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IMAS Project - Interview with Social Assistant at Agency for Social Development "Vision" in Bulgaria

As part of the IMAS project, we posed some questions to a learning and support assistant in Bulgaria. Learn about the reality of of this work in Bulgaria in this short interview.

What are your main duties/responsibilities?

My main duties/responsibilities are:

  • accompanying the child with special educational needs during classes;
  • helping him/her adapt and integrate in class;
  • keeping in touch with both parents and the social service staff in order to update them on the child’s development, his/her progress at school and possible challenges and problems that might have occurred;
  • assisting the child not only at school, but also in view of his/her personal development.

Do you think that there is a need of clarifying your responsibilities at work in order to fulfill them in a better way?

At the beginning of my employment, all my responsibilities were clarified and twice per year, Agency for Social Development “Vision” organises support groups in which a Psychologist provides assistance in solving problems related to the daily work of the Social Assistants. A really helpful approach would be the exchange of experience on a more regular basis with professionals in the social sector, such as Psychologists, Special Pedagogues, who could give valuable advices and tips for improving our approach towards children with special educational needs in order to be as supportive to them as possible.

Which are the main challenges that you encounter in your daily work? Do you have any suggestions about how you could deal with these challenges?

As I am working in mainstream schools and kindergartens, one of the greatest challenges that I face is the lack of understanding and support by teachers and parents, which leads to a rejection of the children with special educational needs by the rest of the children. I think that this issue could be solved by providing more information about the needs of children with disabilities to the people who form part of their lives and to society in general.