site.btaDr. Nadia Taneva: Increasing Quality of Social Work Requires Higher Pay, Better Conditions
There must be a comprehensive approach to improving the quality of social workers' services, including an increase in remuneration and an improvement of the material base. This opinion was expressed in a commentary for BTA by the Executive Director of the Agency for Social Assistance, Dr. Nadia Taneva. She believes that in recent years the work has improved thanks to various trainings. According to her, the current leadership of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy continues to build on efforts to achieve the efficiency that citizens expect.
Approximately 4,500 people work in the Agency's system, Taneva said, adding that it is necessary to raise awareness about the work of social workers.
Social workers provide appropriate help and care to the most vulnerable part of society. The social worker identifies their needs so that they can get financial help and support and the best care. Every day is a challenge because they work with at-risk children, assist the elderly and people with disabilities. In many cases, psychological support to people in difficult situations is most important.
"Society expects a lot from us, but there are cases where legal constraints do not allow for follow-up by the social worker. That is why we are fighting for the so-called holistic approach, where the responsible institutions interact," Taneva said.
She gave an example of this, saying that in severe parental conflicts, when one parent does not comply with the visitation regime, the social worker can be blamed, but they have no authority to seize a child from the parent who does not comply with the visitation regime established by the court.
At the end of September, a final conference was held on the implementation of a project for increasing the capacity of staff in the field of child protection, social services and social assistance, funded by the Human Resources Development Operational Programme (2014-2020). Within the framework of the project, specialized trainings were conducted to meet the specific needs of people placed in social services.