The Child Protection Act (CPA) is the main specialized act in the Bulgarian legislation system regulated the state policy concerned with the children at risk. It regulates the rights, principles and measures for the protection of the child, the responsible bodies and their interaction in exercising the child protection activities. The state protects and guarantees the fundamental rights of the child in all spheres of public life for all children. The philosophy of the law is rooted in the understanding that the family is the best environment for raising and development of every child. This principle is at the heart of the entire child protection legislation, including when applying measures for prevention of abandonment and for reintegration of children. The aim is to prevent risks, including at an early age, with a focus on the risk of child separation and abandonment. Efforts are directed at providing timely support to the child and parents through services for information and consultation, referrals to social services, provision of financial benefits, etc. It is important to implement measures that most meet the child individual needs and guarantee the rights and the best interest of the child.
According to the CPA protection measures in a family are prioritized, some of which are related to provision of pedagogical, psychological and legal assistance to parents or persons assigned with parental functions, on problems related to the care, upbringing and education of children. Referrals to appropriate social services is also part of the family protection measures. Placement of a child outside the family (in a family of relatives or close friends, in a foster family or in a social or integrated health-social resident care service) is an extreme measure and can only be undertaken by the virtue of a court decision. Such placement is undertaken when all other possibilities for support and protection in a family have been exhausted, except when an emergency removal outside the family is required, including cases there is a danger to the health, life or safety of the child.
In compliance with the Council Recommendation establishing а European Child Guarantee, an Action Plan for implementation of the Council Recommendation (EU) 2021/1004 establishing a European Child Guarantee (2030) was adopted (Council of Ministers’ Decision № 879/09.11.2022). The plan creates the necessary framework of the key measures and interventions to reduce poverty among children and promote their social inclusion. It includes six thematic areas of intervention in accordance with the Child Guarantee - early childhood education and care; inclusive education and school-based activities; healthcare; healthy nutrition; adequate housing and other tools to overcome social exclusion and reduce child poverty.
· Rules for implementation of the Child Protection Act
· Ordinance on the Conditions and Procedures for Application, Selection and Approval of Foster Families and Placing Children inthem
· Ordinance on the Criteria and Standards for the Provision of Social Services to Children
· Ordinance No. RD-07-7 / 05.10.2010 on the Conditions and Procedures for Keeping of Full Adoption Registers
· Ordinance on the Conditions and Procedures for Implementing Measures to Prevent the Abandonment and Institutionalisation of Children and Measures for Reintegration Thereof
· Ordinance on the Specialised Protection of Children at Public Places
· Ordinance on the Conditions and Procedures for the Protection of Gifted and Talented Children
· National Programme for Child Protection, 2015
· International instruments
· Child Protection System
The specialized child protection bodies are the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection and the "Social Assistance" Directorates at the Agency for Social Assistance. "Social Assistance" Directorate is a body of child protection at the local level within which operates the "Child Protection" Department (CPD). CPD social workers take protective measures with regard to children at risk. Other bodies for child protection are: the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Health and the mayors of municipalities.
· Useful Information
State Agency for Child Protection
Agency for Social Assistance