the subsidized employment from the state budget was prolonged from 24 to 36 months which is aimed at achieving more sustainable employment of these unemployed persons.

For the implementation of the National Program for Employment and Vocational Training of Permanently Disabled People in 2007 funding amounting to BGN 1 508 647 was provided for the employment of 545 unemployed persons, who are a target of the program and 40 unemployed persons were included in a training to acquire vocational qualification.

By 31st May 2007 in the Program were included 2 persons who had successfully completed a course of treatment for drug addiction. This program shall be in effect till 31st December 2009, 84

Main social assistance

The "Social Assistance" directorates at the municipal administrations and the "Child Protection" departments established there represent a body carrying out policy for child protection at the municipality. In their immediate activity the "Child Protection" departments work with children at risk by providing cooperation, information and consultation, referral to social services in the municipality, etc. This includes providing pedagogic, psychological, judicial assistance for the children as well as for the parents and for the persons executing parental functions, and financial support under the order and the conditions of the regulations for enforcing the Child Protection Act.

The role of the "Child Protection" departments for the problem of drug use is related to undertaking activities of prevention. The social workers initiate or participate actively in school lectures and discussions on the topic of preventing addictions and dependencies among the children. The aim of these measures is to enhance the awareness of the students on the issue of the harm inflicted by drug use, alcohol drinking, smoking, improving the health culture and sexual education, informing them about their rights and obligations.

The "Child Protection" departments work in good collaboration with other institutions at local level, like the Children' Pedagogic Room, the Regional Health Centers, the Regional Inspectorates on Education, etc. The Child Protection departments are a desired partner for the implementation of a number of projects of NGOs which have as a main goal coping with the problem of drug use.

The Agency of Social Assistance makes sustained efforts for solving with the problems of the drug-addicted persons and their involvement in all the spheres of social life. One of the successful ways to overcome their social isolation is reintegration via the development of social services in the community, provided by NGOs entered in the register of social service providers. In 2006 these were:

"Phoenix" Center for Social Work Ltd. The city of Sofia, compl. Mladost-3, entrance B, tel. 962-35-84, 0898 -20-91-75, / Certificate Ng 58 dated 11th July 2003.
Long term rehabilitation program for drug addictions. It is implemented on the premises in the village of Brakyovtsi, municipality of Godect. It holds 22 beds.

"Combating epidemic diseases and addictions" Association - the city of Sofia, 14 G.M. Dimitrov Blvd., te1.971-10-96 /Certificate Ns 170 dated 28th December 2003/.
"Solidarity" Day Center— psychosocial rehabilitation of drug addicted persons. A team of 7 specialists, 17 drug-addicted persons. The premises at 64 H. Botev Blvd. There is an agreement for joint work between the DC "Solidarity" and the National Centre for Addictions.

"Mladezki Forum 2001" Association — the town of Razgrad, 15 Bulgarial Blvd., tel. 084/ 66 16 94, /Certificate N2112 dated 6th December 2003/
"Civil society for decreasing drug demand- primary and early prevention" Project. Educational seminars on the problems of addictions in the course of full year. The project has been implemented by Care Bulgaria.

"Personal Perfection" Foundation—the city of Sofia, 103 Tsar Samuil St., tel 02/ 981 26 30, /Certificate 112 339 dated 17th August 2004/
Cooperation for programs against addictions and alcoholism.

"Diva" Foundation for community care— the town of Plovdiv, 226 Shesti Septemvri Blvd., floor 1, tel.: 032/ 6 23 35, /Certificate N2 507 dated 9th December 2004/
"Community assistance for vulnerable groups in the town of Plovdiv" Project

"lzberi" Association — the town of Varna, compl. Chaika, bi. 28, entrance A, floor 3, flat 8, tel.: 052/30-80-05; 0897 69-25-75, /CertificateN2 652 and 653 dated 23rd March 2005/ "Individual consultations for children and youths having problems with their psychic and emotional functioning" Project

"Outpatient Group Practice for specialized medical care- Center of Psychic Health — Varna — Ltd., the town of Varna, 1 Hristo Smirnenskui St., tel.: 052/30-29-48, /Certificate Ns 165 dated 171h December 2003/
"Substitution and maintenance methadone treatment" Program
"Outpatient rehabilitation and re-socialization of drug addicted persons" Program

"Future without Drugs" Association of parents- the town of Varna, 1 Sv. Sv Kiril 1 Methodi Sq., tel.: 052/30-23-87, 0898-614-228, /Certificate Ns 737 - 740 dated 16th May 2005/

"Posoki 2005" Foundation — the town of Pleven, 49 Georgi Benkovski St., 81 Mechta block, entrance 1, floor 1, flat 1, tel.: 0899-76-43-09, / Certificate Ns 683 and N21178 dated 30th March 2005/

The target group of the "Protected Home and Social Rehabilitation and Integration Center" services are persons of age who are addicted to psychoactive substances, parents and friends. The activities are implemented through a worked out rehabilitation program - "New beginning" which includes preparing of an individual plan of recovery, individual consultations, group work and educational and information sessions. It includes a team of psychologists, psychiatrist, physician, social worker and consultants. The site is in the village of Bunovo, the region of Sofia. 85

Crime prevention

Assistance for the drug addicted persons in prisons (prevention, harm reduction, treatment, social reintegration)

All the drug addicted persons imprisoned in 2006 have been subjected to:
•    examination by a physician;
•    prompt psychic diagnostics;
•    evaluation of the system of marking dangers of relapse and harm which has been borrowed from the British prison service and has been approbated at the Bulgarian penitentiary institutions.

After they are brought to prison, the drug addicted persons are subjected to a program of adaptation, because they are emotionally unstable, with unstable behavior, and they have difficulties to immure.

During the main stage of undergoing their penalty of deprivation of liberty the convicts are included in a short term program for work with drug addicted persons and pass through a 12-step program which is applied daily in the course of 4 months. At the beginning of 2006 a training of the employees at all the prisons began under these programs and the first short term programs for work with drug addicted persons were successfully completed. 200 delinquents were included in the programs and 30 employees of the Chief Prison Directorate participated directly in them.

Practically the training of the employees under this 12-step program was finalized. At the prisons in the towns of Stara Zagora, Bourgas, Varna, Pleven and Plovdiv, the respective groups were organized and their training was completed. This intensive introduction of the two programs for work with drug addicted delinquents became a fact thanks to the valuable methodological assistance and supervision on the part of the British specialists. They successfully worked with their Bulgarian colleagues for implementing the twinning project "Consolidation of the Bulgarian penitentiary system".

The data from the group sessions were carefully and in detail analyzed and interpreted. After they were precisely systematized and edited they were presented to the leading groups for discussion at a seminar of the penitentiary employees. Psychologists, social workers and supervisors who had been trained and conducted the group sessions with the delinquents took part in it.

Before dismissing the drug addicted detainees from prison they participate in a program to prepare them for life outside the prison. Special attention is paid to:

•    surrounding milieu and lifestyle;
•    improving their skills for coping with specific difficulties;
•    giving themselves a positive self evaluation.

After finalizing the program for preparation for life in freedom a great number of the detainees suffering from addictions will participate in a short program. This is done with the aim of maximally motivating them to adequately react to the difficulties in real life after leaving the penitentiary.

A significant part of the resocialization of the drug addicted convicts is their participation in educational and qualification courses during serving their term in prison. Over the same period they are included in different sports, cultural, informational and labour activities. On the data of the "Penalty Enforcement" Chief Directorate which refer to the social and educational measures undertaken at prison more than 800 drug addicted convicts have taken part in the 3 types of activities.

The labour and sports activities are more intensive in summer and spring, but in winter the penitentiary administration locally make efforts to diversify the cultural and information activities, the amateur art activities, the activities related to specific interests and the conducting of specialized programs.

All these activities are always combined with consulting the drug addicted convicts since they have a number of conflicts and complications with the prison administration as well as with the other convicts.

In 2006 the scope of the methodological level and the diversity of the psychological and social services offered by the penitentiary institutions to the convicts were expanded. Gradually a whole system for their effective treatment is being built up, in which the specialized programs and methods are combined with the forms of the general penitentiary treatment. This approach is complemented by a systematic individual consultation and treatment, so that the conduct of the drug addicted convicts could become more stable and they can be motivated for a more active participation in specific social activities of positive effect. 86

Policy of security in the city zones of drug related crime prevention (participation of the citizens, collaboration with different agencies, intervention to assist the victims).

There is no available updated information for 2006 about the policy of security in the city zones for prevention of drug related crime.

79 Source: State Agency for Child Protection

80 Source: State Agency for Child Protection

81 Source: National Strategy for the Child 2007-2017 (Project), accessible at: http://www.mIsp.government.bg/bg/ministry/projectact.htm

82 For more details see there again

83 Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

84 Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

85 Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

86 Source: "Penalties Enforcement" Chief Directorate at the Ministry of Justice.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 16:42
 

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