Social services have a key role in improving the quality of life of vulnerable groups. This form of support contributes to and extends the capabilities of persons to lead an independent life and is aimed at supporting the assisted persons to carry out their daily activities. Social services are provided both in institutions and in the community, incl. at home. They are provided according to the wish and personal choice of those who need them. Social services can be provided on a short-term basis - up to three months and / or on a long-term basis for a period of more than three months.
The terms and conditions for establishment, provision and use of social services in Bulgaria are regulated in the Social Assistance Act and the Rules for implementation. Social services may be provided by individuals carrying out commercial activities and by legal entities established under the law of another EU Member State or another country of the European Economic Area, after entry in the Register of the Agency for Social Assistance and licensing by the Chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, when social services are provided to children. The mayor of the municipality manages the social services in the municipality, which are state delegated activities and local activities, and is the employer of the heads of these services. Legislation in the field of social services allows the mayor to entrust the management of social services, which are state delegated activities and local activities, to private providers (individuals carrying out commercial activities and legal entities established under the laws of another EU Member State or another country of the European Economic Area to provide social services in Bulgaria) by competition or by negotiation with a single candidate, while exercising control on them. In response to the need to develop sustainable and flexible system for social services, one of our priorities is to improve the quality of services, including for children, and to improve their planning, financing, monitoring and control.
The increasingdemand of long-term care by the adult population in the context of the negative processes related to aging population highlights the need for cross-sectoral cooperation and an integrated approach in caring for the elderly and for people with disabilities. In this regard, as one of the main challenges for the long-term care system, our efforts are aimed at promoting and developing the interaction between social and health services.