Deinstitutionalization of Childcare: Investing in Change

Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria; Know-how Center for Alternative Care for Children, New Bulgarian University; Cedar Foundation; UNICEF; Eurochild; SOS Children's Villages; Hope and Homes for Children; Lumos Foundation
Sofia, Bulgaria

This three day conference - to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria 6-8 November 2019 - aims at sharing and discussing relevant data and experience, promising practices and challenges in the field of Deinstitutionalisation (DI). Within the global context of this reform, the event will take an EU perspective, focusing on the reform’s specific national characteristics and on bridging the gap between the accumulated knowledge and decision-making in DI.
The conference will document the lessons learnt concerning the DI processes under the overarching question “How should we invest in the change DI has generated?”
Within it, three key sub-questions will guide the discussions:

  • To what extent does DI facilitate attachment relationships and provide the necessary conditions for child development?

  • Where and how should investments be made to ensure these relationships and conditions?

  • Which investments are effective and how do we measure their effectiveness?

In order to answer these, the conference will:

  • open up space for reflection, giving the DI actors a chance to position themselves in  this large-scale and complex social change;

  • facilitate the exchange of knowledge;

  • inspire and motivate participants to identify strategic investment areas by creating evidence-based, effective childcare and family care mechanisms.
     

Key-note speakers
Prof. Kevin Browne, Director of Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham; Prof. Peter Fuggle, Director of Clinical Services, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK; Charles H. Zeanah, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and Vice-Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans;  Nathan A. Fox,  Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology; Charles A. Nelson III, Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School; Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild; Robert Gilligan, Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin; Prof. Frank Oberklaid, Honorary Professor of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne; Stela Grigoras, UNICEF ECARO; Andy Bilson, Emeritus Professor in Social Work, University of Central Lancashire .

Organisers
Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria; Know-how Center for Alternative Care for Children, New Bulgarian University; Cedar Foundation; UNICEF; Eurochild; SOS Children's Villages; Hope and Homes for Children; Lumos Foundation.

Participants
The conference will bring together experts with world-class research on and practical experience of DI’s different aspects. Over 200 representatives from universities and educational bodies and training organisations, the European Commission, national authorities, international and local NGOs, service providers, child policy and child protection professionals from across Europe, Australia, Central Asia and the USA, will participate.
Parents’ and children’s views will receive particular attention.
Young researchers in the area of ​​child welfare will be given dedicated space to present their results.

Expected outcome
The participants will agree on a set of conclusions and guidelines for investment in childcare reforms and increasing the capacity for evidence-based DI policy development and implementation.