Bulgarian institutions graded with ’Average 2,88’ for their childcare policies and practices

Bulgarian institutions received a grade Average 2,88 according to the paper “Report Card: What is the Average Government Score for Childcare?” by National Network for Children. The evaluation is done by analogy with that in the Bulgarian educational system, where grades range from poor 2 to excellent 6.

This is the lowest grade for the last 7 years in which the Network for Children is preparing its monitoring paper. The document evaluates as in school whether the government and administration have fulfilled their commitments to the children in the last year. This alternative monitoring report critically and independently presents the civil society’s point of view on child policies. It includes recommendations for improving the present policies and practices of the institutions. The state efforts regarding childcare are evaluated trough 25 state’s commitments in 5 areas: General Principals under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Family Environment and Alternative Care, Healthcare, Education and Justice.

According to experts most alarming tendencies during last years are: the lack of progress in the efforts for reducing child poverty; systematic problems in the social area and system for child protection; the lack of specific policy supporting families and parents; insufficient coordination between institutions; the slow speed of the reform in the system for juvenile justice and insufficient investments in support of professionals, working with children – social and healthcare workers, teachers, judges, etc.

The lowest grade in the report receives the area Family Environment and Alternative Care – Average 2,53, followed by General Principals under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with Average 2,60 and Justice with Average 2,79. On the next place is Education with Average 3,02. The highest grade is for Healthcare with Average 3,19.

Since the last year, National Network for Children has been preparing the so called ‘Little Report Card’ based on the experience and opinion of children youth, parents and professionals working with children. The most common opinion is that there is a huge gap between people and the state and more people-friendly attitude from the institutions and less bureaucracy are needed.

The institutions are simulating childcare efforts, said the Chairman of the Management Board of the National Network for Children Georgi Apostolov. 2017 was relatively steady in economic and political aspect and the politicians were able to put in their agenda this huge priority – improvement of the children well-being if they were willing, but they didn’t. We are living in a country that is slowly slaying its children. There are possibilities, there are resources but nothing has been done. Everybody looks the money, the highways construction, but what is needed to be invested in, it isn’t – in the future of the state, in the children.

The 2018 Report Card was presented simultaneously in Sofia and 8 other cities with the participation of local organizations members of the National Network for Children.

You can expect 2018 Report Card in English soon.

The previous editions are available at the NNC’s website