CONTACTS AND CONFLICTS IN FOSTER CARE IN BULGARIA
Foster care is a social service and a protective measure for children at risk, but foster care is also a profession. For its correct implementation, the combined efforts of social workers, foster parents, biological parents, etc. are required. While the theory and basis of foster care (in terms of legal clauses, rules and stipulations) were adapted from foreign models and had not caused many objections or necessitated major corrections, the actual implementation of foster care as a social service is fraught with potential factual conflicts and contradictory opinions. These mainly relate to the exact extent of the services offered and the differing interpretations of both the state apparatus and the people directly involved in and affected by the service. Conditionally we divide the problematic area into four sub-areas that emphasise these points of conflict. Every one of them can also be the source of one or more subsequent conflicts: 1) voluntary and professional foster care; 2) biological and adoptive family; 3) social workers and foster parents; 4) priority of foster care and adoption of the foster child.
Keywords: children at risk, foster children, foster care, childhood