happy story from Plovdiv
June 17 2021
Andrei is a beautiful and alert 2-year-old boy. He lives with his mother Anna and her parents in a village near Plovdiv. His parents separated before he was born after a conflict between his mother and her mother-in-law, in which the mother-in-law prevailed.
Anna, who gave birth to her son when she was a minor, was left alone to take care of him, full of uncertainty and hesitation whether she would be able to cope, as well as bitterness at the betrayal of her partner Grigor. And the child grew up and very rarely and for a short time saw his father.
In September last year, at a meeting in the Child Protection Department, the two parents agreed that the father would take Andrei with him every Sunday for a few hours, but he did not keep the agreements. He came to Anna’s house 1-2 times a month without warning. He stayed with his son for a short time, but never took him with him to his home. Because of these sudden and brief meetings with his father, Andrei was anxious and confused, his mother said.
We started working with the family, directed to us at the Center for Community Support “For Children and Parents” at the Foundation “For Our Children” from the Department of Child Protection for monitoring, counseling and increasing parental capacity, as well as mediation and advocacy for other institutions.
The beginning was difficult. Andrei’s father, Grigor, did not want to work with us. After a long online conversation, he agreed to talk on the phone at least once a month. The young man claimed that he wanted to see his son, but it was difficult for him because the child did not recognize him as his father. I encouraged him to visit his son, but not just to bring him presents, but to play with him and get to know each other.
At the same time, mother Anna and I discussed various topics – about Andrey’s needs, about his development, about how he could be enrolled in a nursery so that Anna could work on other social issues. Most often we returned to the conversation on the subject of Grigor, to whom the young woman was angry – she could not forgive him for not defending her in front of his parents and not remaining as husband and father with her and their son.
From Andrei’s birth until his second birthday, neither parent had taken steps to regulate the meetings between the two of them and the child, to determine the regime of personal relations between Andrei and his father, and to support Grigor. This further strained the situation. Anna was hesitant to initiate such a lawsuit, fearing that the court might take her child away. I managed to convince her that her fears were in vain, and in April this year we went together to the Plovdiv District Court, where she filed a lawsuit to settle the relationship between her, Grigor and Angel.
Recently, Anna boasted to me that she had dared to enroll Andrei in the nursery in their village. Not only will this help Andrew communicate with more of his peers and learn new things, it will give Anna the opportunity to look for a job. After applying for a settlement with her husband, she is calmer and more confident that her child will soon see her father on a court-appointed schedule.
The term for work with Anna and her family set by the Child Protection Department is about to expire and there is already a request from her and I will continue to work with them. I obviously won it.
Social and Integrated Services Expert, Plovdiv
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