The center for counseling and legal assistance for children in Lom has been operating since April last year and is housed in the building of the “ROMA-LOM” Foundation, which is equidistant from the four Roma neighborhoods in the city. A team consisting of a psychologist, a social worker and a lawyer has been appointed and is working there. The team has gone through specialized introductory and ongoing training, and an expert of the leading organization in the project performs periodic monitoring of the service.The center aims to increase access to specialized services for children from the Roma communities, as well as the quality of their provision.
In the past months, 12 children have passed through the service. The main problems that the team’s experts had to deal with were primarily related to children’s behavioral problems. They have inevitably affected regular school attendance and, accordingly, have created a risk of them dropping out of the education system.
Behavioral problems, emotional instability, unacceptable behavior at school and reluctance to integrate into the school environment, difficulties in learning, conflicting relationships with other students and insulting teachers and the principal, inability to create and maintain social contacts, risky behavior at school and outside – these are just some of the problems that children have to overcome with the help of the Center’s team, and especially in their work with the psychologist.
Project “Specialized services for children from Roma communities in conflict or contact with the law”, Contract MP No. 93-00-145/12.10.2022, is financed by the Justice Program of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 and is implemented in three regions – Pazardjik, Plovdiv and Lom. Partners in its implementation are the “Roma-Lom” Foundation, the “Roma” Regional Development Foundation – Plovdiv and Save a child – Norway. Its purpose isto introduce and develop an effective integrated approach aimed at improving the status and opportunities of children in contact with the law in the three Roma communities in Bulgaria,
The service has also been implemented in the Roma communities in Plovdiv and Pazardzhik.