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Foster care was integrated and popularized relatively recently in Bulgaria, but fortunately, it quickly develops – more and more people decide to become foster parents – which is a great tendency. Our country plans to close most of the institutions for abandoned children in the next years, and foster care is the only better substitute, because it stimulates development, rather than destroying it, as it often happens in the institutions.
Today, over 1600 children live in foster families in Bulgaria. Foster parents point that the biggest problems are the financial – the support money that the country grants (about 160euro), are not enough for the needs of the child. Many of the foster families today are living on charity, thanks to people with big hearts like Svetlio Kantardjiev and responsible companies like the telecom Mobiltel.
Another problem that foster parents pointed in a recently conducted survey, was the public opinion about foster care and parenting. The survey showed that Bulgarians are now informed about the possibility to become foster parents, but only 13% of people say that if they have the opportunity, would take care of a child from institutions.
Over 2000 children are abandoned every year, and currently there are over 6000 children in social institutions. I really hope that by plan we will manage to close all of them until 2018. And to huge extent that depends on us also – our donations and support.