BG- Analysis of the application of the Social Services Act with regard to preventive community work in Roma communities

In November 2020, the Bulgarian Social Services Act [SSA] was adopted in order to ensure the provision of affordable, quality and efficient social services to the widest possible range of people in need. It empowers the municipal authorities to use the social services as a tool to reduce social exclusion, introducing new concepts in Bulgaria legislation such as of “community work” and “mobile preventive community work”.
Our research has shown that these concepts are not sufficiently developed and are completely absent in the bylaw framework.
The most marginalized groups usually live segregated in informal dwellings and therefore lack permanent residence registration. As a consequence, these individuals do not have personal documents and become “invisible” to social services, the healthcare system or the educational system. In all seven ROMACT municipalities covered by this research, it was reported that the households located in informal dwellings were not covered by the enumerators’ count during the 2021 Census. The analysis of the local social mapping and needs assessment activities show that there are no targeted measures neither towards Roma marginalised communities, nor towards the quarters with informal dwellings or neighborhoods with households predominantly living under the poverty line.

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